Scott Jack

Worn Out on Apple Wearables

I have not been impressed with Apple wearables. I've been thinking about this for a while, but finally decided to write about it because of the ridiculous experience I've been having with my AirPods Pro.

AirPods Pro

When I first got them, they made a weird crackling noise during use. Apple's solution was to replace both buds but not the case. Whether it is because of their solution or not, I feel like they're very inconsistent about connecting at all, let alone to the device I'm using.

More recently, the AirPods have been connecting to the iPhone on their own - while they're in the closed case. As you might imagine, this was draining the battery. Twice I've cleaned the charging contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. They're still very finicky about charging.

Today, I think I spent about 15 minutes troubleshooting, removing and replacing each earbud, charging the case, trying to get the right earbud in particular to set so that it will charge. Finally, it seems to be working.

I cannot see myself buying another set of AirPods.1

Apple Watch

My stainless steel Series 3 was my second Apple Watch. When it finally died, I realized I didn't miss it enough to replace it. But I also probably used it differently than many people.

When I had my Apple Watch, I turned off all notifications. I found it almost offensive getting tapped on my wrist so frequently (and that's with minimal notifications turned on on my iPhone). I turned off all the reminders for breathing and activity ring progress. About the only things I used it for were run tracking, contactless payments (if I remembered to wear it when I went out), and unlocking my iPhone when wearing a mask.

After the Series 3 died, I uninstalled Health, Fitness, and Strava from my phone. I still run, but I don't track it. I'm a little hesitant to say I'll never buy another Apple Watch, because it does make a decent run tracker, but I don't see it happening anytime soon - even at $250 for the SE.

Parting Thoughts

Other issues, such as the environmental and repair unfriendliness of these devices, have been discussed at length elsewhere. Those are definitely issues that I think Apple pays more lip service to than anything, but I also don't think humans will make any appreciable changes to manufacturing things this way. Therefore, my issues with the products come down to their quality and usability, which I just find lacking. There are tons of people that love them, though. And if you're one of them, I'm happy for you!

  1. My mom and sister love Bose QuietComfort earbuds. They sound great, but that case is ridiculously huge.

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