It was almost a year ago that I tried the Samsung Gear Live, one of the first smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear operating system.
After a few hours with device, I wrote how much its constant notifications annoyed me:
I used one of the new Android Wear smartwatches, Samsung’s Gear Live, for several hours Thursday, and my wrist hasn’t stopped buzzing since I synced the device with my phone.
New email? Buzz. New text? Buzz. The thing won’t shut up. I’m one of those guys who obsessively checks his phone, but this is too much for me. Plus Android Wear ties in with Google’s digital assistant service Google Now, which attempts to help you out by notifying you about stuff it thinks you want to know about like upcoming flights or package deliveries.
So there are even more things to look at.
This isn’t the answer. Instead of solving the problem of whipping my phone out several times a day, Android Wear makes me nervous and anxious from all this hyper-connectivity. If I’m to ever go all in on a smartwatch it needs to be simpler than this.
Based on the first round of reviews, it sounds like the Apple Watch has a similar issue.
Here’s an excerpt from Josh Topolsky’s review on Bloomberg. He summed it up the best, but other reviewers had similar comments:
The notification scheme is a little maddening at first. Apple sends a push notification every time you get a corporate email, personal email, direct message on Twitter, message on Facebook, and for interactions in countless other services. Each of these notifications pings the watch. For every message, there is a sound, a vibration, or both. (You can mute them.) If you’re a busy person who communicates constantly on your phone, this gets overwhelming fast. I found myself turning off notifications from entire apps, which seems to defeat the purpose of the watch in the first place. Mercifully, Apple has included a way to clear all those notifications: Just Force Touch on the list.
Apple is pitching the Apple Watch as a device that makes you less dependent on your iPhone. But the other end of the equation seems to be a constant barrage of notifications until you tweak them or turn them off.