Well, the day has come and passed—the Apple Watch release day. I ordered mine on the prerelease date and had high hopes that I might see it on April 24, but the shipping info indicated that I might not see it until May 27. To my delight, it arrived just a few days after the release date. I had mixed feelings about getting a smartwatch—I love the watch I usually wear, and I don’t necessarily want to be more “wired” than I already am. But needing to keep up with the latest technology, and understanding its potential impact for our publishing clients, I decided to give it a shot.

I thought I’d hate it. Surprise. I actually kind of like it.

It’s not intrusive as I expected it to be. The pulses and notifications are subtle, and give just a glimpse of what you need to know about a meeting, call, text, message, or fitness reminder. I have to say I’m getting sucked into the fitness reminders and like that they’re helping me to be more aware of my activity. On my busy days, that’s always been a challenge. (Though, I’m finding the “Time to Stand” reminders somewhat entertaining, as I’ll get them in the midst of facilitating a meeting when I have been standing for over an hour, or while driving my car.) But now, it’s motivating me to find the perfect stand-up desk to match my fashionable office.

It’s also helping me to keep up on TFP’s busy social media channels, something I never have time for and generally try to catch later in digest form. I rarely succeed on that, so this is a real bonus.

The first call on the watch really caught me off guard, especially since it was an accidental call from our creative director’s cat. I’ll spare you the additional entertaining details, but it took me a moment to realize the “meow” was not some undocumented feature.

The best part has been the ability to have my flight alerts and boarding passes on my watch. I’m often on two to four flights per week. It’s been great to be able to get through security and board a plane that way, and even more entertaining to watch the reaction from TSA and ticket agents when they see it work. Feels kind of James Bond-ish.

I have some concerns about the social impact (old-fashioned social, that is) given how many of us are so hypervigilant about smartphones in our work and personal lives. It’s hard to conduct any meeting these days without having to compete with the electronic devices in the room. The watch adds a new complexity. What’s the impact on the quality of a conversation, meeting, or personal interaction if participants are drawn to checking their watch? At this point, it’s unavoidable, but of concern nonetheless.

OK, so enough about me. As useful apps and smarter ways to leverage the watch for content come along, we’ll share them. In the meantime, here are some informative reads and reviews, including a Consumer Reports video on its rigorous testing protocol for the Apple Watch and other smartwatches.

An evaluation by Re/code’s Lauren Goode, A Week on the Wrist, showed similar reactions.

Here are some other interesting perspectives:

Also check out this month’s recommended reads for more on the Apple Watch.

It’s time for me to stand now—see you in June for our next Publishing Innovations topic!

CEO Margot Knorr Mancini’s monthly blog on Content Strategy shares valuable insights and observations from her experiences in the publishing industry. 
Check out her other articles in our Content Strategy section. Sign up for TFP’s other newsletter briefings, including Media Metrics and This Week in Publishing, which highlights our weekly picks along with industry news and tips to help you stay informed. Have a suggestion for a topic you’d like to know more about? Drop us a note!


Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.