Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Published on under The Digital Age

Dan Moren wrote about the most useful aspects of using an Apple Watch while abroad in Portugal. Perhaps not surprisingly, he loved having a map on his wrist:

Makes sense, right? You’re in a foreign country, you’re going to need to find your way around a lot. But, along the same lines as my earlier concerns, pulling out an iPhone and looking around in befuddlement is a pretty easy way to get tagged as a tourist. Simply glancing at your watch, however? Far less conspicuous—even if it sometimes looks (accurately) like you’re an idiot who’s having trouble deciphering analog time.

In particular, I really like that if I load up directions on my iPhone, but don’t start navigation, it preloads them on my Watch, where I can then tap Start at my leisure.

I did find myself from time to time retreating to the Maps app on the phone, largely to get an actual map overview of where I was. Plus, using the phone also gave me the option of using Google Maps, which on occasion disagreed with Apple Maps over the locations of certain things. Not to mention Apple Maps’s terrible and egregious lack of public transit information.

I like that the thing holding back the usefulness of the maps on the magical computer on your wrist is Apple’s map data, and not the computer itself. Like, Apple can put a magical computer on your wrist. It can see your heart beat, let you dictate an email to someone across the planet, and check your Instagram feed.

But whoa, drawing a map? Of like, a city? Where people live? Dude, you’re blowing my mind!