I got an Apple Watch last week and it’s showing me how amazing it is for devices to be more aware of one another. The iPhone is smart enough to stay quiet when I’m wearing the Watch, but the Watch will stay quiet when my iPhone is unlocked (because it knows I’ll see notifications on that screen).
The odd man out is the iPad. I’ll get notifications while I’m using the iPad and still get occasional buzzes on my Watch because those two devices aren’t specifically linked at the OS level. I understand why the Watch doesn’t pair with the iPad (it’s not something you carry on your person all the time), but I also think there was a missed opportunity to pair with an iPad when the tablet is present. The Watch shouldn’t buzz while I’m using the iPhone or the iPad.
The Watch has almost created a wedge in my family of iOS devices. The iPad and iPhone used to be best pals. I’d write text messages to my mom on the iPad, which I could send via the iPhone’s cellular connection and the Continuity features introduced in iOS 8. My iPhone and iPad were in sync using iCloud, often even more so than the iPad and Mac (because some iOS apps like Drafts just aren’t available on the desktop). However, with the Watch on my wrist, that dynamic has shifted. It’s the synchronization between the Watch and my iPhone that I now trust the most.
I’m being dramatic here because I still send texts through the iPad (it’s awesome), but the Watch has definitely shown how Apple can step up their game in terms of device awareness. I’d love to see a continuity of the thinking behind Continuity in iOS 9 this summer so that the iPhone, iPad, and Watch start to feel more like a system, and less like a series of devices.