Apple’s got my back

I like being told what to do by Apple. Well, being nudged by them at the very least. The new Watch OS (I’m playing with the beta) does a couple of things that I really like.

The first is sleep. I set a schedule for the times I want to go to sleep and when I want to wake up. The watch then goes into Do Not Dusturb 45 minutes before my intended sleep time and can open apps like meditation timers or Kindle if I set it to. It then vibrates an alarm at the time I want to wake up and shows me a record of how much time I have slept. I have used other sleep timers in the past which have purported to show more detailed information about the depth and quality of sleep but I actually appreciate Apple focussing exclusively on the amount of time. I like that they are nudging me into behaviours that will make it more likely that I meet my sleep target rather than making me worry about things like sleep quality which I have no control over.

The second new thing on the watch is hand washing. If I have been out my watch nudges me when I get home to wash my hands and then automatically times my hand washing aiming for a target of 20 seconds. It also triggers the timer every time I wash my hands through the day. I have found it to be amazingly reliable in terms of knowing when I have started washing my hands, and not responding to false positives like running a tap for other purposes. The gentle nudge it gives me has meant that I am more careful about washing my hands than I have ever been and this is no bad thing.

I know that some will react to the idea of Apple and their devices “controlling their lives” but I have been into habit building apps for years, and to varying degrees the whole Quantified Self thing, so I am used to expecting my devices to monitor my behaviours and to nudge me in the right direction.

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