It's fair to say I'm not the happiest Apple Watch owner in the world. Because yes, they are fantastic pieces of kit. But they also need charging every day. For me, that was enough to turn me off and seek out something different.
But that may all be about to change. Recently, at WWDC 2023, we saw the unveiling of the new Apple Watch software – WatchOS 10. It brought a selection of goodies that make one of the best smartwatches even more effective when undertaking sporting activities.
But there's another feature which I really liked. And it's one which hasn't been publicised as much as the others. The update to the Mindfulness app on the new software looks like it will be a real triumph.
Users can enter their feelings in the app. That can either be generally for the day, or in a specific moment. It all works with the digital crown, allowing users to discreetly enter the information. The screen simply shows a pulsating flower-like image which cycles through different emotions.
The Health app can then take this data and identify patterns. For example, if you always felt a pang of anxiety at the same time or in the same place, it could make you aware of this, giving you the data to enact meaningful change.
I think that's a real masterstroke. While the focus on physical health has always been a core feature of the Watch, mental health has been left behind somewhat. That's about to change, and I think it could be really beneficial.
For some, just being able to log their feelings may be enough to offset the weight of them. For others, being able to see those trends could make a positive impact.
Personally, I think being able to log my feelings would allow me to contextualise them. It's easy to become overwhelmed by negative emotions, but seeing them in relation to your wider happiness might change that.
Honestly, it's enough to make me consider returning to the Apple Watch. Despite all of its shortcomings, there are some really great features which could genuinely alter my state of mind.
The new feature is already accessible in the developer beta. If you don't fancy putting that on a daily device – they can be littered with bugs – then you still won't have long to wait. The public beta should be released this month, with a full public release coming later this year.