Articles: Observations on the Apple Watch
In a twist of irony, Apple, the creator of the device that nearly made the wristwatch obsolete, finally introduced the long-awaited “iWatch,” officially called the Apple Watch.
I guess only Apple can kill a whole category and then resurrect it with new technology.
However, the Apple Watch is so much more than a just a watch that it almost shouldn’t be called one. We’re used to watches essentially only telling us the time and date… maybe a few other things with specialized versions. But with customizable faces and the ability to run apps, track fitness, and send secret Morse Code-like messages, it’s like a mini computer that happens to rest on your wrist.
Apple really has set out to redefine what it means to wear a watch. Oh, it keeps time for you- in fact very accurate time, checking continually against the definitive global time standard, and adjusts to time zones and daylight savings time automatically. This thing would be great for the spies, soldiers and criminals we’ve seen so many times in the movies when they have to synch their watches together before embarking on a mission.
The Apple Watch -used in conjunction with your iPhone- allows you to view and reply to any number of apps, including Messages and confirming calendar appointments. You can even send a custom emoji and dictate messages back to your friends and family, all from the watch. If that wasn’t enough, their new “Digital Crown” allows you to quickly access your favorite contacts and send a message to them with a simple tap.
Speaking of taps, Apple has added another wrinkle to the act of remote conversation. The Apple Watch is able to provide tactile feedback to your wrist, so they’ve made it possible for you to simply alert people by tapping your watch screen. That tap or series of taps will then hit the person you are sending it to on their wrist (if they also have an Apple Watch of course).
I can see this being used all the time with, for instance, school-age kids across the country. I’m sure they will make up whole new languages that will allow them to type even less than they do now with their keyboard shortcuts.
We'll even be able to share our heartbeat with someone else. When I read about that, all I could think about is how we might be able to engage with our doctors over FaceTime, giving them permission to tap into our Apple Watch to see all the other data the watch collects.
As third party app makers get a hold of the development tools, I’m sure we’ll see things developed that we cannot even imagine today.
Of course, Apple is doing all of this with its usual emphasis on gorgeous design, including making it easy for us to customize our watchbands depending on our mood or outfit, all in a package that’s both water resistant and tough, due to its sapphire glass front. Heck, they even made a way for us to use our new Apple Watch (and iPhone) to pay for things at our favorite stores by using the new Apple Pay system.
Of course, with all the Internet media attention over this thing, we’ll read about all the things that the watch cannot do. We’ll hear about all the things Apple left out of it, and how it should be smaller, or larger, or faster, or how it needs a camera, or how people don’t wear watches anymore. I bet we’ll even see other manufacturers rush watches out to the market emphasizing whatever feature they can advertise as better than what’s in the Apple Watch.
As someone who has been using Apple devices for a long time, I’ve seen this played out many times before. What I do know is that only Apple will be able to deliver something that will just simply work. It may not have every buzzword feature, but it will do everything that it’s supposed to, and it will do it in style.
That's what will make the Apple Watch an exciting and successful product. Now, just set your current timers to 2015 to wait for it!