It is my sincere hope that Apple's Smart Watch (Watch officially) lives up to the hype and is a truly revolutionary product. 14 Years ago the iPod paved the way for portable MP3 players, doing away with physical music. 7 Years later, in 2007, the iPhone changed the world by making the smartphone standard an outrageously useful, convenient and capable device. Fast-forward 7 years to 2014 and we are due for a new ‘life-changing’ Apple product. It’s the Apple Watch’s turn.
The Apple Watch WILL Change the Tech World (Hopefully)
The Apple Watch will undoubtably be the new standard of smartphone peripherals. Not because of any ideas or technologies, but because of the ecosystem it has backing it. Don’t get me wrong, all of the tech and ideas behind the Apple Watch are not only old news, you can currently buy a device that does almost everything the Apple Watch will do. What the Apple Watch has going for it is an ecosystem of potentially 1.2 million apps to back it up, something no other smartch (smart + watch = smartch) can claim. Apple specifically told developers that their apps on the Apple Watch should “complement your iOS app; not replace it.” This means that any app developer potentially has the power to make that super convenient app you love even more so, by placing it’s core features on your person.
The Customizability of Apple's Smart Watch
The success of smart accessories is determined by their customizability, on both a hardware and software front. This is where the Apple Watch will excel. Through software, you will get to choose whether or not the features/apps that are most convenient for you, are allowed to bug you. The software allows you to determine whether or not the notification your smartphone is pestering you with is really worth addressing. If you have an accessory attached to your person, it better be ridiculously customizable and convenient, or people will simply get annoyed with it. Personally, I don’t need to, nor do I want to address every email sent my way. However, I instantaneously answer any and every email sent to my firstname.lastname@example.org email address. This is just a simple example, but the point is, the Apple Watch has the hardware and software to accomplish the customizability necessary to make a smartch successful.
The Apple Watch Simplify Your Digital Life
Apple Watch will provide several different ways to address notifications; glances, actionable notifications and apps designed specifically for Apple Watch. Glances will allow an app developer to convey information that the user merely needs to absorb, nothing else. Actionable notifications will apply specifically to notifications that ‘need’ to be addressed. In a traditional sense, such as email, these notifications will have simple tap gestures or commands where you can, for example, archive or respond to an email, quickly and with ease. Lastly there are Apple Watch apps. These applications will be an extension of the application on your iPhone. For example, if you oftentimes use Yelp on your iPhone, with the Yelp app for Apple Watch, you could check-in, search for that hip coffee joint, or check out the reviews for nearby restaurants, all without the cumbersome act of peeling your iPhone away from your pocket.
Why I’m Excited About Apple Watch
The hardware. I’ve been very satisfied with the hardware my Pebble smart watch packs for quite a while now. Pebble was one of the first to the smart watch game, and they provide a compelling product for a very reasonable price. The Apple Watch, however, will expand on everything I love about my Pebble. Comprehensive fitness tracking, being the most appealing feature in my opinion.
The Apple Watch will come equipped with an accelerometer to track full body movement, a GPS to track distance and sensors that measure heart rate and subsequently, intensity. All of the data combined gives a clear picture of general fitness and allows one to set goals and grow, with a plethora of data backing their decisions. I’ve been looking for a fitness tracker that is up to par for a while now. To me, the Apple Watch would be worth it’s cost in fitness tracking alone. On top of everything, it connects and syncs to the iPhone to display data in a more comprehensive way with the Health app. Secondly, the feature I yearn for the most on my Pebble, that the Apple Watch will satiate… a microphone.
The Pebble is extremely convenient in that it displays information such as texts or emails, but there is no real good way to interface back with the device. The Apple Watch eliminates this problem through the use of a microphone, and Siri. Receiving a text and dictating a response, or recording an audible response is the killer feature I’ve been searching for in a smart watch. The number one reason I interact with my phone is to text someone. If this feature can be allocated to my wrist in a successful manner, Apple is sitting on an immensely convenient and successful product. If you include the recent advent of ‘Hey Siri,’ it becomes possible to text without pressing a single button, or tapping any glass.
Apple Watch Coming Early 2015
I sincerely hope the Apple Watch performs as advertised. As an extension of a smartphone, the different conveniences that it will provide will be immeasurable. I have only highlighted a few key points that I’m excited about, and I’m sure more details will emerge in the future. The first generation of a device can be sketchy, especially with Apple. But, hopefully everything will behave as planned. I know I’ll be first in line to test out the Apple Watch, and I’ll be sure to report back later.
-Shatter Buggy, Denver