Almost 2 years ago, I blogged about what was to become the onslaught of smartwatches. And I ended by saying, “…and then, of course, there’s Apple with the rumored iWatch which is where I’d place my bets on disrputing the SmartWatch market from novelty into utility – especially if they find a way to make a device that is less reliant on the phone.”
Today the (highly anticipated) Apple Watch arrived at my door. And after a couple of hours wearing it, how does it perform compared to how I hoped it would 21 months ago?
What I’ve found, so far, is that although the Apple Watch is still tethered to the iPhone, it’s doesn’t feel like it is as much. The watch and phone can communicate over your home’s WiFi network, so the distance they can be apart is pretty significant.
What I like most about the watch + phone pairing is the interoperability of messaging between the Apple Watch and the iPhone. If you don’t want to use a pre-set reply or voice dictate a response via the watch, it’s really simple to pull up the message (or email) and reply on your iPhone—at just a click of a button.
Apple Pay also works without the need for your iPhone to be around – which is pretty helpful if you loose (or get stolen) your phone/wallet and are in a bind.
Your Life’s Remote Control
Some say the smartphone is like a remote control but I think the true remote control of your life will be on your wrist.
With apps that already can control your car, unlock your hotel room, navigate you to items on your shopping list, and pay for things -- the idea of not having take your phone out of your pocket (or purse) is liberating. And it’s also just the beginning of what’s possible.
With the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple has already laid the foundation for a user experience that’s designed to be quickly accessible, “at a glance”, on the go – and built around complementary utility. As brands continue to jump on the Apple Watch bandwagon, hopefully they’ll consider (and build upon) those same principles for their apps. Ultimately we must ask: How can this device that's more intimately a part of us, help make our lives easier?
My Wishlist for the Apple Watch 2
I bought the Apple Watch Sport for a few reasons. It’s lighter than the regular Apple Watch. It’s also not shiny (I personally don’t like the shiny finish on the regular Apple Watch). And it’s also very likely that sometime in 2016, we’ll see the debut of the next generation Apple Watch. Out of the gate, there are several things I hope to see improved in the next version.
- Battery life: It should last more than a day. A week would be nice.
- Waterproofing: The watch is water resistant but it’d be great to swim with it.
- Temperature: Like iPhone, in very cold weather, it can shut down. Scary for safety.
- Decoupling: It’d be great to see more features independent from iPhone.
What’s most important to keep in mind is that this is Apple’s first generation watch. Before folks are quick to judge and dismiss it, don't forget the first iPod, iPhone, and iPad – and how far each has come in a relatively short amount of time. The same will happen for the Apple Watch.
But the best part? I've been waiting since 1982 to talk into my watch and say, "K.I.T.T., I need you buddy." After all, my first name is "Michael." ;-)