Firstly, full-disclosure I am an Apple “fan-boy” so naturally today is a very good day for me. Apple announced the iPhone 6/6 Plus which is great and I cannot wait for mine to arrive in a few weeks time, but the real juice of today’s announcement was the long awaited Apple Watch.
Yes, I know it’s not the first smart watch, and it won’t be the last. It is however the friendliest smart watch. You see, prior to today we’ve seen the Galaxy Gear that has had many hideous versions released, with some nicer looking versions coming through today but still horrible. They still talk the same talk about tech specs and it’s crappy fitness tracker functionality and a camera or whatever else they have done on an ugly version of the Android or Tizen interface.
Today though, the things I really wanted to see from my smart watch were presented to me in a way that made sense.
First of all, I’m not going to look like a tool walking around with it on. There is a style to suit me, as much as there is a style to suit the guy next to me. As much as I love tech I don’t want to look like one of the guys of star trek, I still want to look human. This is the one I’ll be snapping up.
There is also an interface that is completely usable thanks to the introduction of what they call the “Digital Crown” which is effectively the little scroll thing you see on the side of your current watch.
Listeners of our podcast will know how I want weather at a swipe of the watch and a fitness tracker that’s not hideous. Well Apple did me one better and gave me weather on the watch face as well as information on my daily activity which I can get more information from my a quick tap or via my phone. Plus it beats my FitBit also by introducing a heart rate monitor and the ability for me to track individual workouts throughout the daily in addition to my daily goals.
Watch to watch messaging allows you to send taps and custom drawn images to friends who also have the Apple watch. There is also a customisable emoticon feature where you can send custom emoticons to your friends – I can see this being fun!
Notifications, Siri, calendar, iMessage, maps, walkie-talkie, the ability to control iTunes and Apple TV and so much more all on your wrist puts the Apple watch a cut above the current smart watches. There is a stack more packed into this great device which you can read about here.
So what’s this means for us? Well not a lot. Web won’t make an appearance on the smart watch as it’s not the right form factor for it. But complimentary apps will get developed to give some unique supporting features to existing apps on your iPhone. Nike and a few other companies are going to have companion apps which will allow you view snippets of data and add additional functionality to their current apps. It will be extremely exciting to see what people come up with to go with the mini masterpiece.
Fan-boy rant over.