For the longest time I have avoided giving my attention to any advertising materials for the Apple Watch. Growing up a PC-user, I have long lamented the price-tag on Apple products, only to be a total convert upon obtaining my first Macbook. Similarly, my first iPhone-over-Android purchase was the small, snappy, and relatively cheap iPhone 5c. When it came time to replace, I went with the large “Phablet” iPhone 6+. It was only a matter of time before I gave in and finally purchased an iWatch, completely betraying my childhood brand loyalty.
Turns out the iWatch is not very useful without the phone. Had I had my older iPhone 5, or even downgraded to the smallest-ever iPhone 4, I could have potentially gotten over it. While this is not technically a flaw the device has, it is inconvenient as I thought my tiny Apple Watch would augment my larger phone perfectly. Based on their marketing, I figured I could just keep my phone permanently in my pocket or backpack and never have to glance at it again. And for certain tasks this was true, and helpful. Other times, not so much.
- Developer support is only going to get better (despite mixed reviews, Apple Watch consumer reports say that the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch in the world.)
- You ARE increasingly able to use the Apple Watch in some (limited) ways without your phone, although the watch is not designed to replace your phone just yet.
- The cheaper watches don’t actually perform less well—it is all same hardware. The reason for the price difference is purely physical; you are paying a little more for a fraction of a bigger screen. Some people choose to pay significantly more for a watchband (yes, seriously).
- Developer support may be limited by the hardware of the first iteration of the Apple Watch (the second version of an Apple Product tends to provide much greater memory and a better user experience with all of us early consumers being essentially market beta-testers)
- The price is reflective of the Apple brand. As a Silicon Valley resident and a techie, I have a hard time justifying the Apple Watch’s lowest-end device as being worth more than $150-$250.
The new strategy of Apple, under Tim Cooke’s leadership, can be seen the second you walk into an Apple Store these days. Compared to even five years ago, now we would never see Hermes and Bose-branded products on display. Now, on the wall, we see a whole selection of Apple Watch accessories right alongside non-Apple drones, non-Apple headphones, and a small plethora of other “premium-brand” goods. You can almost hear Steve Jobs rolling in his grave shouting: “Ours is the Premium Brand!”
Despite returning my own Apple Watch after three weeks because it wasn’t the right fit for me, there are, without a doubt, numerous people who will find that the iWatch is the perfect device to augment their life—if you do get utility out of it, you can get daily utility out of it. This is one of those devices that if you are comfortable with the form factor and methods of use, it won’t just be a novelty, but one of your most used devices. I will admit, It was convenient when I got a text message and just had to raise my wrist to read it, which I could then respond to via voice dictation without having to take the time to actually type a response back.
Not only is this device novel, for less-dexterous individuals who live their lives via audio messages, this gadget is practically a godsend. I lamented having to lug around my big iPhone 6+ on my long walks, but I loved replying via voice. I quickly learned, though (and this was my main impetus for returning the device), when you share a living space with someone, non-stop voice dictation can become embarrassing. “Hey Siri, can you—oh, um, never mind.”
Truthfully, this is a very neat device that will make certain techies feel like James Bond. If you can budget for this device and want it, I’d say go for it. If you are hesitating for any practical reasons, however, I’d advise waiting for more apps to come out now that the Apple Watch’s OS2 is live. I would potentially even consider waiting until the second generation of Apple Watches as these devices do have some longevity. Having used it myself, I am certain Apple Watch is here to stay, in a way that Google Glass… did not.