And so to Apple Watch. We’ve talked extensively about Apple Watch and other wearables over the past few months. In many ways, there was very little new that Apple showed about Apple Watch yesterday.
We knew how apps would work on it, we knew what it would look like, we knew the features it was pushing but we didn’t know the price.
Now that we know that information (£299 – £339 for the Sport, £479 – £949 for the Stainless Steel Watch, £8,000 – £13,500 for the Gold Edition), we can talk about the ways Apple has shown the Watch can be used for.
The unfortunate truth of smartphones is that they encourage us to constantly get them out and look at them.
Though some of our interaction with our mobile devices may be in a longer form, much of the time, we simply want to quickly reply to a message, or quickly see a message which has just come in. In many cases, we get our phones out just to check the time.
The Apple Watch and other wearables are designed to help us keep our phones in our pockets or bags. They are designed to help us reduce our dependence on checking what is going on and be more in-control of our day. That appears to be the line coming out of the technology companies creating these devices.
Mobile phones for many people meant that they didn’t feel the need to have a watch. Yet, as what we do with our phones has increased, along with their size, the requirement for being able to glance at information has increased.
Outside of the health and fitness benefits of having a device attached to us, there are now a variety of ways that we use mobile in our daily lives. Here are just a few ways Apple Watch is meant to fit into the lives of iPhone users:
- Payments: Apple Pay has been wildly successful so far and should be spreading into more countries in months to come. Rather than get their phones out to make payments, with Apple Watch, users simple move their wrist near to a payment terminal to authorise a payment. This makes it easier and quicker than any other form of making a payment. The user doesn’t have to get anything out of their pocket, at all.
- Loyalty cards: With Passbook integration, Apple Watch makes it simple for users to scan loyalty cards through barcodes on their Wrist. Again, no need to pull a phone or card out of your pocket. Your wrist becomes your wallet.
- Controlling Smart Technology: In the keynote, Apple showed a demo where a user can open their garage door and view a live security camera feed from their wrist. This could also be used to control the smart home, such as lighting or heating. Additionally, Apple demonstrated how it will be possible to unlock hotel doors at SPG hotels, all with your wrist.
With a 17-hour estimated battery life, the Apple Watch doesn’t have the longevity of a traditional watch. It will require nightly charging – this is a definite drawback. But one that we have become accustomed to with our smartphones. In the case of Apple Watch, it will be the ways in which we use it that define whether the functionality it provides, outweighs the battery life.
One area that Apple hopes its watch will catch on is in the health and fitness arena. To coincide with this, Apple launched ResearchKit, something it hopes will deliver huge value to the medical research community. More of that in the next post.
Apple Watch will be available for pre-order from April 10th, with a release date set for the 24th April.