It’s in the context of the working day that interests me most. Mubaloo is focused on utilising mobile technology to solve business challenges. By and large, Apple Watch delivers on some major requirements in business settings by making it easier to manage the number of alerts that can come through each day. It makes it possible to quickly send a note to say you’re running late to a meeting. It links with apps like Keynote, Powerpoint, Evernote, Wunderlist and others to help you manage your day and see what you’ve got on.
Yes, you can do all of these things from your phone, but phones aren’t discrete and they aren’t always with you. Because I’ve set my Watch for only the most important emails, and only the most important app notifications, I feel less distracted by the constant influx of messages that can appear. This is true even when I’m in front of my computer.
It’s also when walking or moving to a meeting that Apple Watch becomes useful. The taps to tell you which way to go as you approach a junction, 12 taps to turn right at a junction or three pairs of two taps to turn left. What this translates to is the ability to walk or drive, without staring at a phone, or having headphones in for voice directions. Additionally, using Maps, your calendar or contacts, the Watch knows the phone number of the location you are heading, meaning you can easily call wherever you’re going from the Watch with ease.
One of the more irritating elements of Apple Watch comes when you are in a car and get an alert to stand up. Whilst it’s important to take breaks whilst driving, it’s frustrating that the Watch can’t recognise that you’re moving whilst seated. Then there’s the issue of getting taps on your wrist whilst driving. Distractions in the car are often one of the biggest causes of accidents. At the moment, the Watch doesn’t appear to recognise that you’re in a car, even if you’re using Maps for directions. Given all of the sensors on the Watch and on the phone, it would definitely help if the Watch could provide a summary of incoming alerts during a journey, once you’ve come to a stop.
Over the remainder of the week, I’ve really tried to go beyond thinking about Apple Watch, so that it just blends into the background. This, after all is what good technology does. It assists you when you need it, without being in your face.
The biggest lesson that I’ve learnt from using Apple Watch is that it is a Watch first and foremost. It’s a watch designed for the 21st Century, where we are connected with people across the globe. Wearing the Watch, I’ve been able to send taps and draw messages to a friend who lives on the West Coast of America. I’ve been able to walk down the street and use my voice to reply to messages, with surprising accuracy. I’ve been able to let people know that I’m running five minutes behind, whilst literally running down the street to get to a meeting.
It’s a Watch that lets you glance at information that matters to you, namely your appointments, the weather and your health. It’s a Watch that taps you when you have a notification and lets you decide whether to dismiss it by turning your wrist, or show you more by keeping your wrist there.
It’s a Watch that’s made me more conscious to stand up on a regular basis, to hit my daily goal of burning 600 calories.
I’ve read nearly all of the reviews of Apple Watch and can understand where the journalists are coming from when they call it a first generation product. It isn’t perfect, but then neither is the MacBook, or the iPad, or the iPhone – and yet those devices are regularly called the best in their categories.
Apple Watch helps you to use that device better. For many people, it is their primary device where they spend most of their time. The Watch is about helping you spend time wisely. It may be a first generation product, but it’s a seriously impressive device, that’s smaller than the majority of other smartwatches available.
Apps will become native at some point, possibly this summer, so the experience will get vastly better. One of the biggest challenges for many developers will be about minimising the amount of time people need to spend in apps. This goes against what many developers have been striving towards with phone or tablet apps.
From the third party apps already out there, or Apple’s stock apps on Apple Watch, it’s a device that is already useful in a business context. Companies who find a number of employees buying Watch to get the most out of their personal or work provided iPhones, may want to start thinking about what they can do to add extra value.
If they’ve created their own apps, around business processes, that send intelligent notifications, Apple Watch can already receive those. Companies can take it a step further by extending apps to run on Apple Watch, to feed data or utilise voice commands. There’s a huge amount of promise here.
No you don’t need it, but that’s true of a lot of things we buy in life.