Impression of Apple Watch Announcement

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Eso, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    When Steve Jobs announced the iPad, he began by arguing that in order to justify a new product category that fell between the iPhone and a laptop, it has to do things better than either of them. The rest of the presentation was focused around selling that idea.

    Overall, I was not sold that the Apple watch does things any better than the iPhone. In fact, I think it does a lot of things worse than the iPhone; it has functions that I would much rather use a smartphone for.

    1) Home screen

    I'm not sold that I want dozens of apps on a smart watch for which I must pan and zoom around on a home screen to launch. This paradigm is a lot more appropriate for sustained interaction with a device. If I'm going to do that - to find and launch an app, presumably to use some some of it's functions to do something - I would rather just take out my phone and have the benefit of a much better screen and experience. Glances are much more suitable for how I want to use a watch, which is to glance at it! To get some information casually with brief interactions. The type of scenario in which it's annoying to have to take out your phone, such as simply checking the time.

    The home screen is better on the phone, both in terms of navigating to apps and the purpose of doing such - to interact with their functionality.

    2) Messaging

    Responding to messages is only better on the watch via voice dictation. Obviously, you can't type out messages, the emoji is novelty, and quick word is too contextually specific to be generally reliable. The problem is that I don't see anyone ever using dictation today. There's a number of reasons (accuracy, privacy) but they don't really matter. Until voice message takes off, messaging on the watch is not very useful.

    The largest Achilles heel of dictation on the watch, however, is correcting the inevitable mistakes. There's no easy way to do it from the watch. Overall, the poor experience of attempting to reply to messages from the watch will drive users to simply revert to taking out their phone by default.

    3) Apps (photos, maps)

    While Apple demonstrated how to use a few apps, what they didn't explain is why I would want to. They didn't sell the idea to me about how using maps or photos is a better on the watch than it is on the phone. For example, in maps you can pan, zoom, search, and get directions. Just like you can on the iPhone; just like you can on the iPad. It was sold as a better experience on the iPad due to the larger screen. By the same logic, is it then a worse experience on a smaller screen? As they demonstrated the apps (and when Tim talked about Apple team members using the watch as a TV remote, etc.) all I could think of was, "Ok I guess you could, but...why?"

    Overall, my impression of the Apple watch is comparable to a calculator watch. It seems exciting at first, but once the novelty wears off you realize that you'd much rather just use a regular calculator instead. At first it's, "maps... on my watch!", but after awhile, it's more like "where's my phone...".

    I feel like Apple has crammed too much functionality into the device instead of focusing its functionality on what it can do better than the phone, such as the glances. The result is a mostly a redundant device which does a lot of things that your phone does (except worse), instead of a true companion device that just does a few things better than your phone does.
  2. dugbug macrumors 65816


    Aug 23, 2008
    Somewhere in Florida
    I was very impressed.

    I can load my songs and podcasts and go running while tracking my fitness. One gadget.

    I can glance at my wrist to see of a text is worthy of pulling my phone out

    I can pay without getting g my phone or wallet out

    I can customize the watch face which looks fun

    That's worth It for me personally.
  3. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    You are trying too hard to apply Steve Jobs's "It has to be far better at doing some key things" to the watch as compared to the iPhone and missing the concept of a smartwatch as Apple has envisioned it.

    Here it's not about the watch doing things better than the iPhone per se, but how you interact with them that is better. For example, you may get about 50 messages per day that need to be read but not necessarily responded to. You simply read them on your watch rather than take your iPhone out of your pocket 50x a day.
  4. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    I look at this device in terms of what it could be in the future not what it is now. We didn't get cut/copy/paste and MMS until iOS 3. We didn't get OTA updates (which really freed your iPhone from iTunes on your computer) until iOS 5. And we didn't get a no brainer like actionable notifications until iOS 8.

    Just imagine a future version of the watch that has GPS and wifi or even cellular. I can make a quick trip to the store with just the phone on my wrist and pay using Apple Pay. I can go for a run using Bluetooth headphones and not have to lug my phone or keys with me as I can use my watch to track my distance and unlock my door. The watch may be tied at the hip to the phone now but I doubt that's Apple's long term goal.
  5. Eso thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    To be fair, you could do all of those things even if Apple went with a different design for the interface.

    If "how you interact with the watch is better" (than the phone), isn't that something that the watch does better, and thus you are just contradicting yourself?
  6. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    You can most certainly think of it that way and I'll give a few examples:

    1) Depending on the face you've chosen for your watch, it's a quicker glance to see what's next in your schedule than taking out your iPhone.

    2) Easier to screen messages/email than taking the iPhone out of your pocket 50x a day, as not all of them need to be responded to.

    3) More convenient to use turn-by-turn nav than fumbling around with the iPhone in your hand.

    4) Quicker to initiate Apple Pay than taking the iPhone out of your pocket and TouchIDing it.

    It's better for how you interact with some key things but not necessarily better at other tasks (such as replying to an email). Moreover, it can do things that the iPhone is incapable of such as doubling as an activity tracker like the fitbit.
  7. username: macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2013
    Correct me if I'm wrong but Tim cook didn't compare the apple watch to the iphone or talk about how much easier it would be than taking your phone out.
    His three key messages were:
    It is a watch, a stylish, well made watch.
    It is a new way to communicate, using the haptic feedback. You can't get haptic feedback from your phone.
    It is a health and fitness device. Your phone does not constantly measure your heart rate
    I think those three things are a pretty good argument.
    People seem to forget it is a watch. Yes, it's a watch. If you don't wear a watch, it might not appeal to you. But lucky for apple, the watch industry is huge, and billions of people wear watches everyday. And smart watch/ smart wearables is growth market.
  8. Switchback666 macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2012
    Im interested in the future of the smart watches but at the moment i don't feel the need for one nor will pay 350 (base model) for something thats basically a extension of my phone/tablet.

    Hopefully in a couple of years and with better price and battery i will have the apple in my wrist.

Share This Page