Opinion: We need an independent smartwatch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by garirry, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #1
    DISCLAIMER: I have not used the Apple Watch or any other smartwatches extensively, so if there's something I'm wrong about, feel free to correct me POLITELY.

    This is something I've had on my mind for a few days now. Everyone knows this, smartwatches are designed to be cell phone companions. It sounds like a great idea, being able to accomplish certain tasks much easily thanks to the fact that it's literally on your wrist. But on second thought, that is kinda pointless. Why do I think so? Let me explain.

    We need to know what can a smartwatch (we'll use the Apple Watch as an example here) can do, and what is used for, other than the obvious functions of a regular watch. So, okay, the most important thing I can think of is... notifications. Being able to see notifications on a watch is in fact an important thing for most people. The second thing I can think of is music control. Taking your phone out in the cold to skip to the next track is just really inconvenient (however, I have to take back a few points off that because you can still use the remote included in the headphones for most thing). Finally, the only other real use I can think off is workout and stuff, as with the music, taking your phone is inconvenient for stats check.

    So now you're saying "well what about all the other millions of things you can do?". Well, there comes the real problem; it's a cell phone companion, so you know what that means? That's right, you can do almost everything just fine on your iPhone. So what's the point of all those precious functions of the Apple Watch? Hell, any smartwatch? It's just pointless, not to mention unnecessary!

    So, this is where my point comes in. The fact that smartwatches are overpriced pieces of tech that require another expensive piece of tech to work is downright stupid. If I want to use all those functions on my watch, why can't a smartwatch just act like a smartphone? It's what everyone wanted, it's what the cheap chinese phone manufacturers do, it's what futuristic movies and books predicted, etc. Similarly, why can't phone companion smartwatches just act as a notification/remote utility? I think something like the Moto 360 does something like that, but I still feel it's too much.

    Maybe this just turned out in an Apple Watch rant (also, you HAVE to agree with me that the AW is the most overpriced tech modern Apple has ever done), but regardless, that's how I think, personally. Let me know your opinion.
     
  2. Flow39 macrumors 68000

    Flow39

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    #2
    I can see where you're coming from. I personally would never purchase a standalone watch since I'd rather have my phone with me in most scenarios, but I can understand that some people would like to have a cell connection on their watch if they leave their phone home. I think that if a company can produce a watch that is able to be tethered to your phone like a normal smartwatch and can also leave the phone behind when you need/want to and still receive phone calls, texts, and emails while on the go, they will have one killer product.
     
  3. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #3
    Apple will never separate the two. They have a financial juggernaut that Apple relies on.
     
  4. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    Location:
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    #4
    Apple makes more money by having them coincide, as it sits, the Watch can connect to wifi, but can only receive and send messages. Functions wil probably never move past those basic things, my favorite thing about the Watch is the fitness tracking, I am back to using my Chrono Wenger watch as my Apple Watch cracked. I'll be honest, I'm not missing it too much...
     
  5. iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #5
    tethered products to increase sales?

    How about this technologically impossible idea ...

    Apple Watch / iPhone as the master device with cellular connection tethered to augmented reality glasses, so we can all look like Steve Jobs.

    [​IMG]

    Anniversary edition bundled with a black roll-neck jumper
     
  6. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #6
    I'd ourcjase a standalone for sport purposes. Fitbit has come out with a few things that intrigue me but still don't give the functionality I would want/need. I wouldn't mind essentially requiring a "tether" so long as I was able to achieve that with 3G/4g/LTE connectivity though. Basically want to be able to use gps and emergency calling and light texting without my phone also in my pocket.
     
  7. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #7
    While I think that there is some validity to what you say, honestly, without you having significant direct experience with the AW and other smart watches, I think your ability to make observations that are all that relevant is necessarily limited. Yes, it will be an amazing day when we have smart watches that can function 100% independently and still have amazing battery life. That day is not now, however. Yet even without what we ultimately aim for today, devices like the AW still have the ability to provide a surprising amount of utility - much of it not apparent until you have personally lived with one for quite some time.

    A smartwatch does not act just like a smart phone because it's a tiny watch which has its own strengths and weaknesses. You can't really interact with a watch for more than a few seconds at a time because holding your arm up gets uncomfortable a lot more quickly than you'd expect. There is only so much room for interaction with the device and on the screen. This is what Apple seems to understand better than much of the competition. A watch is better as a device where you get quick pieces of important information that you interact with only minimally.

    Lastly, I flatly reject your assertion that "the AW is the most overpriced tech modern Apple has ever done". There is absolutely nothing overpriced about the standard Apple Watch Sport. At the starting price of $349 it is directly in line with most other modern, advanced watches - whether from Garmin, Polar, Samsung, or even Fitbit. Given the quality of the design, materials, and overall user interface the pricing is perhaps *slightly* on the high end, but far from overpriced. Apple has never made competing at the low end or even mid-tier of a given category their priority. The AW reflects this.
     
  8. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #8
    Those times when I would look like a nutjob for speaking into my wrist makes me happy I have my phone for typing.

    Those other times when I can leave my phone at home and keep track of my jog to the Lincoln Memorial make me happy I can use my watch.

    Nah, I'm fine with the watch being a phone accessory. It's better at some things, but it's just not as good at other things.
     
  9. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #9
    A stand alone Apple watch is basically this without a number pad.


    [​IMG]
     
  10. Uofmtiger, Mar 1, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016

    Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

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    Dec 11, 2010
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    Memphis
    #10
    It is a convenience device (outside of the activity tracking/heart rate features). Unless you walk everywhere with your iPhone out and in your hand, then it is a time saver because it puts numerous features on your wrist.

    Whether the time you save (by not having to pull out your phone or track down your phone at home) over the life of the watch is worth it is a choice each person has to make. However, I don't find it "pointless". In fact, many would say that time is our most important commodity.

    Is it a necessity? Absolutely not, but if we are honest, people lived without smartphones, personal computers, internet, etc... for a lot longer than we have had these things, so saying any of it is a necessity is a stretch.

    As a side note: I am not opposed to having a stand alone watch on the market, but I don't need one. If they just added GPS to the watch it would work for everything I do without an iPhone near.
     
  11. tperry macrumors member

    tperry

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    East Texas
    #11
    They can.. but I don't think you want to be toting around a 1800mAh battery attached to your arm, and wearing something the size of 60-80mm watch for the display and radio and GPS receivers. Odds are you would also have to have some antenna mounted some way on your arm/wrist to get any signal (cellular) worth mentioning as not all of society lives in large cities with great cell tower coverage.
    I use mine for WAY more than that. I use 2Do to create notes to remind me of task, and then Fantastical for any events I need to remember.. all without having to dig my phone out of my pocket each time I need to do so. I also use it to control the GoPro when mounted on my Catrike or my FJR1300.
     
  12. nicho macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #12
    they also made a T720i. It's a sign...
     
  13. Uofmtiger, Mar 2, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016

    Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
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    Memphis
    #13
    I believe his point was that you can do a ton of things he didn't mention, but those things can also be done with the phone. As I said, he is not taking into account the time saving or convenience factors.

    Since you mentioned the GoPro, you can probably control it with just the iPhone, but it is true that you can't remotely control an iPhone with the same iPhone. So if you want to start remotely video recording or want to remotely snap a picture by using an app on the watch, that can't be duplicated with just the iPhone.

    I mentioned elsewhere that I use something called an iGrill2 for monitoring the temperature of my Big Green Egg Smoker/Grill and the food I am smoking. It pairs with the iPhone, but the issue is that you have to be inside 150 feet of range or you lose Bluetooth connection. The watch doesn't have that issue because it pairs with the phone, which you can leave in range, and it extends the range another hundred feet (or more if you are paired via wifi).

    I have Airplay devices all over the house and speakers that get an Airplay signal in my back yard. The one issue is that if you get outside of wifi range in certain areas (certain spots in my backyard) your Airplay signal goes in and out. With the watch, I can put the iPhone in a good spot inside the wifi signal and control it with my watch. It gives me a perfect signal and also means I can leave my phone docked and not have to worry about running the battery down.

    He did mentioned music, but he ignored the fact that the watch can play and store music away from the iPhone with Bluetooth headphones or a speaker. You don't have to carry around your iPhone on a jog if you just want to listen to music. I believe he also missed the Apple Pay feature that allows you to run past that Walgreens without your phone or wallet and still be able to buy something to drink.

    I haven't put a lot of time into figuring out what it can do without an iPhone nearby. Not much point because it is rare that I don't have one around. However, that doesn't mean I carry it on me all the time when I am at home. For me, the watch is just a lot more convenient because it is on me all the time and as a result, I don't also have to carry around the phone when I am lounging around the house.
     
  14. jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    #14
    You could not talk about how fast driving a Ferrari "feel like" until you drive one. You could not talk about how a Toyota 4Runner TRD-Pro or a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock Edition going offroad "feel like" until you drive one offroad.
    And you certainly could not talk about how Ferrari should be improved or Toyota 4Runner TRD-Pro or a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock Edition should improved, until you "own one".

    Last 2 word is the key, get AW, live with it for awhile, then make recommendation.
    Dream and reality is two different things.
     
  15. Sketchr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #15
    In all fairness, 10-15 years ago the number of people who have their eyes glued to their phone screens that are present today would be deemed as nutjobs.:D
     
  16. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

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    Bellingham, WA
    #16
    If you have already made up your mind that a smartwatch is pointless, you probably won't be convinced otherwise by someone else's words. A product like the Apple Watch is difficult to explain to someone who hasn't worn one. That's why the 14 day trial exists... Apple is betting that most people will get it after wearing one for a week or so, and I agree that it takes at least a week before you realize the value. It's not for everyone... there are certainly those who returned the Apple Watch within the 14 day trial period, but there are also those who were pleasantly surprised at how convenient and useful it can be. Skeptics want to know what the killer features are, but for most of us it's less about killer features and more about little conveniences that add up throughout the day. The cost of an Apple Watch Sport spread over two years is less than 50 cents a day. For me all the conveniences are well worth that cost.

    Notifications are the main reason I bought the Apple Watch. Now my notifications are all completely silent and less annoying/stressful. I can glance and ignore, snooze or take action... often right from the watch.

    Before I owned one I kind of dismissed the music control part as well because you can adjust volume, pause, skip forward, go back with your ear bud remote as you point out. What about when you play music from your iPhone on an external speaker? I do this all the time and it's brilliant to be able to control music from across the room (or from the next room). Also... that ear bud remote has no display. Not a big deal when you are listening to your own music, but what about when listening to Internet radio? When I hear a song I don't recognize, and I want to know who the artist is, I just look at my watch. Again it's about the little conveniences that add up. If I think about all the things I check my watch for throughout the day, it adds up to dozens of little conveniences. My iPhone battery also lasts a little longer because I'm less distracted by the iPhone's charms.

    To echo some of the other responses: I'm fine with the Apple Watch being an accessory. A standalone watch that removes the need to carry a phone sounds like a good idea, until you actually own both for a while and see how they compliment each other without one negating the need for the other. Of course as an accessory it is mostly a convenience item (although it does add some additional functionality), and convenient accessories are usually premium items that manufacturers charge significant amounts for.

    Personally I never have the need or desire to leave my iPhone at home, but I know that some like to (especially runners who don't like to carry anything). I think a Smartband that attaches to the side-port on the Apple Watch and offers extended features like GPS, altimeter and perhaps even cellular capability would be interesting. I wouldn't buy one though. That would be a convenience item I would choose to pass on.

    Sean
     
  17. tperry macrumors member

    tperry

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    East Texas
    #17
    Since the main app resides on the iPhone, I certainly hope you could. ;)
    My point was, it's a real PITA to pull the phone out each time to either start/stop the recording - not a very good idea if riding down the road at 60-70MPH and a horrible idea to try to do in curves. Much easier to use the Watch interface (or the remote for it I have mounted to the MC).


    Well, I do tend to have the cell on me at all times.. that way I don't have to "remember" to grab it if I go outside or make a run to the store.
     
  18. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #18
    The Galaxy Gear S works like that, but is too big for most people, I think:

    2014-samsung-gear-s.jpg

    Plus it required a Samsung phone and didn't have a slew of apps. Still, people I knew with it loved it for bike riding, running, etc, without having to carry their regular phone.
     
  19. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

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    #19
    I saw one of those at the AT&T store. I thought it was ginormous, but then I opted for the 38mm AW which is too small for some. Interesting design though... sort of a smart cuff rather than a smart watch?
     
  20. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #20
    But then they released its successor, and it is pretty attractive.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Flow39 macrumors 68000

    Flow39

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    #21
    Yeah, I personally would never buy something that looked like that. I had a kid I went to school with get one and I just shook my head every time he tried to do anything on it because it looked so ridiculously big lol. The functionality is nice though, and I could definitely see some people wanting something like that.
     

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