Would iPhone-Independence really matter?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Cory Bauer, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Cory Bauer macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    There's plenty of people who have no issue with the Watch's dependence upon an iPhone to utilize its full feature set. But I've seen many others make the case that they have no interest in purchasing Apple Watch or don't see the point so long as it's an "iPhone accessory."

    Excluding the obvious running/jogging example, where or what is it current iPhone owners expect to find themselves doing in a normal week where their iPhone will be more than 150-300ft away and a bag or pockets are impractical or unavailable? Can people really come up with enough examples to justify this "pretty useless because it relies on your phone" hard stance some are taking?
     
  2. mightyjabba macrumors 65816

    mightyjabba

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    #2
    I feel that some people are just looking for something to complain about. I carry my phone with everywhere anyway, so I'm not too bothered that the watch requires it.

    However, it would be interesting if the watch was completely independent from a phone and could replace many of the phone's functions (i.e. if you could make calls and so forth). Then you might see people deciding to just go with a watch and no phone at all, but that's obviously not possible right now.
     
  3. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #3
    I wish it was 100% independent so I could have another cell phone bill and another phone number.:eek: Then I wouldn't have to look for something to complain about.:D
     
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #4
    That's the example that matters to me. Put independent gps in the watch and I'm ok with it being otherwise dependent on the phone.
     
  5. zacheryjensen macrumors 6502a

    zacheryjensen

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    #5
    First let me say I'm fine with the current limits. It's already doing amazing stuff for the current level of technology available to make this thing. The limits have no impact on most of my expected use of the device.

    Now that said, I have a very common case, 3-5 times a week depending on season, where I'm cycling 15-20 miles, sometimes more, per ride. This isn't casual or commuter riding. I'm going for speed and the joy of that as well as the fitness aspect as a bonus. I don't want to carry excess baggage. If I'm significantly far from home and things go badly (crash, unrepairable flat, other mechanical issues) then I really want to be able to call for help. I would also point out the desire to have my location tracked, but, my dedicated bike computer (garmin edge 810) handles that fine. Though if I didn't use that, I'd surely wish for independent GPS.

    Really, if I could send a message or make a call without the phone in tow, I could go out on these rides without the phone. As it is, I will keep carrying it. The utility in an emergency is just too high. However, I'd like it if I didn't need to lug the big thing (iPhone 6+) along on my rides. I just don't expect this to happen any time soon.
     
  6. Cory Bauer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Thanks for the replies, fellas. Jogging/running and shall we say "speed biking" are very good examples of when an independent smartwatch could really be utilized. If the Watch were truly waterproof, swimming would be another one. I suspect however, that few if any of the people writing the Apple Watch off due to its dependence are partaking in these activities on a regular basis.

    Can anyone think of any other use-cases where having your iPhone 150ft or less away is not possible?

    Even if that were technically possible, I'd argue that it'd be entirely impractical to actually replace your smartphone with a watch. As I suggested to someone else, try going a day using only your iPhone's Predictive Text, Emoticons, Speakerphone and Siri for communication and see how far you get :)
     
  7. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #7
    But if the watch were my phone, I could just carry my ipad with me, instead of carrying both the iphone and ipad like I do now. I'd still be "carrying" two devices, but the watch is much smaller than the phone, so I've reduced my carrying load.
     
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #8
    Not sure why you think that. I'm certainly an example of a person writing off v1, precisely for its lack of independent gps, and I run on a very regular basis. I've seen many posts here by folks in a similar situation.

    No, I can't think of other times I'm very far from my phone, but I think the point people are making is that if the watch were more independent, you *could* be further from your phone without worrying about missing an important call/email/text. So whereas I carry my phone when I just walk to the store now, maybe I'd leave it at home if the watch had its own cellular.
     
  9. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #9


    Actually, that's the main one for me. The lack of GPS. As a competitive athlete (powerlifting and, specific to this example, distance running), I like to be able not only to track my running routes, but pace during certain places/between checkpoints. GPS is needed for that. I use the MapMyRun app on my iPhone currently. But it's a pain in the a** to have to keep a big iphone 6 Plus on you, especially in some instances where I'm pushing pace and almost in a flat sprint. The iPhone flops around in pretty much anything, regardless of how secure its held. Annoying. I was hoping that it could be my only device carried during my runs (Apple watch would be my workout-only watch, never my daily watch), but it can't do this in its current form.
     
  10. Cory Bauer, Apr 6, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015

    Cory Bauer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I think giving users the option to pair an Apple Watch with either an iPhone or an iPad is a great idea. But you'd need one or the other for sure. Otherwise it's like trying to use a computer with a mouse but no keyboard; you can get surprisingly far, but at some point you're gonna need the additional input method.


    I think integrated GPS will be a great feature in a future version of the Apple Watch, for the reason's you've outlined. But this does seem to be the only case where dependence on an iPhone is a deal-breaker. In the meantime, couldn't someone make a fitness shirt with a pocket in the back between the shoulder blades where an iPhone could remain secured and out of the way? It's not as though the phone has to remain reachable during a run with the Watch on your wrist.



    But aside from during a run, are you really ever gonna leave your phone at home? And limit yourself to speakerphone calls and dictating messages out loud? With no web browser?
     
  11. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Atlanta
    #11
    I have been using fanny packs since the original iPhone 2007 and they work fantastic. No jostling around (can't stand anything in my pockets or water belts) and it's buckle and forget.

    Look into a fanny pack and it will solve your problem.;)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Multiverse223 macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2015
    #12
    You're going to pull out an iPad every time you need to text? You're going to use Bluetooth headphones every time you make a call? You'd be carrying around Bluetooth headphones which could go dead and definitely would have to be kept fully charged. Not to mention how socially unacceptable they are.
     
  13. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #13

    Didn't you say in a post not too long ago that your fanny pack won't hold an iPhone 6 Plus?
     
  14. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #14
    I don't have a Plus to check, but I don't think it would fit. If I had a Plus and even if I needed a new fanny pack (I still have 2 or 3 in good shape) i would probably buy one of the Neoprene expandable type fanny packs.

    Maybe something like this.

    http://www.amazon.com/Running-Camde...428355031&sr=8-1&keywords=neoprene+fanny+pack
     
  15. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #15
    For short trips like going to the store or walking the dog, sure. Not for a day at the office or an overnight trip.

    But as I said in my first post, I'm with you in the sense that I really don't think it's a major deal in any situation but running/working out. More like a minor convenience maybe.
     
  16. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #16
    I just don't text or call much, I guess. I'm okay with pulling out my Bluetooth headset, making a call or dictating a text, then putting it away again when I'm done. My current headset easily lasts a week on a battery charge, so no problem there.
     
  17. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

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    #17

    I've tried several kinds over the years. I just can't run in them. At a fast pace, they are still flopping around, unless I cinch them down so tight it's uncomfortable. I have to carry the phone in my hand when I run. Always have, even back with the 3.5" screened iPhones.
     
  18. sterl320 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 3, 2015
    #18
    Flip Belt. makes everything on you feel almost non existent. No flapping, nice colors, decent price.
     
  19. mchoffa macrumors 6502a

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    Asheville, NC
    #19
    I'd agree that anything active is really the big deal. It would be nice to not even bring the phone to the gym, because either you've got it on and armband or belt, which can get in the way, or you lay it down and it can be lost/stolen/stepped on.

    Another would be at the beach or somewhere else outdoors where you might not necessarily be swimming, but near water/dirt and you would rather not have the iPhone near you. This could mean hiking near waterfalls/creeks, working outside in the yard (when your yard is actually a decent size), etc. A fall in a shallow creek would be fine on the watch, but not so great on the phone. A spontaneous run through the sprinkler with kids would be fine on the watch, but not on the phone.

    I doubt I'd ever make a call on the watch (never liked speakerphone or bluetooth headsets) but it would be nice to do pretty much everything else in the above situations.
     
  20. Cory Bauer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Yeah I thought about hiking and at the beach, but in those scenarios you're definitely going to have some kind of bag with you that you could bury your iPhone inside. Likewise with canoeing or kayaking - your phone can be buried safely in your drybag while your watch would be fine should you briefly end up in the drink.

    I could see a small use case for people with large yards but that would be very few individuals compared to those whose homes and yards easily fall within that 150-300ft range of bluetooth and then wifi from their house.
     
  21. Bigserver1 macrumors regular

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    Sep 26, 2012
    #21
    Agree with this 100%. For me, most of my running is on a treadmill, and the watch will track distance and steps on it's own, so I don't care too much, but standalone GPS and potentially Wifi would be a nice addition down the road.
     
  22. thekeyring macrumors 68040

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    Jan 5, 2012
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    London
    #22
    When you really stop and think about it, no, it's no problem. The Watch relying on the phone to save battery life is exactly the kind of thing people here would suggest.

    I think as we progress through the generations the Watch will be able to do more and more independently.
     

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