April 6, 2015

What the Apple Watch should do (but never will)

Eric Griffin

I was so excited for Apple to release their much-rumored Watch, and with its release right around the corner I can’t help but feel disappointed. I watched Samsung release the Gear last year, which tried so hard to do anything and everything while hardly getting through a day without a charging the battery. Sadly, Apple is about to make the same error with its smartwatch.

Let’s start with the watch function. Apple is positioning the Watch to compete with “dumbwatches”, selling it in jewelry stores and the like, and going head to head with Rolex, Breightling and Tag. There’s only one problem: did you know that the clock face doesn’t stay on all the time? That’s right, you need to wake up your Apple Watch to see the time. I think we can safely rule it out of the watch category…

The Apple Watch has no SIM card or antenna, so it needs to be connected to your phone at all times to do its magic. Because of this fact, this is where I think the focus should be for a smartwatch: enhancing the mobile phone experience, and not replacing it. If your watch needs to be within 20 feet of your phone, why would you send a text from your watch? Why would you read emails, or pull up directions? Your more powerful, easier to read phone with a keyboard built for thumbs is right in your pocket.

Imagine a smartwatch that doesn’t focus on replacing your phone, but makes it easier and more convenient to use. We’ve all had our phone buzz in our pocket, only to take it out and see that it’s a calendar reminder for the lunch you’re already at, or mom calling for the 4th time in a row (sorry mom). What if you could simply glance at your watch and dismiss the notification without pulling out your phone?

We need simple, quick access to the basic information that our phone is telling us that we can’t see until we take it out of our pocket or bag. But wait, doesn’t the Apple Watch do this? It does, but because it does so much more, you’ll be stuck charging your Apple Watch no less than every night. Apple even admits their uncertainty of battery life on their on website.

Do we really want a world where people are texting on their watch, browsing photos on a 1” screen, all the while checking their phone for the time because their watch is dead?

Tell me I’m not the only one…

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