The big tech news of the week has been the Apple Watch launch. With a release date of April 24th, the news has spun critics and the public alike into a frenzy of equal excitement and dismay.
Apple are no strangers to beautifully designed products and sleek designs, but at up to £13,500, is there a market for the Apple watch?
So what is the Apple watch all about anyway? Well, essentially, if you want to be connected 24/7 (or at least for as long as the battery lasts each time) then this product is probably for you. The watch is controlled by an Apple watch app, which can be downloaded to iPhone iOS 8.2, the app allows you to organise what apps show up on your watch and the notifications you receive.
The watch is essentially a less capable, tiny iPhone for your wrist, which acts as a communication device, with notifications and messaging at the heart of what it can do; enabling you to check and reply to your emails and messages at a glance without the need to trawl through infinite pockets and bags to find your iPhone (Though it’s really never that difficult, is it?).
All sarcasm aside, Apple has made quite a spectacular product with lots of cool features. The digital touch enables you to make choices about how you want to communicate with other Apple watch users with the options being to send a sketch, a note or a tap. Though if you want to send something more personal, you are able to send your heartbeat using the built in heart-rate monitor (how much more personal can you get!)
The watch can be personalized to suit your mood or occasion by changing how the watch face is displayed whether it’s something more similar to the iPhone lock screen or a subtle animation.
Voice commands are easy with the watch. Raising your wrist activates Siri, meaning that you can talk directly into your wrist, channeling your inner spy. Pressing the digital crown allows you to ask Siri questions, set reminders and ask for directions etc.
Now if you read my last blog post (and of course you did), you’ll know I’ve been talking about wearable tech lately. The Apple watch treads on the toes of fitness trackers and Apple stores have ceased selling Jawbone and Nike products in their stores as competition mounts. The watch works in a similar way to other wearable fitness trackers, and syncs with a new app in iOS 8.2. Apple uses the data you input to suggest fitness goals to work towards. As with most wearables, the Apple watch charts calories burned, exercise and can even tell you how many times you have stood up. Another crafty fitness feature, which we’ve seen in some other trackers, is the nudge when the user has been sat for too long; promoting a healthy lifestyle.
As with most Apple products, the initial critic opinion is mixed and quite often negative. We saw it with the iPad, which was said to just be a big version of the iPhone, and when the iPhone 6 was released, many said that Apple had failed, yet the handset actually sold more than any other iPhone. It would appear that the initial negative reviews and critiques of Apple products have very little influence over the success of their products and I don’t see this being a different story either.
Even though the Apple watch is a latecomer to the wearables party, I don’t see it having any problem fitting it and being a big competitor for Samsung and other major brands.
It’s pretty cool, and I can see the benefits of owning one if you need/want to be connected all the time, but for me personally I think I’m just going to stick to using my iPhone, after all, it’s never that far away from me anyway…