Everyone and their parents and grandparents have been reading about, and writing about, the Apple Watch, so I’ll cut right to the chase: the most relevant review I’ve seen is here.
With Apple, expectations have gotten to the point where when they release a new product, if the new product doesn’t push humanity into the next level of evolution, it seems like a disappointment. And I think most people realize that this is unrealistic.
The Apple Watch is simply a modern watch. If you don’t like watches, it’s unlikely the Apple Watch will change your mind. If you do wear a watch, and you’re an iPhone user, there’s a chance that the Apple Watch will provide you a more useful watch than what you’ve currently got. It’s that simple.
Do you need one? No. Will there be a better one next year? Yes. Will the Apple Watch of 2020 make today’s model look like this? You bet.
But putting all of that common sense aside, the Apple Watch represents a profound step forward in the way we interact with the personal technology in our lives.
The simplest example is with notifications: currently, when you receive a phone call, or a text message, or an email, or a news alert, or whatever… you need to interact with a device (your phone) in order to ascertain the meaning of the alert. You either need to locate your phone, pull it out of your pocket, or glance at it if it happens to be right next to you.
With the Apple Watch, you no longer need to “engage” with a device to figure out what it’s trying to tell you. You no longer need to turn something on, or pick something up. You just need to glance at your wrist, which is simply part of you.
It’s that simple. Looking at it from one angle, it seems almost like a big dose of “so what?”
“Is it really so much of a burden to take out your iPhone?” one might ask.
Of course not.
But building a core piece of functionality from your phone– notifications– right onto your wrist, where they’re always visible to you no matter what, will change the way we interact with our devices. The phone will become more of a purpose-driven tool, which we pick up when we decide to do something specific with it, as opposed to when we want to figure out what it’s trying to tell us.
Think about it this way: if the speedometer in your car was available on your iPhone, would you still need it on the dashboard? Clearly, having the speedometer available at a glance is one of its key features, and no matter how sophisticated a speedometer you might have on your iPhone, you wouldn’t want to lose the one that’s available to you all the time.
The Apple Watch puts the speedometer on your dashboard, so to speak.
But there have been smartwatches that do everything the Apple Watch does, and more– right? Absolutely. In many product categories, Apple’s competitors make products that can do many more things than Apple’s products can.
The difference is that with Apple’s products, more people will actually do those things.
With the Apple Watch, it seems clear that it’s exactly what you would expect from Apple: a solid product, well integrated with their other products, that will only get better with time.
– Jeff Solomon