I don’t know if you noticed, but this week, Apple announced a new product - their take on the wearable tech phenomenon.
Initially, I wasn’t that interested in the watch. That’s partly because the stream of Tim Cook’s keynote address was so bad that I gave up following halfway through and missed all the announcements. It’s also because I wasn’t too keen on the big, square, bulky look.
Having investigated subsequently, I really want one. It’s clearly not a perfect device, and although I haven’t seen one in the flesh, I’m already envisioning a better, thinner, lighter product in a couple of iterations time.
However, the fitness stuff has really caught my eye. Being nagged to meet goals every day, getting badges, I dig that kind of stuff. I wore a fitness tracker wristband for a while, but having to sync with a device to see results became too laborious to keep it up. Here, you can see results instantly. There’s also scope for third party apps to get involved - Zombies Run have already said they’ll be making an app for the watch, and oh how I loved Zombies Run. This is more than enough to get me pounding the pavements again.
The contacts and messages on the Apple Watch are less interesting to me, although I like the idea of sending little sketches. The novelty of that would soon wear off, I’m sure. As would sending someone your heartbeat. In what situation is that really going to be worthwhile? I’m not convinced that the watch will save time when it comes to notifications or reading. Swiping through one tweet at a time on the small display can’t be a useful thing for me to do.
But, it’s a good place to start. If the watch itself can get GPS capabilities so you don’t have to carry an iPhone around with you, then it’s going to really take off. And the endless customisations really make it more accessible than the band offerings we’ve seen so far.
Of course, in not quite related news, Apple took a massive turn for the creepy when they infiltrated everyone’s iTunes accounts and planted a U2 album. I went looking for it, was expecting it to be there, and found it straight away and was still really weirded out by the concept. It’s no surprise that those who didn’t know it was coming, and don’t even know who U2 are, have totally flipped out. The entirety of the U2 thing was ill-conceived, from poorly scripted cringe-inducing on-stage skit, to creepily forcing music onto unsuspecting users.
It’s not the first misstep Apple have taken and it won’t be the last. Hopefully the watch won’t be one of them.