iPhone X Day

I woke per usual at 3AM EST to preorder my next phone. That in it self sounds ridiculous because it is. But us humans are prone to do ridiculous things. Also, per usual, my supposed silky smooth preorder process was anything but. To spare you the boring details, I finally got my confirmation email at 3:31 AM EST. That’s a lot of pull to refreshes on the Apple store app.

To be honest I wasn’t really surprised. That preorder process has never gone smooth for me. I’m always up at an ungodly hour, my devices are ready, and before I know it, people on twitter are saying what model they purchased and i’m still waiting for the store to open. At the end of the day I got in and my phone is set to arrive 11/17 – 11/24. The original launch date is 11/3. Considering dates fell all the way to December, I shouldn’t complain.

I settled on the black (space gray) iPhone X 64gb with Apple Care Plus. It wasn’t cheap, but also not extremely more expensive than what a regular iPhone would cost someone.
I think people get this confused because they are paying monthly on a phone (30 or 40 bucks usually) and for whatever reason, this particular model (X) was being lauded by its full price.

Days since my preorder have been interesting, though. My buddy Jeremy ordered one almost 24 hours after preordering opened and he is scheduled to get his sometimes in the next few days. I figure this was because he ordered through T-Mobile and not Apple, but this sort of thing was unheard of years ago. I’ve also seen people’s preorders jump dates from my expected ship date all the way to launch date. I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs. No movement on mine.

I don’t care much anymore to be completely honest. There was a time in my life I would be sitting in a line at some Apple store somewhere at this very moment instead at home typing. I guess the rumor is true, you change as you get older. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for a new phone. My current is almost 4 years old now. Thats the longest i’ve ever kept a phone. I’m proud of such an achievement, but the age is showing in more ways than one.

Happy iPhone day to all! If you’re getting a shiny new iPhone X today, enjoy it! If you’re not, you’ll be ok. You’ll get one eventually. After a little while, you’ll start looking up rumors for the next iPhone. Thats just what we do. But challenge yourself to enjoy the now instead of the next. After all, its what you’ve been waiting for.

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Thoughts & Impressions on Apple Event

In order of appearance:

Steve Jobs Tribute – Easily best part of the keynote. I had goosebumps when Job’s voice came over the speakers in that dark, intimate setting. Tim Cook was understandably, emotionally shaken. He delivered a well structured tribute for a well deserved man. Again, easily the best part of the keynote.

Apple Park Video – Very impressive. Very awkward. Don’t get me wrong, Apple Park is amazing. Every inch of the place looks like an Apple product. Obviously no money was left on the table here, Apple spared no expense in building this. So, in that instance, sure the video was great. Unfortunately it ran long for me. And by the end, it felt more like a “look what we did and you can’t have” video. Maybe thats just me, but after the first couple minutes, I’m thinking… “Are you guys just showing off at this point?” To which I’m pretty sure they would have answered: “yes and your welcome.”

Apple Retail Update – I like Angela Ahrendts a lot. I really do and I think shes doing great work…. But Apple Townsquares? Just stop. Its a place we go to give you money..

Apple Watch Series 3Solid upgrade in the Apple Watch line. I don’t love the price bump, but its Apple. Now we have an LTE enabled watch which I think makes sense, but the other side of me can’t quite connect the dots yet. Especially when cellular companies are selling me ‘air.’ Or more specifically charging me 10 extra dollars for use of the Watch on their network. A great reminder that I loath cell companies. All in all, same design, awesome new bands (sport loop) and good on Apple for pushing the line forward. If cellular means the world to you then update. If you have a series 2 and don’t care much about LTE, then sit this one out. Even if you have a Series 1 or 0, (like myself) I think unless cellular is something you’ve been waiting for for a while, then jump, if not. No worries and wait for next year’s redesign. (My opinion)

Apple TV – 4K, HDR, chip bump and SAME remote. Apple really? That remote is without a doubt one of the worst designed pieces of hardware to ever creep out of Apple. How in the world was this not redesigned and let out a 2nd time. 4k is great if you have a TV that supports it, HDR is the real winner here. Again, your TV has to support it, but HDR alone would make me upgrade if I had a TV capable. I’m holding off, but considering our Apple TV is our main way we watch our television, I’m happy to see Apple pushing their TV agenda forward.

iPhone 8’s – Its been the popular thing to bash these phones all because iPhone X was announced at the same event. Sure, the 8’s are less desirable for tech enthusiasts. But not only tech obsessed people buy iPhones. Apple knows this, and the truth is the 8’s are unbelievably great products. I really love the way the aluminum mixes with the new glass back. Also, the new gold color looks fantastic. I wouldn’t write off these phones just yet. I’m sure the demand will be a whole lot less compared to iPhone X, but these are solid upgrades which Apple should be commended for. Not to mention they feature almost every software upgrade that iPhone X does. iPhone X trumps 8 in hardware, sure. But there’s something to be said for tried and true, and the 8 is exactly that to the core: tried and true. I’m still heavily considering purchasing one.

iPhone X – The main event. I felt a very odd merging of emotions watching the unveil of iPhone X. Sure, I have been waiting for over a year for this phone, even published why I was passing on the 7 to wait on this very model. But as Phil Schiller was proudly announcing iPhone X I felt a sense of dread mixed in with my excitement. The lack of home button is really bothering me. I love my home button, specifically because I think its easily the best feature ever implemented on any tech product. And now Apple is ditching it. There is no denying how good iPhone X looks though. Its everything I thought it would be a year ago and in some ways more. I was little worried about Face ID and how well it would execute, but the hands on videos and trusted tech reporters cleared any doubt on that front. But one more gripe… That notch at the top of the display literally offends me. I don’t know how else to say it. It looks so out of place and so un-Apple. I get that Apple had no choice. That’s obvious. Internally, they can’t be thrilled with it either. But man, its rough to look at. Maybe using in real life changes things, but that notch. Anyways, bottom line for me is I’m excited to use it. As far as iPhone X as an over all product: Its obvious they believe in the design language and clearly is the future moving forward. Very impressive work for Apple.

My Verdict – I really enjoyed this event. A lot of it has to do with the Steve Jobs tribute in the new building. It just felt like an old school Apple event again. Maybe it was Steve’s voice. I don’t know. All the devices announced were impressive to say the least. The more interesting aspect of this event was wasn’t said though. No HomePod talk, no iMac Pro talk. Actually no Macintosh talk at all. Nothing ever mentioned. Thats kind of amazing to me. Amazing in a sad way. All in all, I’d say a solid day for Apple. They delivered on some heavy rumored products and high expectations of millions. But that notch though. Oh and by the way where in the world is dark mode?

The Most Skippable iPhone?

Like a kid at Christmas, there I was doing my part. I waited patiently. I was ready. This year though, Apple had other plans.

I have been anxiously awaiting this years iPhone release for more than a year. It has been my customary tradition to upgrade my most used tech device every 2 years. Even when Apple introduced their now infamous “Upgrade Program,” I still held off. Because frankly, I like keeping my phones for 2 years. I don’t why, I just do.

So around June-ish the rumors started to hit pretty heavy that the new upcoming iPhone is not what we thought it may be. It’s not redesigned, it’s not exciting and most notably it’s not even garnering the most attention. Turns out this year, the next next iPhone is getting more attention then the soon anticipated one. The rumors started to hit hard that Apple was working diligently on a revolutionary, edge to edge screen design for the 10th anniversary iPhone that would release in 2017. This was a first. I didn’t know what to think about this. Essentially my mind translated all this into: this new, unreleased iPhone (2016) is already outdated.

I didn’t like this. Who would? Here I am intentionally waiting for the new hotness, only to start hearing rumors that the new hotness is not the new hotness. I thought to myself, “Be Patient”. Wait and see. And wait I did…

Fast Forward…. Enter September 7, 2016. Apple officially reveals iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The rumors were dead on. Not newly designed. Not exciting. Not new hotness. To be fair, the iPhones 7 have a lot going for them. This marks the first time Apple has ever made a design 3 times in a row. At this point I would assume they have perfected it. So a big benefit is naturally, if your buying an iPhone 7, your receiving a very well polished, solid device to surely last you 2 years.

So there I was faced with this unusual situation I never chose to be in. I waited, I did my part. Apple showed their cards and I’m kind of left scratching my head. What do I do? I thought about this a bunch. I didn’t want to waste my upgrade on a phone only to be left out in the dark when/if Apple does release this magical, unicorn, 10th anniversary iPhone next year. Also another huge element in my decision making was Apple’s new operating system, iOS 10. In my mind, iOS 10 was going to make or break my decision. If it ran awful on my current iPhone 6 my choice would be an easy one. If it ran silky smooth. That would pull me in the keeping the 6 camp.

On the other hand, iPhone release week is a fun time to be an Apple fan. You get caught in the excitement extremely easy and naturally, you want to be a part of it and on my traditional 2 year cycle, I usually am. Another huge benefit I was to gain is simply having a new phone. My current phone is 2 years old and showing some age. The great thing about buying a new phone every 2 years is really receiving upgrades from 2 new phone generations, not 1.

So honestly speaking, the night preorders hit, instead of my usual super excitement, I set my alarm for 2:55 AM with an indecisive (who me?) mind. My alarm sounded, clock showed 2:55. Here I go. Pull out my trusty laptop. Apple.com here I come. Do all my preorder set up and come to the moment of truth: the “place order button.”

Excitement got the best of me. I preordered feeling “OK” about the decision but also in the back of my head knew iOS 10 dropped in 3 days. If iOS 10 would run smoothly on my current iPhone 6 and I wasn’t impressed with the 7, the plan of action would be pretty clear: my usual return policy which is return everything! Lindsey now calls it my “ride of shame” which I laugh at because it unbelievably accurate of my emotions when I’m driving to the Apple store with a receipt and a box.

So, iPhone 7 preordered and coming on launch day and awaiting iOS 10. The day of iOS 10’s release I was excited. Kinda like the excited I used to be for new iPhone releases. And that spoke volumes to me. I asked myself why? The truth I came to find out was simple. I really didn’t want the iPhone 7. In many ways I was hoping to pass on it. If I passed on it, I would have many, many options for next year.

iOS 10 released and I honestly think my phone runs better then it did on iOS 9. The big things checked out: battery life, responsiveness, all good! I was excited. I felt confident my 6 would be good to last another year, Then my 7 came in the mail. And to give Apple credit, the phone is gorgeous. I ordered the matte black model and boy I’m happy I did. Even without a new design, somehow Apple made this phone better looking then ever. I was tempted briefly to keep it (of course I was) but after some clear thinking and adding up all the moving parts: iOS 10 performance on my current phone, next year impending magical phone and keeping my upgrade intact. I just couldn’t do it. Ride of shame, we meet once again.

So thats it, thats my story (so far). The back up plan is if something happens to my third year iPhone that deems it unusable, I’ll bite the bullet and head on over to Apple and pick up a 7. Until then I feel at peace with my decision. An odd choice ill be the first to admit. I’ve never had a cell phone for 3 years. So we will see how that pans out.

I should note, people have mentioned the obvious to me. What if Apple’s magical unicorn phone does not come out next year? Do you hold on to your iPhone 6 a 4th year? The answer: I don’t know. I doubt it, but we’ll see. For the record, I’m really hoping Apple comes through.

Like many reviewers currently out there, I can’t bash Apple. My decision was based on what I wanted and not what Apple did or did not do, if that makes sense. Sure the iPhone 7 didn’t ring my bell this time around. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great phone. In fact it is a great phone. Any time Apple makes something 3 times over you better believe its a solid product. You also have to give Apple props that my current daily driver (iPhone 6) is 2 years old and simply running better then ever. What other tech company can boast about something like that? So in one way the iPhone 7 is Apple’s most skippable phone. In many others, Apple’s most conceived phone. Its all in how you look at it.

If you ordered an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. Be excited. It’s a worthy representation of the newest iPhone. But as for me, When I returned mine I finally got to play with one in the store. The best way for me to sum up my hands on experience of an iPhone 7 is simple. IPhone 7: next year’s iPhone hidden in this years casing. Its extremely clear to me that this years iPhone is a transition phone until next year. And you know who can’t wait to be excited again for a new iPhone announcement? This guy.

WWDC 2016 Predictions and Hopes

It’s that time of year again! I genuinely like to ponder and predict results of WWDC. I kind of feel its the result of my podcast listening. Im not always accurate except one year in particular but I always enjoy the whole experience.

A little background for those who don’t know what WWDC is. Once a year, Apple does what they like to call WWDC or “World Wide Developer Conference”. Basically the gist is all the Apple developers around the world can come to a week long conference where Apple employees can give classes and help them with their apps. In the beginning of the week Apple does what they call a “Keynote”. This is significant to us. The keynote is when Apple will present what they have been working on for future builds of iOS and (soon to be called) Mac OS.

Below are some predictions that I have gathered over the past couple months:

Lets talk hardware first. This will be quick enough. NO HARDWARE! There, that was easy. While many people will be disappointed, to my knowledge Apple views WWDC as a software conference and while sometimes they release hardware, it won’t be this year.

Apple Music
First up, Apple Music. Debuting to much criticism and rightly so, Apple Music is the result of Apple’s 3 billion dollar acquisition of Beats Audio. The service was unveiled at last year’s WWDC with arguably the worst presentation Apple has ever rolled out. The presentation itself mirrored the finished product. Confusing and bloated. My prediction is Apple will uncharacteristically revamp Apple Music just a year in. While it won’t be a complete overhaul. It will be a repainting, per say. Agree with it or not, music has always been super important to Apple. They know the shortcomings of Apple Music and it doesn’t sit well with them.

iOS 10
Taking a look around the tech landscape will simply tell you Apple has fallen a bit behind in the Artificial Intelligence category. Amazon bravely is paving the way with the Echo and Google just recently announced Google Home. Both products are amazing and both quite honestly trump Siri in it’s current form. So one prediction for iOS 10 is finally Siri 2.0 with a Siri API. They simply can’t afford to not have this now.

Another tent pole feature and one I have been waaaaaiting for is dark mode. OS X got this two years ago and I have been hoping this would come to my iPhone ever since. That’s more of a hope than a prediction, but lets get it done Apple!

watch OS 3
It’s a given right? This has to be a rethinking of the watch software. No one could or would complain of its physical design, but Apple Watch’s software needs some help. Personally, get rid of the app icon grid and please let third party developers make watch faces. I know Jony Ive is cringing somewhere , but this is a much needed feature. Much like the success of the iPhone, developers could bring fresh air into this product.

I would also love to see the exercise and workout features get a little smarter. There is no good reason why I should have to manually tell my watch to activate a workout. It should just simply be able to tell my heart rate is elevated and automatically put me in a workout.

Also it goes without saying that the watch is in need to “feel” faster. While i enjoy mine, it certainly lags at times. I know this is more of a hardware issue then anything. But a little software work would help.

Mac OS
That’s right! A new name! Finally Apple can shed the long numbers, cat naming schemes and California names and just make this a whole bunch simpler. Also, i think the biggest announcement here is going to be SIRI integration. It really seems odd to me the Macs are really the lone Apple devices with the absence of SIRI. Rumors have pointed to this and i’m really hoping it pans out.

Another Application Apple may be readying is a new, slimmer iTunes. iTunes is really tough for Apple. It’s really the only true legacy software Apple currently supports. They have to provide support for so many older devices, it’s extremely tough for them to push it forward in a drastic way. A lot of people love to harp on how Apple is falling behind and the current state of iTunes is enough proof. Personally, I think it’s a really hard problem to fix. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, It means more concentration belongs there.

Whatever happens on June 13th its important to remember Apple is a company and not a magical entity that can spawn whimsical products when they like. Always keep your expectations low and you will be the much more delighted when they announce whatever they announce! Happy WWDC!

P.S. Lets work on that Dark Mode :)

“Steve Jobs’ love of simplicity is gone”

Ken Segall, the former Apple ad consultant who coined the iMac name, wrote the copy for the famous ‘Think different’ campaign and authored the book Insanely Simple, says that Apple is beginning to lose touch with its heritage of simplicity. He gave his assessment of Apple’s ‘state of simplicity’ in a piece for the Guardian.

Though Apple’s customers remain fiercely loyal, the natives are getting restless. A growing number of people are sensing that Tim Cook’s Apple isn’t as simple as Steve’s Apple. They see complexity in expanding product lines, confusing product names, and the products themselves.

While the Guardian‘s headline makes the piece seem entire critical, it’s actually very balanced …

He points out that Tim Cook may be a very different person to Steve Jobs, but was hand-picked by Steve to take on the job and is fully aware of his own strengths and weaknesses. Segall also looks at both sides of the product line-up debate.

Apple now sells three different iPhones, four different iPads and three different MacBooks. The Apple Watch comes in seemingly infinite combinations of sizes and bands. The Apple universe is exploding with complexity! Or is it?

One could easily argue that a watch is a fashion product, so the decision here makes sense. And there is ample precedent for Apple expanding existing product lines. The original iPod, for example, successfully grew into a family of products.

Markets mature. A bigger audience has more diverse needs. If Apple were to ignore those needs, they would only force customers to go elsewhere. (As they did for several years by not making a big-screen iPhone.)

So, yes, Apple’s product lines have become more complicated. But really, are they that complicated? The company’s entire selection of products can easily fit on an average-size table.

Im not sure if I agree with Ken on everything he’s bringing to the table. But I have a lot of respect for his opinion. The truth is; if so many really intelligent Apple analysts are saying “something” is changing, are any of them right? Hard to say no.

You can read Ken’s whole piece here.

Three Year iPhone Design Cycle

Nikkei Asian Review is reporting Apple is moving to a new 3-year design cycle for the iPhone:

The new version slated for this autumn will look almost identical to the current iPhone 6. Functions such as the camera, water resistance and battery capacity will likely be improved, and the headphone jack will be removed. Also, a high-end version of the model will give users better-quality photo capabilities via correction functions.

This makes sense considering the leaks this far.

Read the scoop.

Apple Report Card

Great insight from top tech commentators regarding Apple’s 2015 performance. Honest and Fair.

Judging by our panel’s responses, Apple had a good year when it came to its hardware, but software and cloud services were more of a mixed bag, and developer relations and home-tech initiatives were not so great. Among the key product categories, the panel generally thought it was a good year for iOS, an okay year for the Mac and the new Apple TV, and a rough start for the Apple Watch.

Read the full report on Six Colors

Apple Watch & Beyond

This started out being a movie review. And it’s not. Odd, I know. I recently went to see Ex Machina, which is undoubtedly one of the best films in long time. The movie deals with A.I. and the future of technology in a great, thought provoking way. I started really thinking about what does technology really mean? And what really could be the future. I appreciate films like Ex Machina because they usher in thoughts that I would usually never be intelligent enough to carve up in my head. And by the way, for my review on the film, 1 word: Yes.

A side note: If Apple would just send me my watch already, I probably wouldn’t be stammering out 1,000 word thought pieces like a lunatic, but I digress. Here we go:

“The Watch is here” touts Apple’s slogan for its wearable computer, implying that the one and only time-piece that really matters has arrived. So much for the Rolex Cosmograph and Seiko Astron when you can buy a stylish digital Apple Watch Sport, or even a booshy Apple Watch Edition crafted with 18-karat gold.

Of its many features and functions, the Apple Watch is a music player, fitness tracker, communications device, payment token and digital key. And it also tells the time. We were surprised that no one claimed that it will also help look after our kids. But not for long. There’s an app for that. So is there anything this device cannot do?

Who would have thought that the power of an internet-enabled laptop computer, mobile phone, iPod, fitness tracker, bank card and set of keys could be neatly packaged and strapped around your wrist?

And unlike other futuristic visions of hand-held communicators, the Apple Watch won’t leave you stranded in perilous situations because it’s dropped, stolen or falls out of range because it’s literally always connected to you.

Invisible ubiquity

This raises a key question: how will we change our behavior based on the fact that we are walking around with a fully-fledged computer – one that sits in contact with our bodies and communicates wirelessly with machines around us without us being explicitly aware of it?

According to the marketing spiel, we’ll have a lot more convenience at our fingertips. But, in actuality, we may find ourselves reaching for the mute button, longing to be disconnected, and fed up with all the notifications interrupting us. That’s when the novelty effect wears off.

We have probably witnessed people who cannot resist the urge of pulling out their mobile phone to interact with it at the most inopportune times or who pass their idle time simply looking down at a screen.

Most do not realize they are even interacting with their personal computer devices for hours each day. The repetitive behavior has almost become a type of tic disorder which is neurobehavioural.

We get a message, it makes us feel important. We reply and get a buzz the very next time it happens again. It’s kind of like digital ping pong. And the game can get tangible fast. The main reason this repetitive behavior remains hidden is that the majority of smartphone users suffer from this, so it looks normal.

You can see people in public spaces immersed in virtual places. These Wi-Fi-enabled mobile contraptions can also trigger a host of internet-related addictions, whether used for gaming, answering mail, web surfing, online transactions, social media, we-chatting, or taking a tonne of photographs.

According to experts, internet addiction disorder (IAD) can ruin lives by causing neurological complications, psychological disturbances and social problems. This is not to mention the potential for accidents when people are not looking where they are going or not paying attention to what they should be doing. In short, our need to be always online and connected has become a kind of cybernarcotic drug.

Little device, big data

Very few of us are immune to this yearning for “feedback loops”, so telecommunications operators and service providers pounce on this response. Information is money. And while we are busy interacting with our device, the companies are busy pocketing big money using our big data.

We are fast becoming a piece of digital information ourselves, sold to the highest bidder. And while we are busy rating ourselves and one another, the technology companies are not only using our ratings to learn more about our preferences and sentiments, but rating us as humans. In sociological terms it’s called social sorting, and in policing terms it’s called proactive profiling.

In days gone by, mobile communications could tell data collectors about our identity, location, even our condition. This is not new. But the real-time access and precision of this level of granularity of data gathered is something we should be all aware of as potentially impinging on our fundamental human rights.

Because they interface directly with the human body, watches have the capacity to tell a third party much more about you than just where you’ve been and where you are likely to be going. They can:

  • Detect physiological characteristics like your pulse rate, heart rate, temperature which can say a lot about your home/work/life habits
  • Determine time, distance, speed and altitude information derived from onboard sensors
  • Identify which apps you are using and how and why you are using them, minute by minute
  • Oversee the kinds of questions you are asking via search engines and text-based messages you are sending via social media.

Apple watcher

These watches will become integral to the fulfillment of the Internet of Things phenomenon: the ability to be connected to everyone and everything.

All in all, private corporations can glean what you are thinking, the problems you are facing, and they know your personal context. What is disturbing is that they can divulge some of your innermost personal thoughts, intentions and actions, and have evidence for the reasons we do things.

Many people immersed in the virtual world are too busy to be thinking about the very act of inputting information onto the internet. People value a life of convenience over privacy too much to be genuinely concerned what information is being logged by a company and shared with hundreds of other potential partners and affiliates.

And consumers are often oblivious to the fact that, even if they are doing nothing at all, the smart device they are carrying or wearing is creating a type of digital DNA about their uniqueness.

Today, we are asking to be monitored and are partying in the prison. We have fallen in love with the idea of being told about ourselves and don’t discern that we have become like prison inmates who are being tracked with electronic bracelets.

By the time we wake up to this technological trajectory, it may be all too late. Our health insurance provider might be Samsung, our telecoms provider may be Google, and our unique lifetime identifier could come from Apple. At present, these are the archetypal tech providers. But tomorrow, who knows?

There is no shortage of wearable devices these days that can track and log vast amounts of data about your activities.

And by that time, we will likely be heralding in the age of discontentment where we posit that cellphones and wristwatches are not enough, that the human-computer interface should go deeper, penetrating the skin and into the body.

The new slogan might read “The Mark is Here”, herald the iPlant, that which gives birth to life, the one and only passport to access your forever services.

“You can’t live without it”, may soon no longer be just figurative, but a reality. If you believe the bible, you’ve already known this.

Great article by John Gruber over at Daring Fireball regarding Apple Watch. He compares the “need” for the Watch to the initial “need” of the iPad. Really well done stuff and in my opinion needed. So many people are tripping over themselves wondering “What do I need a Apple Watch for?” The answer is simple, you don’t.

The right question is simply “Do you want one?”

It’s about desire, not necessity. Convenience, fun, and style are not needs. They’re wants. And people will gladly pay for what they want. The iPad faced similar misguided criticism. How many times did you hear or read someone say of the iPad, “Why would anyone who already has a phone and a laptop need an iPad?” That was the wrong question, because almost no one needed an iPad. The right question was “Why would someone who has a phone and laptop also want an iPad?”

Read the rest of John’s thought here: http://daringfireball.net/2015/04/watch_apple_watch

Waiting for the Watch

Over the course of investigating the now announced Apple Watch, I’ve researched countless articles of people who have spent extended time with it.

First things first though. It must be said, Apple completely screwed up this launch date situation. Even now, there are commercials that point to a “launch” date of April 24, 2015. This is completely inaccurate for 99% of the world. The real story is Apple either didn’t know the demand for this would have been so immense, or this is all one big marketing ploy (judge for yourself.) Regardless you won’t even be able to walk into a store until June to buy one. Only the select few who preordered within 3 (yes 3) minutes will be eligible to receive theirs on launch date. Yikes.

Anyhow, I digress.

In my research I’ve found a bunch of interesting details, but by far the biggest recurring theme is how little you use your iPhone once you have one.

People that have worn the Watch say that they take their phones out of their pockets far, far less than they used to. A simple tap to reply or glance on the wrist or dictation is a massively different interaction model than pulling out an iPhone, unlocking it and being pulled into its merciless vortex of attention suck.

One user stated that they nearly “stopped” using their phone during the day; they used to have it out and now they don’t, period. That’s insane when you think about how much the blue glow of smartphone screens has dominated our social interactions over the past decade.

In my research, there are a few ways its clear Apple is making this happen.

The Watch will have more context about you than a phone alone ever could. For example, it takes your heart rate periodically, providing you with a last-checked time, which could offer major benefits to health applications and other contextual processes.

Here’s a tidbit you might not know — in order to receive notifications from apps, the Watch must be on your wrist and locked. The Watch requires contact with your skin to receive notifications. There will be no in-app dropdown notifications or constant pinging while it’s off your wrist. Push notifications also cease when the battery reaches 10 percent. Those decisions speak to the care with which Apple is handling notifications.

The notifications are also different at an elemental level than the ones on your phone — both on the developer and user side of things. These are seen right away rather than at some point. You act on them quickly and they don’t stack up like they do on the phone.

There is that added bit of context because you know exactly when they got it, which means that time-sensitive notifications like those that recommend a precise establishment or ping you during a live event become much more germane.

One user said they nearly “stopped” using their phone during the day; they used to have it out and no they don’t, period. If you’re a developer who deals with notifications you know how powerful that could be.

And, as a user, those notifications activate as part of the app right on the Watch home screen, allowing you to act on them without any sort of sliding, unlocking or other junk. These are immediate, actionable items that you can access without the obligations inherent in taking out your phone.

Because the screen of the Watch is so small, there has been a lot of talk about its use as a “notification window.” Yes, notifications are a powerful part of it, but the mechanics of the device actually support much, much more than that.

People that have used the Watch extensively say that the touch targets are actually very precise and sensitive. This means that you will be able to trigger smaller buttons and interactive elements fairly easily. (As a note, the unusual clustered home screen layout means that the “hot” spots for apps will be at the edges, rather than the center. This way you can jet out to the edge of a group in any direction and find an app. Your “bottom row” will become your “outer ring.”)

The digital crown is an important part of the navigation process and has been matched precisely to the scroll velocity. This should give a sense of context that helps when viewing on the smaller screen, as you’re not chasing the scroll with your finger. It’s also changed physically since the Watch was first shown off, and now has more friction for a weightier, higher-end feel.

Pressing and holding the crown activates Siri, which sources have said works incredibly well on the Watch. It can be used for labeling, directions, commands executed by the phone and more. If — and this is a big IF as Siri has been hit and miss over the years for me — if it is truly a “say it and forget it” experience, the confidence in using your wrist as a “commander” for your life is expansive.

Why Watch?

You’re not going to give up your smartphone. That bargain has already been struck. We get access to an entire universe of information and communication and we sacrifice our attention on its smooth glass altar.

But the Apple Watch can return some of that attention and, more importantly, time back to you.

If you argue the Watch isn’t going to sell or do well, it’s worth pointing out that there are very, very, very few products that allow you to hand someone cash and be given back TIME.

In my opinion, this will be the Apple Watch metric to track: time saved.

Think about it, really the only resource we all have exactly in common is time. Kings don’t have more of it than peasants. Not everyone will be able to afford an Apple Watch (or even an iPhone), but if they’re in an economic situation where that’s feasible then they’re also in the situation where they are probably willing to trade money for time.

And that is the target market of the Apple Watch. Not “rich people” (though there’s a model specially for them), not “tech geeks” and not “Apple fanatics.” It’s people who want more time, and that is a very large target.

This, for some reason, is the thing that Apple has had a hard time articulating. This is the primary use case of the Watch. It’s not just that it’s a “notification center”; it’s that it allows you to act without any additional distraction.

For now, the iPhone is a dominant business for Apple and the smartphone is a domineering force in our daily lives. But one day something will come along to destroy it. And, as Apple has expressed many times in the past, it is willing to be the one that finds that thing. With the Apple Watch, we could be seeing the beginnings of that process.

Perhaps someday, the Apple Watch could do the impossible: it could make you stop using your phone.

Personally, mine is set to be shipped in June. I’m looking forward to trying out some of these theories. I will update my thoughts as time passes!