Is Apple Watch a Game Changer?
People keep asking me if the Apple Watch is the real deal. They want to know if it’s going to be big like the iPhone. They read complaints that it's slow, and that it isn't waterproof, and that it lacks features, and that it isn't perfect. They wonder if it's "mind blowing" like the first iPhone.
The First iPhone Sucked
They probably didn't have a first iPhone. Because the first iPhone was slow, lacked features and definitely wasn't perfect. People made fun of me for my first iPhone. They told me it was a waste of money.
It was full price. You couldn't get it cheaper with a phone contract. And you still had to have a phone contract with Cingular. No other carriers. You couldn't even get an unlocked model for other GSM carriers.
My friends made fun of the fact that it wasn't 3G which had been out for a couple years. Couldn't stream YouTube videos (or any video for that matter) because Edge was too slow.
Didn't have iMessage. Just plain text SMS. It couldn't send picture texts.
It couldn't capture video. It didn't have a front facing camera. Which means, of course, no selfies and no FaceTime. But the camera was only 2 megapixels and the pictures were garbage anyway.
The web browser was terribly slow. Thanks to Edge and a super weak processor it would take minutes, not seconds, to load web pages.
It didn't have any way to sync contacts or pictures or notes or calendar or music without plugging in to a computer. You couldn't even activate it without a computer.
Didn't have copy and paste. It didn't even have text selection.
You couldn't even play music in the background. (No Spotify or Pandora.) No apps could run in the background.
It didn't have GPS. It used your cell signal based on the towers to which you were connected. If you tried to use your location in the map your battery would drain in about 90 minutes. Obviously no turn by turn directions.
Effectively no cars had USB or 30 pin connections. And support for music over Bluetooth on a car stereo system didn't exist or was so ludicrously priced no one would buy it.
There was no notification system. You didn't even get push notifications.
The craziest of all...
- It didn't have third party apps. You remember "there is an app for that"? That wasn't until the second generation iPhone. Literaly: iPhone OS 2.0.
The First iPhone Started a Revolution
You might ask, well then what the heck could you do with it? The iPhone was exactly, and only, what Apple claimed it to be: a Phone, an iPod, and an Internet communicator.
The iPhone was a breakthrough device because of the interface. People that used the buttery smooth scrolling saw it right away. They wanted apps, and experiences. They imagined the future of the smartphone with a full internet connection.
The Apple Watch is much better than the first iPhone. It has features that would take the first iPhone years to get. Let's not judge the Apple Watch against where the Apple Watch might be in 8 years. That is what iPhone haters did to the first generation iPhone. Either way, the Watch 8 years from now is a device we won't even be able to imagine properly.
Time to Understand the Apple Watch
I haven't used the Apple Watch for a full day on my wrist yet. I was only able to play with a model to see how it works, and how my app functions.
The hardware is gorgeous. It's an amazing little device. Way smaller and sleeker than you expect, especially given everything that is built into it. Apple Watch will roll. It will slowly and incrementally get better. It will get the features you think it needs.1 Apple will polish the experience.
I won't judge the Apple Watch until I do wear it for a full day or even week on my wrist. But if you pressed me today I would tell you it's the real deal. Everyone might not want the first generation Apple Watch. But everyone will want a smart watch eventually.
The Apple Watch's Killer Feature
The iPhone was a phone, and an iPod. But really over time, the concept of "an Internet communicator" became powerful and awesome.
Apple only promised the device would do 3 things: tell you time, track your health, and give you "a new way to connect with others".
The Apple Watch will certainly do the first two. The taps and touches, and drawings on the watch face are all very cool, and likely very intimate. But I believe, and this is me not Apple, that the watch as an "intimate" device may just mean that it helps us keep our phones in our pockets. With the watch we can be more intimate with the people around us.
My Answer For What It Is Worth
The Apple Watch is the going to be as revolutionary as the Mac, iPod, iPad and even the iPhone. Don't bet against it.
The smart watch revolution may never be as big as the smart phone revolution. But the core idea is powerful: leave your phone in your pocket. That's a concept that will resonate with everyone with a smartphone.
1:Everyone had a nice long list of things the iPhone needed to succeed. Apple got around to the list eventually. But the concept of a neccessary feature list still makes me cringe a little. Whatever drove the rise of smartphones, it wasn't a single additional feature, it was all features rolled into the fact that it really makes life easier and more convenient. ↩