Posts tagged: Apple

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. 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. 

Going for Gold

What I want

Let me start with a simple fact: I want the golden iPhone. I was depressed on launch day when, only 80th in line, I didn't get my new gold colored device. In fact, it was the first launch day I wasn't rewarded for waiting in line with a new iPhone. It was a bitter pill to swallow.

Even more bitter was the vocal minority on Twitter that began squeeling as if only someone that cared about showing off that they had the latest (or a belly dancing gypsy) would prefer the color of gold. Hmmm?

This isn't the first time I've had someone make fun of my iPhone color choice. I wanted the white iPhone 5. I knew it from the second I saw it. Gorgeous. We're still talking about a silly phone; but it really was the most beautiful silly phone I'd ever seen. Everyone mocked me:

You seriously got the white one?

Yes. I seriously ordered, and loved, the white one. Within a year, every one of my friends had told me they wished they had opted for white for one reason or another. The most common reason being the way the black bevel showed scuffs too easily.

We'll see what they say about gold. But I'm not holding my breath that they'll pine for a golden iPhone. It's all about fashion, and we often disagree about fashion:

What is the real reason

Guy in line: "No one is going to get the gold. There will be plenty."

Me: "Which color do you want?"

Gil: "Gold"

Me: "Everyone is going to get the golden iPhone."

Gil: "Everyone is bashing on it."

Me: "Ha. That 'everyone' is a minority."

17 year old brother: "Why is gold so popular? Because it's new?"

Me: "Which color do you want?" (He's ordering one today.)

17yob: "Gold."

Me: "Why do you want gold?" (My brother is very fashionable.)

17yob: "I think it looks the best. I like the golden ring around the home button. It's the coolest style."

Luxury and Fashion

The iPhone is a fashion accessory and Apple wants to be a luxury brand1. It seems to me that being fashion forward means pushing trends just a little too far. To be truly fashionable sometimes one needs to be a bit ostentatious. Going gold was certainly considered a bold (and awful) move by tech bloggers, because they saw it as too ostentatious. However, I don't thing gold is ostentatious today.

I asked my wife what she wanted for her birthday (coming up on Thursday). She wants a gold watch. Ashley is always dressed very conservatively. She doesn't wear flashy styles. So I was surprised at first to hear that she wanted something that sounded ostentatious.

It sounded ostentatious until I persused pinterest for example watches. Check it out and you'll see there has been a major influx of golden jewlery (i.e. watches, bracelets, earings, necklaces, and even purses). This is what is in style, it is what 'normal' people are going to choose for their wedding rings and everyday jewelry.

Platinum and silver have become commonplace. Everyone has silver or white-gold colored wedding rings, bracelets, and necklaces. The color doesn't look luxurious anymore. It doesn't look elite. Fashion is about standing out, and luxury is about standing above. Gold is the luxurious color. If you don't believe me, just go visit the strip in Las Vegas.

Newness isn't enough

If you're someone mocking me and my golden iPhone you probably don't wear the current fashions from broad market clothing designers (you may even mock them).

  • Rolled up skinny slacks or jeans
  • Sock-less boat shoes
  • Bright colored pants
  • Short shorts (prep-length)
  • Geek glasses with no prescription
  • A fedora

Some of you probably wear some and eschew others of those styles. Maybe you have prep-length shorts, but think fedoras are a joke.

This is not an extreme list. They are 'middle of the mall' styles. It's nothing you wouldn't see in a J-Crew order catalogue. For that matter, wouldn't you expect to see the golden iPhone (rather than the silver or space gray) in a J-Crew or Banana Republic catalogue? That's not a department store designer; that's a 'middle of the mall' clothing store.

I fully admint that for many customers the golden iPhone represents newness. If you want to show off that you have a new iPhone the best way is to purchase the gold colored version. You may want the newest phone. You may even want to show off that you have the newest phone. But if you aren't willing to take a step into forward in fashion, the newness probably isn't enough to make you buy an iPhone color with (you deem) no sense of style.

If you were thinking the golden iPhone is in-style and you'd like it for your device but you are resisting it because you don't want to be one of those people that are getting it because it's new, well that would just be silly.

Subtlety was important

Apple needs to sell a ton of iPhones2. They are in a business that is attempting to reach a broad market with a luxury brand. This means they need to be subtle while also being fashion forward. Being too ostentatious will simply turn off the majority of their customers.

The new iPhone 5s is actually more of a muted gold or 'champaigne' color. I know when the rumor mills were cranking the mockups were all a gaudy-dehydrated-urine yellow. If the actual gold iPhone were a deep-bronze color I wouldn't want it, and neither would (I believe) 80% of the people that are waiting an extra 2-3 weeks to get their new device.

The color matters and the style matters. Apple didn't release something out of style to which mindless sheep are flocking because it's new. Apple released something in-style to which millions are flocking because it's attractive.

The golden iPhone 5s was made for customers that do have a sense of style - the same sense of style as the iPhone 5s designers3.

  1. 1) If you don't think a $600 phone or $1000 laptop is luxurious you are in serious need of a broader world view. 

  2. 2) 9 million opening weekend will just about do it. 

  3. 3) Yes, I realize that I'm effectively claiming that I 'have a sense of style'. I'm assuming that you believe that you have a sense of style as well. If you think the golden iPhone is ugly we can assume, for better or worse, that the designers at Apple disagree with your sense of style. 

I wrote a post for the ZAGGBlog about Amazon's new Whispercast service. 

In the 90s, business adoption of computers running Windows was driven heavily by the requirement for Microsoft Office. In order for co-workers to effectively collaborate on documents and files, they needed to use the same software. Apple didn’t have a good answer to Microsoft Office, and we all know how it turned out for them in that era.

The most common response I've received for this post is that Apple has the Configurator.I am aware that tech admins have the Apple Configurator and Remote Desktop tools that attempt to offer this functionality. If the iPad is the dominant device in the market, then Apple Configurator may be the Microsoft Office of this era. If Android devices take off, then it will almost certainly be Amazon's Whispercast.

Up to this point, Apple hasn't shown it takes enterprise IT requests seriously and we'll have to see what they think of education IT requests. More than 70% of the reviews for Apple Configurator on the Mac App Store are 1 star. Maybe Apple has some room for improvement in their solution to a major technological problem.