There should be little question that Apple has jumped the product pipeline shark with the Watch. First, as watches go, it’s amazingly over priced with every component. Second, competitor smartwatches will eat Apple’s marketshare lunch with lower priced products. Wait. There’s more.
Where’s The Browser?
As I scrolled again and again through Apple’s Watch website I noticed a number of missing teeth. For example, what is one of the most used apps on your Mac or iPhone?
It’s the browser. Watch does not even come with a browser. The design Nazi’s are yelling, “No Safari browser for you!”
Seriously? Am I supposed to fork over hundreds of dollars for another Apple trinket that does not have the simplest and most basic app– a browser. How does one browse the web using Watch? Oh, I know. The old fashioned way. By taking the iPhone out of the pocket.
Everyone who is paying attention already knows the entry-level Watch does not come with a sapphire screen. What’s with that? Didn’t Apple blow a few hundred million dollars trying to make what watchmakers have made for decades? Word on the streets is that Microsoft does not plan to bring Office to Watch. Apple’s own iWork trio of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are notably absent.
The required 15-minute schedule to even view, touch, hold, and try on Watch is a bit irksome, but initial interest and demand is likely to be high. Other than having a battery built-in to the Watch band, my list of negatives isn’t very long.
Though Apple thought about Watch inside and out, the value proposition and use case is more nebulous than iPhone or iPad. You need an iPhone to make it work. That will change as batteries improve, circuits shrink and Wi-Fi and a cellphone gets added, and standalone apps become the norm.
Essentially, Watch is an extension of what iPhone does, offloading functionality that would require you to pull your iPhone out of pocket or purse for quick hits and bits of information. Remember, a watch used to be tied to a chain, tied to a pocket; then some wise person strapped a piece of leather on the case and the wristwatch was born; far more usable and convenient than a watch in a pocket.
Likewise, Watch takes iPhone functions we take for granted, but still have to dig into pocket or purse to get, and makes them more accessible. It won’t take long for people to realize just how cool Watch will come to be; relegating the iPhone to darker parts of your clothing. For example, Watch will be able to control Apple TV and eventually your television, communicate with Siri, answer and place phone calls, unlock your front door, unlock and start your car, pay for whatever you would use a credit card to buy, check into airports and hotels, check scores and social network sites, and much more already.
Down the road does anyone not expect more iPhone functions to transfer to the wrist? Standalone capability, audio recorder, camera, and health tracking sensors are tops on my list. Unlike iPhone and iPad, which were instantly usable, Apple Watch will need to be viewed as more than just a watch, more than just a status symbol (as is the case with many watches), and more than an extension of the iPhone. Watch is about convenience mobile usability, some of which exists on the iPhone, but in a far more friendly, helpful way.
Maybe one day Apple will include a browser, and Siri will be smart enough to compose documents, but such efforts miss the point of Watch– which marries convenience and style to information retrieval and data gathering into a package that is a total greater than the sum of the parts.