Is it a fitness band? Is Watch a health tracker? Is the device merely a smartwatch that does a little of everything? Is Watch a fashion statement? Or, is Apple’s newest iPhone accessory merely an iPhone of the future? See? Watch isn’t sure what it is. Yet.
iPhone To Watch
It’s an easy enough exercise in argumentation and debate to apply those same questions to Apple’s more ubiquitous iPhone. Is it a phone? Yes. Is it a Mac? Almost. A fashion statement? Definitely. A must-have device because it’s so flexible and does so much? Of course. The use case or value proposition for iPhone is easier to make than for Watch but that doesn’t mean Watch doesn’t have value or personality.
To put on my crystal ball for a moment, I view Watch as the future of the iPhone; a new device which captures much of the iPhone’s personality if not all the functionality. It’s small, stylish, highly functional, and like an iPhone which took many of the functions once reserved for Macs and PCs and put them in your pocket, Watch does the same but put’s iPhone functionality onto your wrist for easier viewing.
Apple launched Watch as a smartphone fashion statement, thanks to that Gold Edition that nobody I know could afford. Watch has matured with Series 2 and watchOS 3 with a new white ceramic case, but the fashion component remains. Everyone I know with a Watch has a few extra interchangeable watch bands, too. I have a dozen.
Apple seems to be pushing Watch in the direction of fitness and health, too, as the device can track distance walked, exercises, geo location, heart rate, and more. There are apps that monitor sleep, but nothing official from Apple to sanction the segment. Yet. Word on the streets is that Apple is working on a sleep app, one of the glaring holes in the apps available for Watch.
Watch tracks motion and heart rate but only captures the data, and doesn’t interpret the data. With a new sensor or two Apple Watch could find itself as a remote diagnostic tool that the medical community could use to monitor patient activities and health. Look for apps with alerts, alarms, and notifications that signal you or someone else whenever sensors detect a problem.
Watch as a sleep monitoring tool seems to have merit except for one thing. When do you charge Apple Watch? I do it overnight, same as my iPhone. If you’re using Watch as a sleep monitor, then the device needs to have, 1) much longer battery life, 2) a rapid charge option, 3) a wireless charge option that works while you’re asleep.
Regardless, Watch is becoming more like iPhone. The personality isn’t so much a disorder as it is a growing list of options, capabilities, and functions which make the device’s use different between customers. What’s the use case and value proposition of iPhone? What is its raison d’être? iPhone ranges from cell phone to browser to email to camera to photo editor and a thousand more functions. Watch is headed in that direction, itself another example of multiple personality disorder. And that’s a good thing.