I've never felt more out of touch with both sides of an interview as I did while attempting to read this.
I realize that Hodinkee is a site essentially about incredibly expensive men's jewelry, but sheesh. When the author regretted not bidding more that $42,000 to buy Steve Jobs watch, I realized I am very, very far from the target audience.
These sentences are severely misaligned with my "take this author seriously" algorithm.
(You may or may not take Gibson seriously as an author. I generally do.)
So yes, you read it correctly.
I'm not saying there is not a finer point to extremely expensive watches, beyond the status symbolism, but this article kind of makes me think, no.
Given Google’s lead in AI, i’m sure they’d quickly offer features that’ll take Apple years to implement.
I think I knew one or two people with a moto360 back when those were newish, but you really don't see them anymore.
I never use apps, just use it for notifications and glancing at complications to see what the latest wave buoy data is.
1Password or Duo for TOTP codes. Visual Codes lets people scan my watch to join my wifi network. Dark Sky to check for upcoming rain. Remote to control an Apple TV. Huemote to control a few lights.
I only got it recently, but I get the impression that a lot of companies (Amazon, Twitter, Ebay, and Instagram, etc.) came up with Watch apps and then killed them because they were pointless. Those are things that are better done with a phone. But for small utility tasks, it's handy to have them right here.
Android watches were all obscenely huge and bulky (I have little tiny wrists) Apple came out with a good looking watch in a smaller size. I've been with iPhone/Apple Watch since.
Ultimately they were hard to find at the time, even at the Cupertino store, and I bought one at an Apple Store in Frankfurt instead.
It has had a bit of a slow burn with me. I never disliked it, but I always wondered whether it would be worth the money, or how I'd feel about abandoning wearing traditional watches entirely. (I'm a bit obsessive about these things; I knew if I liked it, I'd wear it every day and never again be 'able' to go back to a non-smartwatch). Eventually I stopped wearing watches entirely (first by accident) a few months before I bought the Watch, so it at least freed up a wrist for this project.
It's bad at plenty of things. It's a 2nd gen watch, and somehow even Apple apps are slow -- the Activity/Workout app, in particular, takes several (4-5) seconds to be responsive after loading it. Same for Strava, sometimes. It's not clear when a button press is registered so you have to stare at it for a few seconds to see if it will do what it should. Or you end up double-pressing a button. And it can't really be used for lap timing because there's no way to consistently/accurately hit a touch button while running or cycling without pressing too hard, or too soft, or of the mark, or dragging slightly. They really need to add physical button functionality for some apps. Oh, and notifications are totally hit or miss which was kind of the entire point.
But it integrates itself into your life so nicely, it's definitely a product I want to keep owning/buying and I hope they keep improving. I bike to work daily, I'm running all the time. I use Strava multiple times a day to record everything. It's so simple. I'd never bother opening an app on my phone for a commute to work, but 2 taps on the Apple watch (caveats above notwithstanding) and it's done.
Fitness tracking is hardly new; I had a FuelBand (2 or 3, warranty replacements, kept failing) and 2 Fitbit Charge HRs (ditto, warranty replacements, failing). But it works amazingly well, and with Strava integration on the watch, with my Suunto watch, with my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt bicycle computer, all of my activity data is recorded and synced to the watch, and fits with the whole ecosystem of Health-based apps, for myfitnesspal for meal tracking and seeing effectively realtime caloric intake/output. Tracking blood pressure and weight on Health on my phone. Call/text notifications, Okta VPN push notifications, Pagerduty acknowledgement. I'm now very much sold on how smartwatches are a useful product.
Well, actually it’s not. After spending quite a lot of time looking at the different options out there, I realised that a smart watch is a dumb purchase: it’s another computer with a 3-year lifespan, but a price tag like a luxury watch.
So I ended up buying some automatic watches instead. They’re less expensive and sharper-looking.
After looking at the watches shown off in this article: I made the right call. I’m fairly certain that in a decade we’re going to look back on smart watches the way we do digital watches: as an odd fad that noöne will be able to explain later on.
I think you've achieved that rare state of being both right and wrong.
My experience with smart watches: great for showing reminders, glancing at the weather before going out to work/lunch, seeing/feeling messages that I didn't hear on my phone or while I'm standing at the urinal etc, tracking my fitness, controlling the music playing on my headphones or home stereo.
But...these functions will move from the wrist to a different interface that we'll wear. So yes, it'll be a fad if only because the next phase is a non-existent form of wearable computer. It'll be a fad in the same way that a traditional watch is - a set of limited functions that can be migrated to a more advanced multipurpose device.
The thing that I found about it is that watches have such little real-estate, and I have my phone on me anyway, that having a computer with poor connectivity and a tiny screen on my wrist wasn't really doing it for me. I mean the magic in a watch isn't even the functionality. It's the engineering and art and story. Having a halfway-functional computer from the largest company in the world on my wrist just wasn't that interesting to me.
I guess it depends on what you mean by ‘compelling.’ Ævig, Lew & Huey, Nivrel, Hamilton, Christopher Ward, Melbourne and many, many more have some very attractive options for under $1,000.
You do have a point about the word ‘luxury’ though — I should have just stuck with ‘mechanical’ or ‘automatic.’
/written on an ancient macbook air because they haven't come up with a good replacement yet
Jony Ive is way overdue for a re-evaluation as "the greatest designer of our generation". Left to his own devices without Jobs as a moderating influence, he produces hot garbage.
Things seem terrible until you take an open-minded look at the priorities of the design. What might seem stupid at first might actually have a well-thought out background.
As for it being "to the detriment of end users", I disagree here too. The minor annoyance of having the battery charge on its side while you're not using it is less than the annoyance of having to replace batteries or even remove them to put them in a charger for most users. They'll only care when they have to charge it and, when it's not left plugged in, that should last it at least 9 months. I mean...I dare you to show me a source that says that the Magic Mouse battery is anything but amazing.
I prefer my G903 overall but I get way more use out of my Magic Mouse vs. my Logitech and I have to charge it far less. The G903 can be used wired or wirelessly but that has resulted in me leaving it plugged in accidentally and now the battery life is getting shorter and shorter. It's just a much bigger hassle than the charging on the side.
If you look at the computing devices you use day to day I think no person has had a greater effect that Jonny Ive. All laptops are now cut from the unibody macbook mold, all phones are cut from the iPhone mold, and the same seems to be happening with the Apple watch (though no body seems to be able to make a track pad anywhere near as good as a macbook trackpad).
I think if we were to hold other companies to the same level of scrutiny that we do with Apple they would look worse.
I think one of the things that make Ives designs so great is their timelessness. My favourite iPhone is the 4S, it still looks great now. The current iMac design has been in use for 7/8yrs and looks great. Very few other designers are able to achieve this.
Pretty sure Jobs wasn't a moderating force. See https://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&stor..., https://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&stor..., etc.
He matured a lot after Next/Pixar.
Steve Jobs was the rare executive who truly valued design. He did not nickel and dime on design even when it added cost. Most designers at other companies would likely get shot down any time they presented a novel idea that might be a little harder or expensive to manufacture.
I don't think you can achieve greatness in a vacuum, and I tend to think that Ive was very fortunate to be working for Apple under Jobs. Had he been at any other company, I don't think any of us would have even heard of him.
Apple products are in no way perfect, but they're consistently the best in class, and it's always fascinating reading about the detail that goes into the manufacturing behind it.
One thing that I think they do really well consistently stay with products, which gives them breathing room to release a polished V1 and then iterate on top of that. The iPod might be dead, but it's over 15 years old. We've had the iPhone for 10 years. Compare that with Google's dizzying number of new product releases that mysteriously disappear after 6 months.
For all intents and purposes current Macbook and Macbook Pro 13 are excellent replacements for both Macbook Airs.
It’s just that we’ve been here so many times before, and we’ve sat through people pouring scorn on us with the iPhone. I don’t understand the reaction – while others haven’t been critical and have been more curious and inquisitive. And I think they will do well because of it and the others will fail, partly as a consequence of that dogma.”
Describes 90% of comments re: Apple on this site. Keep ignoring them Jony.
But reading this amateur effort really puts all of that into perspective. Regardless of what you think of the actual views Ives communicates in the piece, the writing is so bad it's hard to keep reading. Apparently all you have to do for an exclusive is be a mawkish fanboy with a lot of money to spend on men's jewelry.
I'm familiar with Hodinkee and in general I think favorably of them.
They've brought some necessary web polish to an industry where publicity has a very grubby old school feel to it. Personally, I've used Hodinkee as a jumping off point to do some research into watches I might want to own some day and the site has only made firmer my love for the Nomos house.
That being said, as a journalistic outlet the site is still very much a show run by amateur enthusiasts. This is not inherently a problem, plenty of fields get covered by people early in their career. But there is something specific to luxury watches that makes it unable to feed in or out of the ecosystem of writers and limits the people working there to the kind of people who can be interested in very expensive jewelry.
Compare this profile to one's done by people who specialize in the craft - Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic on Obama, Caity Weaver at GQ, or closer to the tech world Adrian Chen at the New Yorker and Steven Levy at Wired - and you can see the core editorial and writing skills simply aren't there and likely never will be.
Fortunately after the inane introduction, the questions were real questions and not just the interviewer taking the opportunity to make points. So still a good read.
Pffft. Greatest stylist maybe.
Once again the distinction between design and styling is lost on journalists.
What they're saying is that Apple's products are nice to look at but do not function well, which is a very arguable statement.
To some extent the change started while Jobs was alive, but there's certainly limited evidence of commitment to beautiful friction-free computing at Apple now - as there was, more or less, when Jobs was in charge.
Watch is a low point, because the case design is far from a classic, and the functionality is crippled by poor performance and limited battery life.
So I agree with those who think Ives is overhyped. He can make hits under supervision, but if he's left unsupervised, he's the design equivalent of an architecture astronaut.
The fact that Jobs had zero interest in a watch speaks volumes. I suspect - but can't prove - that he would also have had zero interest in Hermès branding, and the rest.
Please provide someone who meets your criteria as a designer and make the distinction between design and styling as it is lost on me.
He elevates 'Sir Jonathan Ive' beyond mere human to a realm where normal human behaviour is worth writing about...
"As Jony posed for our cover shot against a scrim, the photographer, a friend of his, made a few jokes. Jony laughed. Not because he had to, but because he thought they were funny."
Apple fanatics are getting worse.
It's a nightmare. The default home screen is a garish combination of clashing colors. The default wallpaper is a horrific polka-dot pattern. If you don't like polka dots, and you just want a solid color, you have one option: black.
The new look-and-feel does not have any consistent visual distinction for active areas of the screen that should respond to touch. There is no visual feedback for a successful touch. Responses to touches are often delayed. The net effect is that it is often impossible to tell whether you are poking part of the screen that isn't actually active, or if the system is just slow to respond, or if you finger is defective. (That's not a joke. My wife consistently has trouble activating touch screens.)
If you’re having trouble because of how hard you press, take a look at the Accessibility settings for touch.
As mentioned, it’s easy to change the wallpaper. If you want a solid color, I agree a native picker should exist, but there are plenty of free native apps that do this.
It happens to me regularly that I touch something that I happen to know is an active control and absolutely nothing happens. I have no idea if my touch registered and the app is just hung, or if it didn't register.
> it’s easy to change the wallpaper
I shouldn't have to install an app to make my wallpaper solid grey instead of black.
But that's not really the point. The point is that all those polka-dot patterns are just visually atrocious. They're about as tasteful as plastic pink lawn flamingos.
Wow. A bit melodramatic here talking about your free new replacement device, and off topic.
Your touch problems are probably due to you pressing the screen, instead of tapping. Just do light taps, and it should work fine. Maybe you are used to a different type of device.
Wallpaper can be changed to anything you want. You can Google it and find out how to do it.
And no, my wife is not pressing the screen. She's tapping it. And she is used to Apple devices. She has had an iPhone for years.
Yes, I know I can change the wallpaper to anything I want. The point is that Apple's default choices have horrible aesthetics.
Steve Jobs once famously said in an interview that the problem with Microsoft is that they had no taste. So now that Apple doesn't have any either I think it's fair game to levy that same criticism at them.