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The Apple Watch (apple.com)
501 points by benigeri on Sept 9, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 836 comments



While someone else already made the reference to this quote, it's hard for me not to recall Commander Taco's (in)famous dismissal of the original iPod when I browse these comments.

Personally I don't know that there's any watch that would really get me to start wearing watches at all again -- I never liked them that much to begin with. But this knocks down an awful lot of the criticisms I've had of existing smartwatches. The smaller Apple Watch is 38mm, certainly not small but by no means an irrationally huge behemoth. (Even the larger is only 42mm, I believe.) When you consider the three lines, two sizes, and multiple bands, there's dozens of combinations available. You may personally not like the fashion sense, but other than the Moto 360 this is the first smartwatch that's had a fashion sense to criticize. (And guys, the Moto 360 is 46mm, so let's not pretend it's svelte, either.)

But what's really interesting to me is that Apple has clearly put a lot more thought into how interactions on a device like this should work than anybody else. Yes, I'm sure every single component has an antecedent you can point to, just like the iPhone's interaction model. Except that nobody put it all together like that before the iPhone. And nobody put it all together like this before the Apple Watch.

I'm not so glib as to say that catcalls when Apple introduces a new product are a sure sign of success (I remember the iPod Hifi, thanks). But again, it's hard not to see a few recurring patterns in the responses: oh, look, it doesn't do everything that it could (or that competitors already do!) and it's too expensive. If it sells well, it'll only because of the Apple faithful buying everything.

And, of course, if it sells well, than within a year all smartwatches will adapt its interaction model. Other manufacturers will come out with variants that Apple isn't making, and we can move onto the evergreen phase of dismissing Apple as a company that just copies everybody else.


But what's really interesting to me is that Apple has clearly put a lot more thought into how interactions on a device like this should work than anybody else.

I strongly disagree.

I think that Apple actually took the easy way out here - they seemed to have approached the problem as "how can we make iOS usable on a smaller screen" and came up with interfaces like the crown and the (albeit pretty) circle-based homescreen UI to access apps to tackle those issues. Which is interesting, because they started off their presentation explicitly saying they didn't want to just scale down iOS.

Google, on the other hand, approached the problem of "how can we make wearables useful as a platform" rather than "how can we scale down Android" and created the intuitive cards interface (which, as a Moto 360 user, is remarkably convenient) and Google Now-based contextual awareness of info you need when you need it. Android Wear doesn't even have an app selector easily accessible, because they don't want you to use the watch that way - it's hard to hunt for apps on a tiny screen, so instead they push contextual information at you as you need it in an easy-to-use way.

I have high hopes for both platforms in the years to come, but I don't find Apple's watch design to be smarter or better thought-out as it is right now (and I'm typing this on a Macbook Air, so I have an appreciation for Apple).


These were my thoughts too when watching the presentation.

The ironic thing here is that Android Wear seems to be the simpler solution. Android Wear is an extension of your phone - a way to process information on your wrist.

Apple Watch seems to be another way to interact. They mentioned glanceable information as somewhat of a footnone during the presentation (although their implementation seems pretty good). They mostly seemed to focus on additional communication tools, an image viewer, setting up navigation on your watch, having "apps" on your watch. With Apple Watch there is a lot more going on than just contextual information.

Because of that Apple Watch seems to have more features. Those features may make it more useful, but they also might not. Those features do seem to make Apple Watch a more complicated solution. It's hard to see which of these properties make one better over the other, but it's interesting to see the approaches are really quite different.


Having tried out Android Wear once, isn't Apple's implementation of their "Glances" pretty much identical to how notifications work on Android Wear?


It doesn't seem to be completely identical. The way I intepreted is that the information fed to Glances is 100% dependent on the apps on your phone. Android Wear gets fed information both from apps and Google Now. As an example, seeing flight information on your Apple Watch requires you to install an app, whereas on Android Wear it shows up if you Googled that flight once.

So I do think Google has the edge when it comes to (contextual) information in general, but of course Glances is only part of what Apple Watch offers.


I am old enough to remember when the first Mac came out. There was a response to it very much like you see here (only it happened on BBSes because there wasn't much of an "internet") then.

It's been the same way for every major product- iMac was chastised for lacking a floppy drive, the iPod, iPhone and iPad were all poo-poohed.

In every case someone has said "X is better!" And in every case so far that X has turned out to maybe have some particular features, or better stats for some particular stat, but not to be engineered to the level of the Apple product.

Particularly with the android example- the only way they were able to compete was to change from a blackberry copy to an counterfeit iOS interface. Which they did very quickly. I haven't seen anything innovative from Google since 2001 (unless you count gmail as innovative, which I would so, that's the exception.) Android is still a terrible, clunky piece of junk, even with so many years to copy Apple.

We'll see when the Apple watch is on the market - but really, Samsung and Googles watches so far have appeared to be basically copies of guesses of what apple was going to make (given that the Apple watch has been rumored so long) rather than genuinely well considered and innovative devices.

Kinda the way HP put out a "slate" computer at Comdex the year the iPad was announced, Balmer something to go up on stage and brag about and "beat Apple to market with".

I do really wish, if Google wants to compete with Apple, they did something innovative (Microsoft did with their Metro UI) or if not innovative, something really good.

But it seems that in the way that Apple doesn't quite "get" web services, Google doesn't quite get operating systems.

----

Edit: Use android regularly, unfortunately. Google maps in JS was pretty innovative, but I think that's part of the Gmail invention- e.g.: web 2.0. I give google credit for inventing Web 2.0. Or at least pushing it forward quite a bit.


> Android is still a terrible, clunky piece of junk, even with so many years to copy Apple.

Not in the last few years, not even close. Android is pretty amazing right now, I love it.


I'm old enough to remember to spell, and remember when the first Mac came out.

The response has always been the same; one segment pointing out problems, another pointing out how "visionary" the new thing is.

If you are as old as you claim to be, and still fall foul of corporate machinations - then "sucks to be you". Next you'll tell us what your current corporate master told you to say.

There a many things wrong with what you wrote; the most glaring is: "haven't seen anything innovative from Google since 2001".

Later you go on to say, "unless you count gmail".

1. gmail wasn't released until 2004

2. the whole thing called "ads" wasn't available until 2001.

3. Android copied iOS. Which copied Windows. Which copied MacOS. Which copied GEM. Which copied x/PARC. Someone once said "good artists copy, great artists steal".

4. I guess you keep missing the news about Google's moonshot project (loom, wing, self-driving cars).

If you feel condemmed to define yourself by the applications and services that a particular company makes available (be it Google or Microsoft, or Apple), please understand that you are a shill.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2013/08/on-geek-culture/

Neither Superman, nor Google, nor Apple will save you.

Save your energy.


> There a many things wrong with what you wrote; the most glaring is: "haven't seen anything innovative from Google since 2001". Later you go on to say, "unless you count gmail". 1. gmail wasn't released until 2004 2. the whole thing called "ads" wasn't available until 2001. 3. Android copied iOS. Which copied Windows. Which copied MacOS. Which copied GEM. Which copied x/PARC. Someone once said "good artists copy, great artists steal". 4. I guess you keep missing the news about Google's moonshot project (loom, wing, self-driving cars).

Ironically you kind of reinforced his point... Ads was in 2001 - that's his claim of most recent innovation from Google unless you count gmail.

You point out gmail was released in 2004, but he's just said he's not counting gmail.

iOS didn't copy windows at all - it was innovative in that it was by far the best mobile operating system UI. Windows didn't have a mobile operating system at the time

Google's research projects aren't products yet - what happens if they cancel them because they're infeasible in 10 years time?

You could have mentioned chrome/android/chromebook/nexus


  Windows didn't have a mobile operating system at the time
I can only assume you're referring to Windows Phone, which was released after iOS. But you've omitted Windows Mobile, which was released in 2000.


Counting Google's unreleased moonshot products as innovation seems like counting one's chickens before they hatch. It is easy to innovate in the abstract, much harder to fully realize a vision in the form of a product.


Innovation is innovation. Just because an innovation isn't a success in the market place doesn't mean it was not innovative.


Correction:

> Just because an innovation is only a research project*

To which I will have to vehemently disagree with you. Otherwise we'll have to start celebrating science fiction authors for their "innovation."


Science fiction authors don't build things. The driverless cars are real, and they work. The Loon balloons are delivering Internet access to remote regions right now.


For some definition of "work." They are mostly fiction. Unless a "driverless car" is supposed to only really be driverless on the freeway.

The point is that actually shipping a successful product to consumers is the true mark of innovation. Anything else is research.


Providing your own definition of words is a poor way to argue.


This argument is about the definition of the word "innovation." Definitions of words are important, and worth arguing over.


"unreleased products" are definitionally neither successes nor failures in the marketplace.


I don't think iOS copied windows. It doesn't support sizeable overlapping windows. Sure, it displays text and images, but then that isn't really copying Windows is it?

Also, I don't think that the parent commenter said how visionary the products were. He/she merely highlighted the common responses to Apple's releases.

And before you label me a "shill" (is this Slashdot...?!??!!!!?!??!), I am a happy Windows/Mac/Android developer, and I don't have an iPhone.


So what part of our culture don't we buy?


So even when competitors come up with products that Apple hasn't created yet, these competitors are still copying Apple's ideas by guessing what Apple will be doing?

You really need to step out of that distortion field for a little while.


In every case someone has said "X is better!" And in every case so far that X has turned out to maybe have some particular features, or better stats for some particular stat, but not to be engineered to the level of the Apple product.

Apple has turned out some turkeys in its time, but people only seem to remember the highlights.

I haven't seen anything innovative from Google since 2001

That's some powerfully strong blinders you've willingly put on there. And calling maps part of Gmail? Seriously?


When was the last time you used Android?


Very informative, thanks. It made me chuckle when you said that Metro UI was innovative - it really was. Unfortunately, for some of the use-cases they put forward, it isn't really suited or very good.

I mean, on a Mac how many people use Launchpad?


> I mean, on a Mac how many people use Launchpad?

I do when I forget the name of an app. Pinching all five fingers together on a trackpad is super easy. But then again, I also use the Dashboard :)


Ah I see. I shouldn't assume that nobody uses it. I turned off the Dashboard shortcut and made my F keys work like F keys. I typically use Spotlight to launch anything, although there was a time when I used to use Ctrl-F3 to take focus to the Dock, and then open the Applications folder.

I might start using Launchpad more. The transition is pretty!


For the most part, I agree with you... except Android L has me curious, as it seems Google finally does understand operating systems and have built a cohesive whole. Funnily enough, Android Wear plays into that, and despite being someone who uses Apple everything has me considering an Android phone and a Moto 360. It's certainly exciting times no matter where you sit though!


I'd argue that doing Google Maps in JavaScript was innovative. At the time, it blew me away that JS was usable for so complex use cases.


One thing that Google does really innovate in: releasing products to keep up with the competition (typically web-based), then letting them be unmaintained, fester, and then terminating them much to the chagrin of the users.

That's innovative! Apple certainly doesn't do that! Hah!

(I jest, I jest. GMail and Maps have been going for years, and are pretty great , although I don't like the new UI on maps - things pop up from all over the place and the UI elements are teeny weeny. But yes, I'm a happy Google/Android user thanks).

EDIT: Hey! This was meant as a joke! Don't take it too seriously! Don't downvote me to oblivion! Please! Have mercy and compassion!

EDIT: Again! It's a joke! It's a joke! Such downvoting enthusiasm.


> "I think that Apple actually took the easy way out here"

They took the "Microsoft" route.

They refused to make hard decisions about what was right for users and use of this unique platform and it's all pointed in a bad direction for that lack of focus, attention to detail and execution.

Smart Watches -- particularly those that require a smart phone -- have about 2 seconds before you hit the "stylus moment". [1] But the watch demo was oddly fixated on long interactions (the most difficult way to text emoji to date) and stupid interactions (browsing pictures on a 1" screen?).

The cases where watch-interaction makes more (or primary) sense [2] were given very little screen time, or mere lip service. And, oddly enough, those cases seem to have been given more thought and have more obvious, natural, direct, and thus better interactions [3].

Enabling those complex interactions, that are going to be inefficient and annoying, is going to lead to an avalanche of apps that similarly invite users to do things fundamentally ill-suited to a watch. Poorly conceived apps, lazily-ported apps -- The ecosystem as a whole is going to suffer for having that around. [4]

And then there's the interaction methods. iOS was a boon for computer use because it's so obvious, direct and natural. Many/most people never really got the hang of click vs double-click vs right-click. Many struggled with the core indirection of pushing the pointer around the screen with their mouse and the whole "scroll down to push the page up" mess (that only makes sense if you grew up on keyboard-only interaction and the also-awkwardly-named "page up"/down keys).

Apple sweated the details, stripped away the distractions and non-essentials, and they nailed it.

But what does the watch bring? Quick-tap vs long-tap vs force-tap? Are they kidding? Undiscoverable hidden interaction zones in corner(s?) or off-screen-swipes to execute features with no articulated conceptual logic as to "what goes where" or how the (in)existence of those features is even conveyed? Those demo controls showed more arcane gestures than a Harry Potter movie.

And the crown? It zooms the screen, except when it doesn't. It scrolls lists, except when it doesn't. It manipulates input controls, except when it doesn't -- and only if you apply the appropriate tap to successfully shift focus to the desired input. This is a mode-switching UX nightmare.

Stated plainly -- that watch, that demo? -- they blew it.

They've got a few months where they could course-correct. They've got a review step where they could filter out "bad" apps to protect the ecosystem from what they accidentally enabled (and encouraged by focusing the demo on it).

But I am not optimistic that a group who could green-light that demo is capable of discerning the difference. I think Apple's fundamental "taste" is in question. [5]

[1] Jobs famously stated "if you see a stylus, they blew it." The key here is that "blew it" doesn't mean "they made a bad tablet". It means "they never understood mobile or touch." They never understood that the use cases and ergonomics require a fundamental re-thinking of interaction. They never understood that you can't just port over things that worked somewhere else and only make sense given prior experience with something else.

[2] e.g. when the phone itself is less accessible (while exercising, while in-bed, while hands are collecting purchased items), thus giving you longer than 2 seconds before the "I might as well have pulled out my phone" moment. e.g. when direct use of the phone would defeat the feature (to use the watch as remote viewfinder/shutter release for the phone's camera).

[3] notification triage; workout/stopwatch/timer start/stop; simple location-based interactions like payments, unlocking a hotel room door, etc. It all looked far more sane/natural/straightforward.

[4] We all just saw what happened with Microsoft's odd mode-shifting app circus on their Surface tablets. If you enable the "conceptually new, thus more difficult, but right" interaction method and "conceptually familiar, thus easier, and wrong" interaction method, how many devs are really going to put in the work to get it right? Recent experience suggests enough devs will take shortcuts that your users will become frustrated and your ecosystem stained.

[5] I don't think Apple's taste is definitely gone. But the notion that Apple might be "coasting on momentum" is no longer something I can laugh off. Not on a core design level.

And an alternative explanation to "they're coasting" on momentum, is that the Watch is pushing iphone/ipad interactions where they don't belong because Apple's captured by their own momentum. And that's far, far worse.


"Apple has clearly put a lot more thought into how interactions on a device like this should work"

What's interesting to me is the extent to which the Apple Watch is designed to be interacted with, which contrasts strongly with Google's vision of wearables (both Android Wear and Glass) as assistants that are there when you need them, but which otherwise disappear so you can stay immersed in life.


Taco's criticism of the iPod was that it didn't do enough - didn't have enough features, didn't have enough storage etc, and he was rightly panned for getting it wrong. Criticisms of the price or lack of features of Apple products historically have been proved unfounded (it's easy to lower the price and add more features). So I agree if someone says 'but it doesn't do x', they can easily be satisfied by later models.

In contrast, many of the criticisms of this watch centre on the incoherent design, awkward interaction with a physical scroll-wheel AND touch interface (which Apple are not even allowing people to try out in the demos), and the grab-bag of features added to it, apparently without thought about how they all interact. It looks like it does too much, and none of it well.

They can possibly rescue this mess in the time they have before launch by polishing the software, but I'm hesitant about the concept of this scroll wheel (what they call a digital crown), which they have now committed to for the long term, and sounds like it is going to be very awkward when combined with physical touches and on the wrist, and pointless if you also require users to touch the screen. It would have been far nicer just to keep this simpler and use swipes and taps, and not try to hobble it with a traditional 'watch' shape.

It really does feel as if no-one was in charge of the design here, and lots of different teams worked on different features, which were mashed together at the last minute, without someone to force them all to integrate properly. I do believe Apple is entering a new era now - becoming a larger more stable company, and is now led by an operations person (Cook), not someone obsessed with design and willing to take massive risks in pursuit of perfection (Jobs). That is starting to have an effect on the products they make.


I'll make this clear from the start. I'm not an Apple fan (for complex reasons... call it a falling out.)

That said, this is a beautiful piece of design. I think they've outdone themselves with this one, it's a truly wonderful device. Unfortunately, I have a horrible feeling that it will only be a matter of time before we see the usual Samsung vs. Apple patent violation claims being thrown around again (despite any possible prior art etc.).

Personally, I still think the tech isn't quite compact enough yet, but we're only one or two generations away from a slim-line, waterproof, and functionally integrated piece of kit that will actually complement the existing tech. The integration with dive computers / cycling computers / sports cameras / personal drones :-) etc. could be incredible!

Hopefully Apple's entry onto the smart-watch scene doesn't end up mired in too many patent battles... I'd like to see these devices progress as fast as possible!

Bravo Apple design team!


This sounds like a comment from the Apple design team itself.

The Apple watch looks very common and cheap; the only good thing about its look is that it is highly personalizable.


Wow, I never thought I'd be accused of being an Apple shill!

I don't know which bits look common or cheap to you, I quite like the use of Sapphire (usually only used on high end watches) and stainless steel. I just think the unit itself is still a bit chunky, as I'm a fan of slim watches.

As far as personalization goes, I think if there were an identical unit running Android, it would be inherently more tweakable, and the main reason I won't be buying one of these is that it will invariably be designed to only work well with IOS / OSX devices (of which I own none).


I believe the iPod HiFi was a success. The purpose of that product was to create a market for iPod docks. At the time there wash't much of one, and likely Apple had trouble convincing companies like Sony et. al. that they should make them. I bet Apple has made more money from "Made for iPod" licensing as a result of the iPod HiFi (which kickstarted that industry) than their gross revenues from the iPod HiFi.

So, maybe a failure as a product, because it stimulated competition that, if it hadn't come about would have left Apple with a %100 share of iPod docks.

But given how many iPod docks have sold, I'm sure that market would have been viable, even if only Apple were making them.


There were already a lot of other iPod docks on the market when the iPod HiFi came out in 2006. Keep in mind that the dock connector was introduced with the 3rd-generation iPod in 2003 -- it's hardly as though third parties failed to notice the connector for those three years! The Bose SoundDock came out in late 2004, and it was hardly unique, either; this review compares it to several other similar products on the market at the time:

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/bose-sounddoc...


Exactly. The iPod HiFi did its job perfectly. It was designed to stick a rocket up the likes of Bose, Pioneer etc to show that Apple could easily and successfully move into their markets.


Except it was 2 years after Bose had introduced the SoundDock.


> At the time there wash't much of one, and likely Apple had trouble convincing companies like Sony et. al. that they should make them.

What?? The Bose SoundDock was product of the year in 2004 -- 2 years before the iPod HiFi came out. Apple was behind the times and completely missed the mark with the HiFi.


>Apple has clearly put a lot more thought into how interactions on a device

How are we measuring "more thought" now? Mega-Turings?

I think this statement is very unfair to Android Wear. A non-biased look shows some pretty innovative aspects at work and a usable design. Its also really unfair to claim that you know all about the Apple Watch when no one has one yet people have been using AW for months.


I think you're on the right track here.

The idea that Apple is putting out a vision where you can communicate with people nearby in non-verbal ways is really powerful.

You have a company that has managed to deliver an awesome mobile experience on for consumer and enterprise shipping a device that can do everything from payments to health monitoring to door access. That's a ridiculously powerful thing.

What android can or can't do technically doesn't matter. Google, samsung, etc can't make the relationships that Apple can right now.


The good thing is that we all should benefit. I've had NFC on at least my last two phones (maybe 3?), but the hardware is not ubiquitous enough to matter. I'm assuming that there's nothing locking the POS hardware into Apple Pay, and so NFC payments become a thing everyone can use.


Exceptions that Apple has negotiated "card-present" rates from banks for apple pay, because they believe touch-id, tokenized cc numbers, and the secure enclave are such an effective fraud prevention mechanism that they have shouldered extra fraud risk for the banks. I'd argue that no one in the android space can match this at scale. With the lower rates apple can either make bank or pass through better rates to merchants, which means that apple pay suddenly becomes the preferred payment method for a tonne of large merchants.


I guess what I'm asking though is can the reader differentiate between the two? My understanding is that Apple sends a one-time use card number to the reader, so maybe it's possible for the software could run some variation of a Luhn check or whatever to figure out if it's an Apple generated number, but failing that, isn't the communication protocol between the phone and the payment terminal standardized?

In other words, can a merchant reasonably accept Apple Pay without accepting Google Wallet? I'd be surprised if they could, but I don't really know -- I'm legitimately asking.

A quick bit of Google indicates ISO14443 and EMV as the relevant protocols, but I'm not 100% sure there's not some incompatible extension thing going on that would preclude treating different companies' implementations the same.


Exceptions that Apple has negotiated "card-present" rates from banks for apple pay

Somehow this has taken off as a talking point, yet all NFC secure element payment solutions qualify as "card present". Google Wallet, for example, is card present. The NFC on my card is card present.

It isn't about negotiations, but indicates the security of the presentation. NFC secure elements are considered card equivalent.


Out of curiosity are tap-to-pay credit cards and POS devices common where you live?

(Also where do you live? lol)

Here in Vancouver, BC I would say these sales terminals are becoming quite common place.


I'm in Iceland, and I don't really see them much (if ever). Chip and pin readers are the norm here, and you can completely function without cash, but I don't notice contactless options really.

I'll take this opportunity to also say that Apple Maps still don't work here. By which I mean, they don't work at all. They have no data. The entire app is little more than a graphic of a map and a UIAlertView that says "No results found".


Here in the UK there are NFC payment points all over the place, but no mobile payment systems support them; it's all US-only.


I've seen a lot of people bring up that infamous comment, but I don't think it proves much - if we say it applies to everything Apple does then it means that Apple are never wrong. They can be, and inevitably one day they will be.


The main difference between dismissing an iPod and an Apple Watch is that, disregarding cost, the latter asks for the fairly significant "lifestyle change" if you don't already wear a watch.


Moto360 may not be svelte, but the attachment of the band is not at the edges - which make it fit better on smaller wrists like mine.


it's hard for me not to recall Commander Taco's (in)famous dismissal of the original iPod when I browse these comments

You should also remember that he was hardly in the majority with those comments. Further he was technically correct, and the iPod succeeded because of a synergy with other parts of Apple's empire (notably iTunes).

But what's really interesting to me is that Apple has clearly put a lot more thought into how interactions on a device like this should work than anybody else.

How so? Google put, it seems, enormous thought and effort into Android Wear. It is a whole interaction and ecosystem built specifically for smart watches. Because Tim Cook gives some trite speech about not using a smartphone OS on a watch (this was, it is worth noting, not long after celebrating how xcode now supports dynamic layouts...you know, the thing that Android did a half a decade ago, and was widely deridden as "running smartphone apps on a tablet")?

You've tried to cover every possible Apple defense, so you seem pretty committed, but you have to understand that a lot of people are derisive because we've been hearing the Apple faithful railing about these same attributes of competitor devices for months. Announcing before availability, large and bulky, needs to be tethered to a device, square, and so on...I have to imagine all of those once liabilities will suddenly turn into strengths.

I love my Apple products, but there is absolutely no doubt that there is a distortion field, and it really is hard to stomach.


I completely agree, having watched this year's Google I/O panel on smartwatch interaction design, it is very obvious that Google has put an enormous amount of thought into their watch platform. They came to a fundamentally different conclusion for what a smartwatch should do, and I really enjoy the experience. The contextual information from Google Now is incredibly useful and it feels like my watch tells me not only what time it is, but information personally tailored to my lifestyle. For example, I always go out after work on Tuesdays, and right now my watch is telling me that there is lots of traffic on the way to my favorite bar. In the morning, it tells me how long my commute will be and what the weather will be that day. I can start navigation from my watch with my voice and get every direction as I need it. I can control any music player with notification support. I don't run any interaction-heavy apps on my watch, and I can't imagine ever wanting to do so. The thought of browsing a photo library or sending my heartbeat to someone seem like features for the sake of having features but in reality are completely unnecessary.


Your comment has given me my first quantifiable measured sensation of feeling old. if you go out every Tuesday, you will learn the traffic patterns, and will naturally develop a series of contingency routes that you could take in the event of traffic. The watch is novelty more than useful. It will make you forget how you used to do things and in turn feel dependent on it, when in fact it is simply a novelty that distracted you so much that you forgot that what you were doing was fine.


I couldn't up-vote this more! I just don't have a compelling reason to use such a device. Weather, traffic, map and such data is just novelty for me. If I question myself what can I do with watch that isn't possible otherwise there's just one or two (heart rate monitor and perhaps chat). Even those aren't really necessities as much as novelty. Perhaps app developers will come up with good problems to solve but I can't think of any use case right now.


It will be interesting to see @gruber's behavior with regards to the watch. He seems more or less condemned to buy and wear one all the time given who he is. Will he find it actually useful or more of a pain? I could see an over/under betting pool on the number of days it would take before he ultimately decides to give up on it.


Search for and read my reply elsewhere in this topic for my use case. I admit this isn't a device for everyone, but some of us find it to be incredibly useful.


^ This.

I was actually quite disturbed with the Apple unveiling of the watch, I know it has been expected and what not. But a device that is literally monitoring my heart rate constantly all day, guiding me down a street with "gentle taps like a person" to tell me which direction to go. I feel like a small part of humanity is being optimised away. It's an incredibly scary thought.


These kinds of things have been happening to the human experience for some time now. I don't need to ask anyone how to get anywhere, or figure out how to navigate there with the rise of GPS on devices I have with me all the time. I can have food brought to my doorstep without ever talking to anyone.

At the same time, it's enabling exciting new possibilities. I can meet people with shared interests in a huge multitude of ways. I can talk to practically anyone I've ever met within a minute. I can learn how to do almost anything at a basic level given some modest interest and an Internet connection.

I think people are only beginning to realize the all-encompassing nature of how technology is affecting how we live, because it has become so incredibly pervasive and is moving so quickly. The human experience is most definitely changing, but it's not all for the worse. It's easy to be sentimental about the past, but the possibilities are often too enticing to hold onto those relics in favor of new things.


The taps guiding someone down the street struck me as being useful to blind people. Imagine if white canes became museum pieces in our lifetime because the blind become equipped with GPS enabled wearables.


Well, white canes are more about locating curbs and fire hydrants and other people than they are about finding where you are on a map. But we can and should imagine a future in which blind people have prosthetic aids that give at least limited senses of sight to the blind, enough to avoid tripping and obstacles (and the white cane). That seems eminently within reach in the next couple of decades, if not the next five years.

Here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_prosthesis


I don't necessarily think that these advancements are entirely a bad thing; I just think that there is the strong possibility that they could encourage negative traits with future generations. Using technology to better peoples lives is a tremendous thing, but using it as a crutch to enable accidie is worrying. Perhaps I'm just a pessimist.


Your comment doesn't resonant with me.

I have an hour commute in the bay area twice a day, I used waze(now owned by Google) every trip. It's rare that it routes me in the same route twice in a row, there are all sorts of dynamic conditions that affect traffic conditions, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Waze also alerts my departure time and accurate ETA to my wife, which is also pretty cool.

Google now is also really cool, if creepy. It sees the airplane ticket confirmation in my email, or a concert ticket, it computes realtime traffic information, then gives me a heads up that I may want to start thinking about leaving, without any input from me.

This seems like a much better system them relying on myself to set some sort of calendar event which is not at all reactive to any dynamic conditions and is predicated on me to remember to do so. It also does this without any input from myself. I see it as an actual step in the direction of "Personal Digital Assistant" that was promised to us so long ago and services like google now are just in their infancy.

Now saying all that, I have no plays of going to Apple, I don't like their close-ecosystem, and have little faith that the iwatch will be the cash cow that the iphone/ipad was for Apple. I have for quite a long time and still do feel that Apple pulled a one/two hit wonder by being in the right place at the right time with the right team.


This comment is a repeat of many similar comments on older technologies. I don't mean to say the sentiment is wrong, but technological assistance in small ways can potentially lead to a bigger impact. A book I'd recommend that relates to this topic is Smarter Than You Think which put a lot of this stuff in perspective for me.


Even if you go out every Tuesday, you can't anticipate anomalous events which may impact traffic. I use Google Maps even when I'm going to a known destination, because it will tell me if there is a traffic problem on my normal route before I encounter it and enable me to route around it easily.


Is it more likely thinking of use-cases for the device instead of the other way around? With new technology, some people make out that they cannot possibly live without it and give a list of scenarios where they would use it, but in reality do they really have those scenarios particularly when the novelty of a new material device has worn off?


But learning those things doesn't add as much value to the economy. Technology has an unintended consequence of squeezing every last drop of market-lusting value out of you.


Which watch are you using? I've been using a pebble and while it's good it doesn't have the level of interaction you're discussing.


Those are all Android Wear features, so any of a number of devices.


The LG G Watch.


Candidate for cloning!


“the iPod succeeded because of a synergy with other parts of Apple's empire”

That is absolute crap. iTunes had no foothold to speak of in the marketplace. The notion of Apple having an "empire" at the time of the iPod’s release (or even at the time of the iPod’s mainstream success) was laughable.


It absolutely did. You may have forgotten, but the early success of iTunes/iPod was in being able to organize your music and get it on your device. iTunes/iPod was the first to really get this right on any kind of scale. And, compared to the competition of the time, they really nailed it. So, a phone that had that integrated was a really big deal, even if it couldn't run any apps (as the first iPhone did and couldn't).


The first generation iPod was Mac only. The 2nd generation iPod was Mac + Windows but iTunes was still Mac only. Windows syncing was done with third party software (Musicmatch Jukebox)

iTunes did not have a foothold in the marketplace until after the success of the iPod was evident.


The ipod was a complete failure when it was Mac only, and it didn't start picking up steam until iTunes was on windows. When it did start picking up steam, it was ipod and itunes together that sky-rocketed in unison, which seems to lend credence to the idea that it was the itunes ecosystem in conjunction with the ipod hardware that created success for apple in that space.

As far as you "success of the ipod was evident" comment, that seems like solid case of hindsight on your part.


That's not how I remember it. iTunes was released before OS X. It was a time when Apple was more or less a joke of a company, surviving because of the hard-core few who refused to abandon it. Somewhat of an oddity.

The iPod did not work on Windows (which was, what, 99% market-share in those days?) and required this insane thing called Firewire. Firewire. Even the name was funny to me.

I was a Linux fan-boy, patiently waiting for The Year Of The Linux Desktop, and was quite dismissive of that bulky little device, much like everyone else who was a techie. The Rio or whatever is what people were sporting.

And yet it basically destroyed the entire Taiwanese MP3 player market in the US in what, 2 years? Nokia should have seen it coming 7 years later...


I didn't mean first gen. But later. The iPod + iTunes was the first setup that worked well on Windows that I ever used. And I was coming from a NOMAD Jukebox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_NOMAD#NOMAD_Jukebox_Ze...


There was no "early success" for the iPod. It was a failure until the third generation, when it finally got PC support.


The fact that Macs were a small niche was instrumental for the music industry to accept to put legal songs online after the Napster coup. It allowed Steve Jobs to convince them to support trying the model of all songs at the same price because the potential market was so small it didn't really matter if it worked or failed. By being able to conduct a business experiment in a way no one else could, Apple had a huge edge here. The music industry would not have accepted to try such a model directly on Windows at the time and Apple got a huge lead.


The fact that it got to a 3rd generation implies it wasn't a "failure"


Sort of related to your comment: IMO the common thread in all (recent-ish?) Apple products is that the first iteration is usually rough around the edges and met with the most amount of criticism, then what always seems to happen is that Apple takes the feedback to heart and massively improves on subsequent iterations. Some examples I can think of:

* While the first MacBook Air was crazy expensive and nearly universally panned for lack of a DVD-ROM drive, the MBA was repositioned in 2011 as the ultraportable replacement for the MacBook and is now the best-selling Mac.

* The first iPhone was blasted for its absurd price (due in part to lack of carrier subsidization), lack of 3G, lack of copy and paste (remember how upset people got about this? lol) and no third party apps. By the time the 3G rolled around, most of the software concerns were addressed and the price drop made sales jump $10m from 2007 to 2008.

* The first iPad (also known as the iTampon if you were following Twitter on the day it was announced) was criticized as being a giant iPhone, having a low pixel density (merely 1024x768), and lacking any ability to get "real work" done on it. Each iteration of the iPad has gotten more and more positive reviews due to the incremental changes (mostly in processor and pixel density) made over the years.

It more or less goes without saying, then, that I'm not really surprised that people expected more from the Apple Watch. Apple's really fortunate to have such a great community of rabid early adopters who are more than happy to put its products through the ringer and hold Apple to a higher standard.


In many of those example, people complained about it, but it was still a success. People complained about the first iPhone, and yet bought it in droves.

"Failure" is not determined by "lots of complaints", but by "very few sales"


Implication is even a weaker relationship than correlation.

And as a counter-point, the Surface RT has a second generation and may have a third. Does this imply success, or that MS went "all in"?


Even then, as I recall iTunes was widely bashed? Its UI was obviously Apple UI on Windows, ignoring all Windows UI guidelines.


Even then, as I recall iTunes was widely bashed?

Was?

iTunes is still the same trainwreck that it was 10 years ago.

Apple seems to work hard to keep it the same sluggish nightmare, no matter how fast the hardware becomes that it runs on.


I was being optimistic :-)

I don't use it on Windows anymore - and I only installed it on there out of interest! Same went for Safari on Windows.


Wait, Windows had UI guidelines?

(Winamp was very popular on Windows, it had no UI guidelines whatsoever)


They didn't really use any of the Windows UI widgets. Tough to blame Windows for that.


It's a trainwreck on Mac too. I use my iPod only when I go on holidays, say 3 - 4 times per year. I dread the moment I have to use iTunes to fill my iPod with songs. It causes me nothing but stress, which is exactly the opposite of what Apple is about.


I only use it on the Mac to turn off the "automatic sync" feature on the iPod, and to do a manual backup of my wife's iPad. I must say that the backup interface for the iPad within iTunes is pretty poor. Not the feature - the interface. Mighty confused.

I use Floola to shove songs on my iPod. Might be worth a look? (Mine is a 6th-gen classic).


Floola looks perfect, will check this out at home. Thanks!


That's still quite early in its life. And before the iPhone. The iPhone then capitalized on iTunes' success.


GGP is talking about the iPod, not the iPhone. GP is right that iTunes had no foothold when the iPod was released, and Apple had no "empire."


How did this suddenly get redefined to "when released"? If that is the case, Taco's widely criticized assessment was dead on - the iPod was initially a failure.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Total_ipod_sales.svg

We know that it took off, but that was wholly on the back of iTunes - 0.99 tracks and much easier use than competitors sold the iPod, not some fundamental excellence of the device.

People forget now but while we revile iTunes generally now, at the time it was the killer feature of the iPod, and the initial iPhone success.


You are wrong.

iTunes was such a monumental hit that it carried iPods with it - there's even a business case on the matter:

http://hbr.org/product/apple-inc-ipods-and-itunes/an/905M46-...


The best way to win an argument is to avoid one.

I've learned that this works with women as well.


Yes, there kind of is a distortion field, but I'd argue it's with notions like "Apple has never announced a major product months before availability" and "nobody has ever made a large square watch." Both of these are trivially demonstrated false. And I'm sure Google has put thought and effort into Android Wear, but what you dismiss as a "trite speech from Tim Cook" looks to me like a stake in the ground. Google says you can shrink smartphone UX to a smartwatch; Apple says you shouldn't, and you should do these other things instead. This informs a whole lot of things about the way the UX works. The Apple Watch's relationship to the Moto 360 looks to me less like the iPhone 6's relationship to the Moto X than like the original iPhone's relationship to other high-end smartphones of 2007: obviously a lot of shared DNA, but trying to address the same problem space in a measurably different way.

Yes, Android had dynamic layout before iOS. And? Qt had it before everyone. As a general rule, everything everyone ever gets enthusiastic about can be safely dismissed as having first appeared in a Nokia product that all 27 Finns who bought it are still fanatical about. Also, it was probably implemented in Lisp.


I own an Android Wear watch, and the only thing it has in common with Android for phones is the name. "Google says you can shrink smartphone UX to a smartwatch" is a gross misrepresentation.


> Google says you can shrink smartphone UX to a smartwatch; Apple says you shouldn't, and you should do these other things instead.

The fact that you believe what Apple says about Google rather than taking the two minutes to actually look at how Android Wear works and see that that statement is completely false shows that the distortion field is in full effect.


I mean, this is the same company that, during the keynote today, repeated the lie that they're the mob that brought us the computer mouse. People just accept Apple's misstatements and half-truths and outright lies as fact now.


Did they actually say that? What's the exact quote? I thought they said something about all their products using innovative interfaces, not that the innovations were theirs.

Still, when they were talking about the digital crown, they did make it sound like they were trying to claim they invented the optical rotary encoder.


"Macintosh introduced the mouse." from the official liveblog:

http://www.apple.com/live/2014-sept-event/2cd7d38c-f769-4fc4...


"Introduced" is a subjective word. The Alto had a mouse, but I don't think it was used outside PARC. It doesn't seem too far from the truth to say that the Macintosh introduced the mouse to the world.


The Apple Lisa had a mouse so if we are looking for inaccuracies that is a better argument to start with..


It was the first PC that was widely available, that shipped with a mouse. There were mice before that of course. But the Macintosh was centered around the use of the mouse.


During the keynote stream they retweeted someone saying the iPhone 6 Plus would render games at a higher resolution than next-gen consoles!


Marketing departments have always had a tenuous relationship with reality.


That's a real pity. It sours their other statements and makes them untrustworthy if even just one false statement is made.


They were the first company to make a successful mouse based computer. What are you claiming is a lie?


> Google says you can shrink smartphone UX to a smartwatch

Citation needed. As GP said, the Android Wear team has considered the UX for wearables from the ground up.

You're delusional.


I agree with your point, but there's no need for name-calling.


"The Apple Watch's relationship to the Moto 360 looks to me less like the iPhone 6's relationship to the Moto X than like the original iPhone's relationship to other high-end smartphones of 2007: obviously a lot of shared DNA, but trying to address the same problem space in a measurably different way."

If you ignore the LG Prada.


The LG Prada was an impressive piece of hardware and certainly pointed in the same direction, sure, but it was essentially a feature phone -- a smaller, lower-resolution, grayscale display with no Internet capability to speak of. You had to use a virtual phone keyboard for text messaging, even. There was certainly nothing like Safari, for instance, or any of Apple's messaging applications.

Actually, I'd say that the best iPhone-before-iPhone was the Danger Hiptop (a/k/a T-Mobile Sidekick). Much more data capability than almost anything else, a reasonably good browser, and even an app store. It'd be interesting to see where that evolutionary line would have been in 2014 if it hadn't been killed by iOS and Android. (And by Microsoft buying Danger and mangling it to hell, of course.)


The standard definition of "featurephone" is not having the ability to install apps. Like the original iPhone, which intended you to use web apps apart from those built in.

As you say, others had app stores first. If Android had launched without the ability to install apps then some Apple blogs would still be talking about how it was fundemantally not designed for the current smartphone era and would never be as good as the iPhone, as they currently do based on misinterpretation of whether touchscreens were intended to be supported from the start.


> The standard definition of "featurephone" is not having the ability to install apps.

I disagree with that definition: For example all cheapest Nokia phones since a long time ago supported (roughly when they got color screens, some even before that) installing J2ME applications. Same for cheap Samsungs and LGs of the same time.

And these are definitely not smart phones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_3410 ""Downloadable personal applications via Java technology""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Java_Platform,_Micro_Edition


Didn't wxWidgets have dynamic layout before Qt? Also, didn't Gtk 1 rely on sizers too?


but I'd argue it's with notions like "Apple has never announced a major product months before availability" and "nobody has ever made a large square watch."

You've soundly beaten down notions that I certainly didn't state. Nor have I seen everyone else. However the narrative among the Apple camp was that competitors were desperately rushing to deliver vapour, and that their stodgy square mega watches were non-starters.

Yes, Android had dynamic layout before iOS. And? Qt had it before everyone.

Again, you've firmly argued against something not being discussed. No one ever claimed that Android was first, however Android was quite specifically criticized by Apple (as were, tellingly, larger smartphones, and smaller tablets, and people eat it up). Because it turns out that Apple just says today whatever benefits their contemporary product line, much like just about every other company. And that's fine, but somehow it turns into higher meaning.


Sorry but you keep bringing up dynamic layouts without having a clue why they were introduced.

It wasn't to create a "one app, run many" type system that Android has. It was merely to help developers support the different screen sizes within each category (iPhone, iPad). Apple still encourages developers to have UIs that are specifically tailored to the iPhone or iPad experience.


> Apple still encourages developers to have UIs that are specifically tailored to the iPhone or iPad experience.

iOS 8 introduces a concept called Size Classes, and the tl;dr is that the iPhone 6+ in landscape is considered a tablet.


Apple still encourages developers to have UIs that are specifically tailored to the iPhone or iPad experience.

You mean exactly like Android.

Pretty remarkable having clueless people telling me that I don't know what I'm talking about: I develop in both Android and iOS. But please, inform me.


No. Android doesn't have controls that behave very differently on tablets versus phones (regardless of screen sizes) e.g. UIActionSheet or only exist on tablets e.g. UIPopoverController.

Apple baked into the SDK what it tells developers: iPhones and iPads are different devices that need different UIs. Android doesn't have this clear delineation.


What would be the point of behaving differently regardless of screen size? The screen size is the difference that causes different behavior between tablet and phone, or at least it should be so. If the screen size is the same, why have different UI?


I can't speak to Apple's intentions but it is what makes iOS fundamentally different to Android. It could be related to product marketing. People buy iPads for fundamentally different use cases than buying a phone (even a large one).

Edit: Because I am being downvoted so heavily for this let me be clear. I don't agree with what Apple did only trying to explain it. I would imagine that Apple never expected to be releasing phones and tablets that are so close in physical size to each other.


Okay, can you give me an example of a ui element that would be usefully different on a 6" phone vs a 6" tablet?


Unlock screen. Inactivity timer. Lockscreen alert message. Wifi configuration. Notification center.


Maybe I'm blind to evidence but why should they be different?


Phones are single-user, tablets can support multiple. Tablets are more often out when unused, phones are typically in your pocket. Phones are always with you, tablets are more likely to be left at home.


This looks like putting the cart before the horse to me. One can say "we have one-user UI and multi-user UI", etc. - that's good. But saying "this is a tablet so you always get multi user UI and this is a phone so you always get single user UI" looks wrong for me - the purpose of the user should be driving the UI, not the other way around. Of course, maybe the whole point of Apple is to drive user's choice and thus make them comfortable by not confusing them with too much variety and options. I see how this can appeal to some people though I am definitely not one of them. That's why the only Apple device I've ever owned - an iPad - has been collecting dust in a desk drawer since the minute I've got an Android tablet. I guess these are just two different models of user interaction that appeal to different kinds of people.


Ok for the multiple user support. I didn't think about that. However http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/06/android-smartphones-are-a...

Furthermore if the phone is as large as the tablet maybe your tablet is your phone or viceversa. There are tablets that can make phone calls with regular phone SIM cards. Example: the Galaxy Tab 3 which starts at 7". I've seen people doing that without a earpiece. An odd sight.


Yes, those are OS elements. Not so much app widgets...


They are part of the UI. That's all the question asked.


> but there is absolutely no doubt that there is a distortion field, and it really is hard to stomach.

Its... it's a consumer electronics brand. I'll truly never understand how this stuff gets people so riled up. I mean, I used to get all hot and bothered when I followed smartphones (2006 represent!), but nowadays we're at a point where every gadget is just a riff on another gadget, and that's fine. Now no matter what brand I'm using, things just work they way I want them too, and that makes me happy.


I agree with you. I'll be seeing some of my friends tonight that own Samsungs, and I can already hear the derisive "hah Apple is playing catch up and ripping off Samsung again". Nearly everything is derivative in some way or another. I just don't care either way.

My personal preference is apple. I have other apple devices, I'm used to apple devices, and they are comfortable to me. But if you like Samsung, that's cool too.

And I don't like the meme that says I, as an apple device owner, criticise everything else "the competition" does yet celebrate it when apple do it. I'm not that person, and most people I know aren't that person.


Its... it's a consumer electronics brand

Of extraordinary social and technological importance. I work in technology, and shifts in mobile technology have significant impacts on my life.

I can understand if this were a knitting board and someone made a comment like yours. In technology, however, it is extremely pertinent to what we do.


It may be pertinent to what we do and affect our lives and may have limited social importance in our social circles, but they are really first-world issues. People getting incensed or stressed about a new gadget does really pale into insignificance compared to the slaughter of people in wars around the world and the ongoing poverty around the world. Perhaps the social circles we frequent need to be less shallow if they are obsessed with gadgets?

I think the thing that many commenters miss is their perspective, and it is a sad missing factor. It also makes these discussions appear trivial and very petty; look at old Slashdot archives discussing new products and it is pretty sad.

Just a thought. Keep me in the loop with your knitting board.... :-)


> You should also remember that he was hardly in the majority with those comments. Further he was technically correct, and the iPod succeeded because of a synergy with other parts of Apple's empire (notably iTunes).

I think that's a very weak argument, as iTunes wasn't available for the PC market for years. The Mac market at that point was nascent and lots of people were buying iPods w/o the ability to use iTunes.


> The Mac market at that point was nascent and lots of people were buying iPods w/o the ability to use iTunes.

The iPod was supported on Windows before iTunes was available through Musicmatch Jukebox, which Apple bundled with Windows iPods. I don't think there were many people buying iPods before then just to look at. :)


He didn't say they were. You seem to be in violent agreement.


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Total_ipod_sales.svg

Very few bought the iPod in the first two years, and it was a commercial failure. It was iTunes on Windows that brought it mainstream.


>not long after celebrating how xcode now supports dynamic layouts...you know, the thing that Android did a half a decade ago, and was widely deridden as "running smartphone apps on a tablet"

The way Xcode (and iOS8) support dynamic layouts is nothing like Android.

Xcode 6 allows you to have multiple designs/constaints within the same UI file, for different screen sizes.

Dynamic layout a'la Android is "one size fits all", which is no way similar to what's Apple doing.

___

Since I'm getting heavily downvoted, I'd like at least a chance to clarify.

I'm perfectly aware that it is technically possible to create universal tablet/phone Android app, with separate layouts for each. However, that's not what's usually being done.

I believe reasons for this for two-fold:

1. Google's initial message after introducing tablets didn't push hard enough for separate UI (or didn't at all) 2. Developers mentality

@2: I think it's just a different way that the two ecosystem operates. When Apple tells developers to jump, devs ask how high. When Google tells developers to jump, they go "yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man".


No, on Android, you create as many specific layouts as you want, based on combinations of screen size, density, orientation, language, etc. Within each of those layouts, you specify how you want the system to scale the UI up for those you don't specify.


Dynamic layout a'la Android is "one size fits all", which is no way similar to what's Apple doing.

Aside from CSS-type "responsive" design, Android layouts have always had resource tags, which means that you can set different layouts for screen sizes, orientations, pixel densities, cultures, text direction, and so on.

Apps that didn't demonstrate this on tablets were as they were because the developers were lazy or simply didn't care, not because of a limitation of the platform.


Maybe I should've added "as practiced", since all the apps I'm using are still pretty much blown-up versions of their phones counterparts.

I haven't picked up my Android tablet in like half a year now, does Twitter and Facebook have a proper tablet android app by now?


"As practiced" is key. The two systems have the same capabilities, and as far as I can tell are about equally easy to use "correctly". On Android, a lot of developers have used the system to build apps which just expand stupidly on tablets. Will Apple developers do the same, or will they be smarter? Either way, it won't be because of the underlying technology.


> How so? Google put, it seems, enormous thought and effort into Android Wear. It is a whole interaction and ecosystem built specifically for smart watches. Because Tim Cook gives some trite speech about not using a smartphone OS on a watch (this was, it is worth noting, not long after celebrating how xcode now supports dynamic layouts...you know, the thing that Android did a half a decade ago, and was widely deridden as "running smartphone apps on a tablet")?

Have you ever tried android wear? I read/watched some reviews (even with the 360) and seems to me far to be a completed thing.

Don't get me wrong, I have an android phone (and the only one) however, I really don't get it. Seems to me that the only intent of google is avoid an Apple monopoly without trying to bring something on the table.

Android itself is barely okay, however if you add custom OEM modifications + carrier modifications (really carriers allowed to write software???) to me the matter become just about "flag".


"Have you ever tried android wear? I read/watched some reviews (even with the 360) and seems to me far to be a completed thing."

Yes, quite a lot. Have you?

Additionally, apple's device won't even be out for a minimum of 3 months (assuming it came out in january).

Which is the not completed thing again?

Truthfully, seeing what I saw, Apple's watch is just not a leap forward in any interesting way i can think of over android wear.

Maybe it'll win because of better marketing or whatever. But it's interface did not look appreciably better to me, nor did it have anything that i would consider "a killer app" that android wear does not.

(I mainly use my wear device to track my running and biking paces, display notes like shopping lists, and display texts so that i know whether i should pull out my phone to respond to the person)

They could have chosen some axis to improve upon - waterproofness (i can scuba dive with my pebble but not my wear device), battery life, screen[1], whatever.

They are trying "software". Sometimes this is good, sometimes it's not (again though, I also don't find the ipad interface so much better than the android one. For the things i do on these devices, the ipad is a slim win, but has a shittier software keyboard by far).

[1] Sapphire is not interesting to me. My watch does not sit in my pocket with things likely to scratch it. I woodwork, and have worn wear devices for 6+ months now, and while i've scratched phones from chisels, saw blades, etc, i've never scratched my watch.

A higher res display or something would have been cooler.


On the other hand high-end wrist watches have been using sapphire crystal faces for over 30 years, so there's probably something in it. I have one - my watch still looks perfect 8 years since I got it.


Sapphire is nicer on really high end stuff just for protection purposes. It's abrasion resistance is much much higher. If i was buying a smartwatch for 10 years, i'd agree it'd be a great feature. But i don't, i buy them for 3 years.

High end watches have it for the same reason - people expect them to last forever.

If people are expecting a smartwatch (apple's or anyones) to last them 10 years, sapphire is going to be the least of their problems :)

FWIW: The reason they likely didn't put it on phones is because they haven't solved the brittleness problem that nobody else has really solved that well. If you drop sapphire, it tends to shatter. If you drop gorilla glass, it tends to bounce.

It makes sense on watches because nobody really drops watches that often, since they are normally held on your wrists by bands.


Lifetime will definitely be shorter than a luxury watch but 'face time' will be far greater (time spent actually looking at the face). So still seems like an excellent feature to me.


> Truthfully, seeing what I saw, Apple's watch is just not a leap forward in any interesting way i can think of over android wear.

Isn't this the whole point?

When iPod, iPhone and iPad were first announced, it wasn't immediately obvious (to everyone) that they were a huge leap forward. It's not until people actually use them and we have the luxury of hindsight that we can say how groundbreaking they might have been.


"Isn't this the whole point?"

No

"It's not until people actually use them and we have the luxury of hindsight that we can say how groundbreaking they might have been."

I'm not even sure what to make of this statement. There have been a lot of history rewrites on why the iPhone succeeded. If you want to say "we should wait and see", i'm fine with that. If you are saying "i'm sure they are amazing, and we are all just dumb for second guessing apple", this sounds a lot like the emperors new clothes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Apple had plenty of failures in the past that get glossed over and disappear (remember their social network?). This is true even of hardware (remember the cube? whee) and other major features.

While I doubt they'd get called out over it in the media, it may just disappear the same way a lot of other things did that didn't work out.

So assuming it will be one of the revolutionary devices, despite it seeming like it won't be, is a little too much for me. Happy to be wrong of course (i'd love to buy one if it's truly better), but not going to put faith in them :)


> If you want to say "we should wait and see", i'm fine with that. If you are saying "i'm sure they are amazing, and we are all just dumb for second guessing apple", this sounds a lot like the emperors new clothes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. I'm kind of saying both. Of course, I'm holding off on judging until people actually use it. I know past performance does not guarantee future results, but it's hard not to see a pattern in Apple's products announcements.


> Which is the not completed thing again?

Apple Watch is not available yet, so I don't see the point. I rather prefer to buy something within few months than a "prototype" at retail price.

Can I ask you what is the android "wear", the only one I read some good things is the 360 (also announced 3/4 months before selling it) but it's not 6 months old.


"Apple Watch is not available yet, so I don't see the point. I rather prefer to buy something within few months than a "prototype" at retail price."

Uh, what makes you think it also won't be essentially a prototype, like the iphone's first software basically was (web apps only), etc?

"Can I ask you what is the android "wear", the only one I read some good things is the 360 (also announced 3/4 months before selling it) but it's not 6 months old. " Android wear is the name of the device operating system for the android watches.

As for hardware, I've actually tried literally all of them. Right now, a samsung gear live happens to sit on my wrist most of the time. The retail 360 is not 6 months old, that is certainly correct. I can assure you i have worn wear devices for > 6 months :)

As for "what you read good things about", i don't know what to tell you. I actually tend to try things out more than just believing whatever the internet happens to think on a given day, which is heavily influenced (in all directions).


Apple's execution on what came to be core "built-in" smartphone features with the iPhone 1 was arguably better than any other implementation that had ever been on the market. It's not reasonable to refer to it as a "prototype".

It's germane to this discussion, because even though I'm as baffled as you are by the thought of the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory, there's some evidence that if Apple can nail the basics of the device and has the market targeted right, this will be looked at years from now as a successful product iteration. Not the Apple Watch in general as a product line, but this particular version of it.


as far as i'm concerned, anyone who dismisses sapphire crystal on a watch as some kind of useless feature isn't to be taken seriously about watches, smart or otherwise.


"as far as i'm concerned, anyone who dismisses sapphire crystal on a watch as some kind of useless feature isn't to be taken seriously about watches, smart or otherwise."

Compared to gorilla glass, on a watch that lasts 3-5 years? Why?

What do you think sapphire buys you? Have you ever done tests (I know for a fact that at least one of the very high end watchmakers didn't)?

In any case, high end watches last 30 years. Sapphire makes sense on that.

It's nice, don't get me wrong, but i don't see it as a prerequisite to having a good smartwatch that lasts 3-5 years.


There is no way the watch will last 3-5 years. The original iPad lasted two years in terms of software updates, the original iPhone had one more year. But most importantly, the watch is about fashion, and as soon as v2 or v3 is only half as big as v1, everyone carrying a v1 will look like a clumsy nerd from the past.

I think the v1 will only look fashionable for at most two years.


sapphire's selling point is scratch and crack resistance, i.e. strength. the ability to last 30 years is a byproduct of that strength. you can put unused pyrex on a shelf and it'll last 30 years. but try dropping it on your kitchen floor.

every single non-sapphire watch i own has scratches on the glass. i've broken the screen on every single generation of phone to date. however, none of my sapphire automatics have a single flaw - the glass is still perfect after years of very frequent use, dropping, hitting against things, etc.

you just sound like a person who hasn't worn a watch for very long, or don't have a range of watches to compare against each other.

and i disagree with your fundamental point, which is that sapphire has no value on a device that lasts only a few years. of course it does - it's extremely strong material that withstands impact.


first, "strength" is not a thing. You need to be very specific what you are talking about. Scratch and crack resistance are very different things (one usually measured by taber, and the other by various other methods), and combining them is meaningless.

So is "crack resistance". Do you mean when someone tries to indent it? DO you mean when flexed in some other specific way? Do you specifically mean when dropped?

Materials have very different properties depending on what you are asking.

You can't just combine these very different things into some measure without some actual methodology for doing so.

"you just sound like a person who hasn't worn a watch for very long, or don't have a range of watches to compare against each other. "

I have done both.

"and i disagree with your fundamental point, which is that sapphire has no value on a device that lasts only a few years. of course it does - it's extremely strong material that withstands impact. "

This is just fundamentally false. Sapphire does not withstand impact compared to gorilla glass (or almost any glass). Sapphire is also very well known to be brittle.

But you don't have to take my word for it, it's been tested:

http://www.ubreakifix.com/blog/sapphire-screen-drop-test-the...

Sapphire cracks at 3ft drop, gorilla glass doesn't.

Additionally, my little materials science book on moh's hardness actually says:

"Brittleness basically indicates how resistant the material is to plastic deformation. A very brittle material will, when placed under stress, break/fracture rather than bend. In the case of a sapphire crystal versus a glass crystal, the sapphire is considerably more brittle. As a result, a sapphire crystal is more likely to chip or crack than is glass counterpart if both are subjected to an equally hostile stress (banging, etc.)."

You can find plenty of research on both if you want unbiased sources. I'm a bit lazy to go look it all up for you, but start here for sapphire:

http://arxiv.org/pdf/0908.2058.pdf

Short version: Sapphire is brittle. It fractures and chips when dropped or deformed in that manner. Most ion strengthened glasses are less brittle. Relative to sapphire, they tend not to fracture or chip when dropped or deformed in that manner

There are of course, materials that are even better for drops, but worse for abrasion resistance, like polycarbonate.

Additionally, once cracked or seriously scratched, the game changes for both, of course, as it's a matter of crack propagation, etc.


your provided links do not convince me more than my own experience of ownership of all of the materials on the market.

also, it's not good hn form to downvote someone you disagree with. i don't mind though, i have the points to spare.


That's not true; it's explicitly OK on HN to downvote disagreement. Downvotes are superior to empty disagreement.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=658683#up_658691


i still consider it bad form. i don't do it. i think it's an especially petty way of expressing yourself.


Maybe people are also downvoting you for being too cool to capitalize?


-1 points by beachstartup 1 day ago | link

clearly i'm not that cool, with two entire downvotes


I own a Pebble Steel, and am quite interested in a Moto 360. I'm guessing you've tried the former too? What are your thoughts on the two? I'm trying to decide if I should switch my mobile back to Android and get a 360 instead of my iPhone + Pebble Steel :)


I have a Pebble Steel too, silver one, and if you've gotten used to the battery life of that, I have a feeling after reading Ars Technica's review that you'd find the Moto 360 less to your liking.

I absolutely love the always on epaper screen on my Steel, plus how classy the whole device looks and feels - and the functionality it offers me. None of the new smartwatches have any appeal to me as having to charge them daily doesn't float my boat. If I need more functionality I'll just whip out my Samsung S5.


Pebble Steel owner here since early shipments, and traveling without a charger is meaningful. The U i beats the rest! and the look does too.

That said, it seems like Apple has taken each category of wearable, advanced it in some meaningful way, and merged all of them, for a device more than a sum of the others. Really depends how it feels as to whether that's true.

I'm guessing these could get derided as "fondle-wear" because the interactions seem intended to be touchy-feely. Reaching out to "tap" someone, or "sketching" instead of texting your S.O., these offer a human/device bond of some kind. Clever.


It depends heavily on what you want out of life :)

To be frank, for what i was using it for at the time, my Pebble worked wonderfully. It showed my running pace and my text messages, and when i was about to miss a meeting. That was pretty much what it was good for (I know it theoretically has an app ecosystem, but i gave up on things like evernote for pebble within about 3 minutes).

Once I got the wear, i expected to just use it as a color version of that. But i don't. While I do all those same things, I actually find myself using it to look at notes, to navigate with walking directions, and when nobody is around, I ask it to do stuff for me when my hands are busy or my phone is not around. I often leave my phone on the counter when in the shop or outside, and if i wanted to respond on the pebble, I had to run back to grab it. If i want to respond on my watch, i can just talk to it for the most part. I basically use it as a companion device like i used to use my phone. It fulfills most of the basic purposes.

So, all that said, if you are happy with the iphone + pebble steel, and there isn't anything you are hankering for, i personally doubt i'd change ecosystems just on a lark. But, certainly, i've found myself doing a lot more with my watch since i moved away from my Pebble.

(I guess i should point out i just don't give a crap about some things, like charging daily or not. I have to charge my phone anyway. So when i go to bed, and put my phone on it's charger, i put my watch on it's charger. At least for me, it's not the deal-killer others seem to find it. Certainly, not worrying about charging the pebble as often was nice, but i have to charge other stuff anyway, so it's not a big deal)


> As for hardware, I have actually tried literally all of them.

That's pretty much the summary of what I wanted to say. If they were quite good you didn't more than one within 6 months.

Anyway, tried a little the samsung (a joke) and the lg (another joke since you basically can't see it under the sunlight).

Moto 360 (I love Moto!) is quite nice although the os is not meant for a rounded display so many apps can't ... well ... simply show you everything (hence the "prototype" mark). However I haven't tried it personally, so maybe everything else can compensate.


"tried a little the samsung (a joke) "

This needs more words as to why you found it "a joke".

I had no trouble reading either the samsung, or the LG, under sunlight.


Have you stopped working at Google?


Nope.


I noticed you took it out of your profile.


I think that it's too premature to judge whether this effort is more justified technically and subjectively than Android Wear or any other competing efforts from independent vendors. Apple's device won't be shipping for another several months, and the demo given at the keynote today hardly scratches the surface of what the product could potentially do.

There needs to be an identifiable niche that these smartwatches could work with, and they ought to be marketed to that niche to really sell the idea of wearing a screen on your wrist. Similar to how Microsoft is positing that the Surface is intended to be an artist's easel, it's perfectly plausible for Google to market Android Wear to musicians, athletes, and early adopters -- but I haven't seen that effort from them yet. I get glimpses of this marketing approach from Apple's newfound moxie, but it still feels like everyone who makes a smartwatch is trying to sell it to everyone, which seems short-sighted given most people do not wear physical timepieces anymore.

There is potential -- but not now. Early smartphones were hollow and unfinished (yes, even the iPhone). Form and function will get better as time goes on, and there might be a legitimate use-case for devices such as these.


The iPhone has been used less than %10 of its time as a phone by me. Same thing with the watch as a watch. The other applications-- each of which may by itself not justify the price of the device, in aggregate make smartphones a steal, and may well do the same for the Apple watch.

I don't wear a timepiece and haven't for many years, however, I was considering getting one of those health monitoring bands and then decided to wait because I bet the Apple watch would be a better product for that need.

So, while the iPhone has eliminated the need for a watch, the thing on the wrist isn't so much a watch as a notification system and monitoring system.

Apple positioned this as an accessory to the iPhone and that's how I would use it.

I'm not sure whether I would wear something on my wrist again or just stop after awhile, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy one of these when they come out.

For me, the $350-$450 it will cost is a little high but not something to worry about and I know they will get cheaper over time, as well as smaller etc.

But I'm not just out of college and worrying about money like that anymore.

I think there's a large market of people like me. I would be quite surprised if there wasn't enough value in the device to make me very happy with the purchase.


> but you have to understand that a lot of people are derisive because we've been hearing the Apple faithful railing about these same attributes of competitor devices for months

I think this is unfair, it isn't Apple people railing against this, it is everybody. And they will be again, in a couple of days. A lot more was expected of Apple in this arena, and it looks like they have not delivered the watch everybody was after.


Pretty sure we go through this every year. People are 'disappointed' by Apple product announcements, people have a whinge about Tim Cook, then they turn out to be fairly successful and well received.


In the last 13 years, they've delivered three new platforms: the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. (I'm not counting Apple TV, since Jobs' "hobby" designation still very clearly applies). Each of these had extraordinary effects in areas that others either hadn't imagined, had imagined badly, or had imagined well but had written off as impossible to achieve. In every case, Apple's products - which went onto be world changing, industry revolutionizing, bazillion dollar successes - were widely panned at the time of their unveiling.

Not universally, to be sure. Some people loved the iPod instantly. But there were plenty of others who couldn't see past the $400 price tag and said "Sure, the iPod: idiots price our devices."

The iPad also landed with a thud, at least online. The people who got their hands on them said "no wait, you really have to try this, it's a totally new experience", but that had to compete with a loud chorus of "meh", which I certainly understand. Mine (an Air) may not be the most indispensable Apple product I own, but it's easily the one I love the most, and the one that gives men the best sense of where Apple is going. That said, it was also a gift, and not something I would have bought for myself. Not until I actually had it and had been using it did I see it less an an individual device, and more as the favorite interface for a (far from realized) cloud-based future of computing. My point is that the Apply routinely makes choices with a long-range logic that is far from immediately self-evident.

The iPhone came the closest to being regarded as revolutionary right out of the gate, but even there the excitement was shortsighted. It seemed like the biggest "breakthrough" was getting a handle on voice mail. There was still a lot of doubt about full-touchscreen vs. BlackBerry's then-dominant tactile approach. There was bitching about the lack of apps (third party development was web-only) and of course, the endless complaining about Apple's "failure" to include "basic" stuff like cut and paste. There was no GPS, no CDMA, and many of the individual components - from the phone itself to the camera to the battery life - were pretty crappy.

But all these problems resolved themselves with time. Meanwhile, the fundamentals remained astonishingly stable. So much so that in many cases, major updates were visually indistinguishable from their predecessors. It took most people a long time to recognize how far-thinking the essential design choices really were. And to be fair, it generally took Apple a while before their own development path realized the full scope of the platform's potential.

But that's what these are, platforms built for the long run. If the past is any guide three things should be clear. (1) They come with very well considered development plans (2) What come to be seen as fundamental features of the platform (e.g. the App store) go unannounced when the platforms launch and (3) the immediate negative reactions - of which there are many - tend to be very short sighted.

So no, I will not be buying an Apple Watch in 2015, and probably not in 2016 either. But if the past is any guide, I expect that Apple will be delivering on this for a decade, if not decades to come. By the time it's ready to untether from the iPhone, I can see buying in. I'm looking forward to it.


I remember using an iPad 1 at work. Very quickly I (and those around me) realised that you couldn't actually do a fat lot of work with it, and were pretty disappointed with it. We were expecting a PC.

BUT! give it to me for web browsing (and shopping???) and it was absolutely great. This bright realisation that many of our parents don't sit at home writing software or documents suddenly made sense; people had been buying computers for years just to go online.

And this influenced the entire market, such to the point that everyone is tagging on touchscreen this and touchscreen that, even where it isn't needed. Thankfully Apple hasn't done this and hasn't made the MacBook a touchscreen device.

Very clever. I am hopeful that this trend of influencing the market continues, and new Android watches with similar features come out. Competition is good.


"Thankfully Apple hasn't done this and hasn't made the MacBook a touchscreen device."

Ha. Also, I can't wait until they do. Seriously, I've become so used to / enamored with the full touch interface on the iPad that I find myself reflexively tapping the play button for videos on my laptop. And instead of feeling stupid I get irritated because it should work.

I keep a bluetooth keyboard paired with the Air. If I'm plowing through a batch of emails, I can switch between that and touch very seamlessly. Overall, it's just a really great experience. And now I want the same thing on my laptop.


I'm forever cleaning my MacBook screen WITHOUT using it as a touchscreen. I can only imagine how often I'd have to clean it if it was a touchscreen.

The touchpad on the MacBook is close enough to the keyboard that you can sort of use it with your thumb whilst your hands on the keyboard, and don't have to lift your arm if you need to use the touchpad with your fingers - you just move your arm backwards. If it was a touchscreen, you'd be constantly lifting your arm, particularly as the native window resizing via keyboard on OSX is non-existent. (At least on Windows you can use the entire system for the most part with the keyboard, including resizing, snapping windows, minimizing, restoring etc.)


Do you think that voice and language will ultimately be the main way to interact with a watch, given the limited screen real estate?


I'm curious what your defense is to their success with the non-Apple faithful, though. That always seems to be left unsaid. The good ol' common "marketing" play from the Android diehards may have accounted for some of its success, but I think it's immensely dense to attribute a large proportion of Apple's current (and recent past) success to it (you might get to fortune 500 with that, but getting to #1 wealthiest company in the world solely on marketing is a bit of a stretch, at a certain crossover point you'll need actual good product). In fact, I would call that the counter-distortion field among the "Android faithful." Somehow, as people love to point out, on paper, Apple devices are underspec compared to the competition. But they do well anyway. "MARKETING! The zombie sheeple faithful!" Of course, I'm not saying you believe it's purely marketing, but I raise that just to give example of the other distortion field.

As you have pointed out, the iPod succeeded because of synergy with iTunes (though many of the replies to your comment raise excellent counterpoints, and I think it's revisionism to call what Apple had back then as an empire - like many others back then, we were 90% dismissively sure Apple was going to file for bankruptcy soon). I partly agree with you, but I disagree it was due to iTunes as software, because, quite frankly, iTunes has and still sucks. The iPod succeeded because Apple made sure to have business deals in place with the big dogs of music and to offer individual tracks for (at the time) very cheap prices. You may recall, but CDs were kind of a rip off at that point, and the music industry wanted to charge quite a bit more per track.

The iPhone itself succeeded because Apple coordinated with carrier(s) while requiring certain conditions - no pre-installed apps, and design autonomy. Recently, it's been trying to coordinate with the cable networks to get Apple TV some traction (though I believe they failed). With Apple Pay, it coordinated with all the major credit card carriers. To me, it is that kind of planning that shows Apple's commitment to polish. I could be wrong, but Google seems to be more on the "here's our plan, we'll open it up, and hopefully people (and other corporations) flock to it. But if not...well, we have our bread-and-butter search to subsist on." It's worked with some things, and it hasn't for others. Google Wallet and Google NFC payments may have come out first, but they seem to be dead in the water. But hey, my swiss army knife has more attachments than yours, right?

> but you have to understand that a lot of people are derisive because we've been hearing the Apple faithful railing about these same attributes of competitor devices for months.

My experience is pretty different. I don't really hear the "Apple faithful" very often, short of online journalists. In terms of actual end-users, the Android house seems way more vocal, and usually in two buckets: "we had it way before!" or some kind of flock of sheep comment. Take a visit to r/technology on reddit, and do a search on Apple, then do a search on Android. The negativity is no where near 1:1.

For all that noise, I must cite my favorite tech blog: http://anandtech.com/show/8414/a-month-with-the-iphone-5s/. I believe this is far fairer than most of the vitriol you'll find out there.

As for the watch? I think it looks bulky, just like all the other smartwatches. I'm skeptical about its battery life, which they seemed to have not mentioned. But I gotta admit, the feature set looks pretty polished to me.


Apple got to where they are now because they absolutely had the best product(smart phone) bar none, with pretty much everybody else immediately being put in catch-up mode. The people that say it was a marketing victory and not a product development victory are either biased or ill-informed.

However, Apple no longer holds this distinction, there are plenty of competing products that now either meet or exceed the value prop of an iphone. Apple's competitors caught up, and I am having a really hard time buying that the iwatch will be the next ipod/iphone/ipad for Apple. Wearables have already proven to have nearly the lowest customer attention retention(i.e. they win the prize for most likely to end up in a closet a month after purchase, rather then be relied on as a cornerstone of modern life as smartphones are today) index of any consumer electronic and it seems a bad platform to stage a resurgence.

As far as the larger iphone models, welcome to yesteryear, it's now Apple playing catch up.


All you need to do is go to Apple's claim they have a design driven methodology. It's fairly predictable then when they roll out something like Apple Pay that they're going to not do it until they have the requisite business deals in place to make it a good experience for the users. How successful they are at the friction point of tech and design varies (iTunes sucks :) but that's always their goal and worldview of how they set out to take on projects like this.


You have to admit it's kind of ridiculous that a "design driven methodology" is even a thing. Consider the alternative.


I'm curious what your defense is to their success with the non-Apple faithful

Defense? Why do I have to defend or explain anything? Are we waving flags? Why do I have to defend the things other people say?

I was specifically replying to the defensive notion that criticisms of Apple have been proven wrong (though they weren't wrong, and this is zero revisionism: The first iPod was a general market failure, and took off two years later), thus they will always be wrong, which is a bit of logical nonsense. The other bit was the "Apple is doing what no one else is doing", but other people are doing it and have been doing it. Here in Canada we've enjoyed extremely prolific NFC use without Apple's involvement.

Apple makes a lot of great products. They yield a lot of success. That does not mean that they are not prone to making mistakes, for proclaiming truths that are self-serving nonsense, and for getting the market wrong. It's worth noting that at the height of Microsoft's success the same "can do no wrong" arguments appeared everywhere.

Outside of that, some people seem to identify their personality with Apple, and they truly seem to project a persecution complex (yes, this is seen on /r/technology. I marvel that you hold it as an example, as it is one place where any criticism of Apple, however deserved and accurate, brings out droves and droves of defenders. It is a cesspool of a sub for that reason). Apple is an enormous company, and is enormously successful, so this "woe are us" bit just grows tiring.


Very true. Look at iOS - it never had home screen, no widgets and no home screen pages. Apple watch seems like its trying to include all these, it would have never made sense to put iOS on a watch.

Android on the other hand has had all of these and has been working on various kinds of devices for quite long ( guess fragmentation has a brighter side too ). It does make sense to put it on a watch ( obviously with some design changes ).


Hard to stomach? That's a curious choice of words. Do you think Google or Amazon would not do the same marketing and try to create the same kind of hype around their products if they can? You are saying you can see through the clutter but it looks more like you are biased against company that was successful in their execution.


The reality distortion field and the ability to spin those negatives as positives are features, though.

A watch is primarily a piece of jewelry. How well it tells the time or does other things is much less important than how fashionable it is. Branding is one of Apple's strong suits, and you can't take that away by adding features as if consumer purchasing decisions are based on some kind of checklist-like RFPs like corporate drones are used to.


I would argue with you on this point. A smartwatch is absolutely not jewelry first. There is literally no compelling reason to wear a smart watch unless you intend to use it for the "smart" purposes (information, navigation, communication, reminders, appointments, music, health). Otherwise, pick a "dumb" watch. Even I, who haven't worn a watch regularly since college (about 15 years ago), have grown accustomed to my Android Wear device. Not because it tells the time, which I frankly don't care much about, but because it replaces the need for me to carry a pad/paper for taking quick notes, let's me reply to Whatsapp & Hangouts messages via voice, shows me incoming email, alerts me to weather emergencies, gives me a way to easily fact check for my kids at the dinner table ("Ok Google... is buffalo mozzarella really made from buffalo milk?"), etc. You could certainly argue whether or not these things are valuable or important for the average person, but just like with so many other things, I think "smart" wearables will become ubiquitous in the next few years, just as cell phones (and no smartphones) have over the past decade.

The beauty of Android Wear is the absolute simplicity of enabling existing apps to have a Wear interface (http://developer.android.com/training/building-wearables.htm...). Perhaps it will be the same for iOS, but with the explosion of low end Androids in developing countries, my inclination is to think Apple is òn the path to slowly lose this battle.


That's only because smartwatches up until now have not been fashionable. That's also why they are so unpopular.


Ding ding ding. Apple is going to sell a shitload of these, because they are not only going to be something that does stuff you couldn't do before (since it's a smartwatch) but because they are going to look nice, be visible, and make a fashion statement.

Apple is approaching this just as much as a piece of jewelry as they are a piece of technology. It should be pretty revealing when it comes out to see it spread through the consumer market. My guess is that once it is out there you can expect people to crave these things more than they did the original iPhone, not due to the technical abilities or feature set but because they want to be the envy of their friends. If the thing is ugly, then it will bomb, but if it takes on the perception of an expensive, luxury watch then expect to see them everywhere.

If the thing looks good I can't even imagine how many of these things they are going to sell next christmas.


We'll have to agree to disagree, I think. I don't see how something so impractical (daily battery charging?!) that forces a specific user interface and user interaction could ever be considered jewelry, except in some abstract pedantic way.


I wonder if they will become fashionable in part because Apple has released a smart watch, thus proving that they are not a fad. I wonder if other non apple smart watches will now become more fashionable and see increased sales too.


Smartwatches are unpopular because they suck. Nobody wants to carry and charge an extra device, that adds very little to their life. The Apple Watch will live or die based upon its perceived utility, not based upon its design.


Ties suck. High heels suck. Ironing clothes sucks. Cuff links may not suck, but are at best, pointless. Sucking has never stopped people from wearing things that look good.


People do not wear ties because they look good. They wear them because of antiquated social convention.


That's part of what it means to look good.


No, it's part of what it means to conform.


Literally the same thing.


Thanks for giving me the opportunity to interact with someone who believes that.


You're welcome.


The wording in the video for the watch (narrated by Jony Ive) is full of strange phrases (I paraphrase): "the controls are vital"; "the watch is essentially..... (pause)...... a mini computer" (just like SIM cards then!) "The strap is infinitely adjustable" - that one made me chuckle, as it was referring to a strap that folds back on itself with a magnetic clasp. Of course, it isn't infinitely adjustable, as the strap isn't infinitely long.....

Interesting device though. Looks interesting.


> "The strap is infinitely adjustable" - that one made me chuckle, as it was referring to a strap that folds back on itself with a magnetic clasp.

I believe Ive refers to the infinite points between the base and the end of the strap and not an infinite length of strap. Ask a mathematician how many points are between 0 and 1.

Even my Casio got this right with a velcro strap. I have a Citizen that is either too high or too low on my forearm depending on the number of links I insert. My only options are to gain or lose weight until


Yeah, but we live in the physical world where there are actually finite number of positions that the strap could attach. "Infinite" is just marketing speak here.


No, the "infinitely adjustable" comment refers to the Milanese Loop:

http://www.apple.com/watch/apple-watch/

It is, by definition, infinitely adjustable, since the band is sized continuously and attached magnetically (so that any part of the band works as a sizing point). It does not have discrete holes, like most watch bands.


I believe your parent was referring to the Plank Length when he said the physical world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_length

Of course, that's being super pedantic, because 10^31 is practically infinite, or at least more than you'll have time to try in your lifetime.


10^31 different positions is no closer to infinitely many than 5 different positions.


The strap may be finitely long, but the adjustment is continuous. This still allows for infinite values.


There was another: "The simple leather classic buckle references traditional watch vocabulary".


Yes, that made me chuckle in a disappointed way. I wonder if they sit and think of things to say to brighten up the dullest of details / non-features?


Contact me off HN (it should be easy to find my email address).


Ive's voice is very robotic; It was like being told about the watch by Siri.


"Jony Ive is not available"

Turn on your wifi and he's there!


>>A watch is primarily a piece of jewelry.

Not actually though. A watch is still a watch. There are so many places where you can't carry or even have the opportunity to use your smart phone to check time. Students can't carry it to exam halls, people who are driving cars, workers, there many professions and use cases where a simple device strapped to your hand is indispensable when it comes to keeping track of time.


A watch is not just a watch to many people. Otherwise companies like IWC, Brietling, Rolex etc wouldn't be making as much money as they do.

Anything you put on your body that is visible to the public affects how people see you. Whether you care about this influences if you think a watch is fashionable or purely functional.


There are still professions where it's a requirement. Telling the time can be very important for divers, pilots, service men, etc.


He didn't say a watch is "just a watch", he said a watch "is still a watch".


Its a bit of both.

But when it comes to utility. A simple watch has not been replaced by smart phones yet. That is because there are places, instances and people where/who just can't pull out their phones and check time.


Why do you think anyone cares whether phones replace watches? How is that at all relevant to the purpose of watches?


I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Are you saying we don't need watches at all? Or that some how modern day humans don't need to keep track of time? Watches started going out of fashion when mobile phones came along with Real time clocks, so people just didn't feel they should have a wrist watch when they check the time on their phones.

But that didn't cover all people and all use cases. There are many use cases where you can't use your phone to check time. And in such places a wrist watch is a indispensable utility.


The poorly dressed nerds you hang out with may not wear watches as often as they did in the 20th century, but that has little to do with fashion.

It is pretty funny how you continue to bring up timekeeping as if you believe that matters.


Your examples are not really strong. Most cars have digital clocks, exam halls usually have wall clocks also cannot imagine plane without clock. I would say scubadivers, parashuters would need it but how many are there? There are also workplaces where you cannot wear jewelery and watches (working with food, machinery) but company phone is permitted or must. I would say that in places where keeping track of time is needed there are already placed clocks, otherwise it is not indispensable.

I would say that it is primarily a piece of jewelery.


> I would say that it is primarily a piece of jewelery.

Disagree. I've been too lazy to replace the battery of my 12EUR retro Casio watch for a couple weeks now and my girlfriend's getting sick of me asking all the time "what time is it". When I'm walking around outside or when on my bicycle, pulling my phone out of my pocket to check the time is a pain. When I'm in the shower I really want to know the time to the minute cause I know I have to leave the house at exactly 7:30.


So I would put you with scubadivers and parachuters so you are special case. If I take you and my four co-workers then it will statistically be primarily piece of jewelery. You are writing about yourself. That is why I described vast population of people who cannot wear watches while working as contrast to finding people who need. Besides I shown that a lot of those who were indicated as people who need watches, really don't need those. Like drivers who have dashboard clocks.


I use it to know when I need to start running to catch the bus. There are not so many clocks outside. Anyone who works outside or spends a lot of time outside and needs to keep track of time will find a watch useful.


And sometimes you need to use your necklace to strangle someone because the security people took away your garrote. It's nice that it can be used that way, but if you think that's what it's for, you're probably mentally ill.


>A watch is primarily a piece of jewelry.

or saying a watch is for time keeping is not very forward thinking IMO. Its like saying 10 years ago, a smart phone is just a phone. Less and less people actually use it to make calls and use it more for many of other functionality it provides.


I wish that Apple would make their phone better as a phone. Calling my wife on her iPhone is a goddamn catastrophe, because she has never once in her life heard it ring, because its ring volume is roughly the volume of a very polite British salesperson saying, "Excuse me, ma'am," and its vibration is apparently made with the first concern being that it could be placed on delicate spun-sugar constructions without worrying that the harsh vibrational waves would cause a dessert collapse.

And I know, I know, it's so second-millennium of me to actually want to call my wife, but she doesn't hear the text notifications either, and sometimes I need to figure out whether we already have cinnamon[1] before I buy yet another container of it.

[1] We do. We now have about six hundred containers of cinnamon, a spice that we use roughly once a year. This appears to be a failure mode of my brain.


If you buy her an Apple Watch, she'll get haptic notifications when you call. Apple is solving your problem.


That would be a valid point if people actually wore unfashionable smartwatches for their usefulness. Their lack of mainstream adoption up until now says that's not the case.


My Nike+ SportWatch GPS is not primarily jewelry. It combined with Strava is primarily a fitness motivation and management tool.


Watches in general, obviously. There's an exception to every rule.


Normal watches are jewelry because they no longer have any other purpose for most people. Those who aren't interested in the fashion part of watches have largely stopped wearing them.

This seems similar to those who said that smart phones were for corporate e-mail when the iPhone came out. The iPhone changed the whole purpose of a smartphone.


My two cents: I don't know any person who is into serious running (I'm into triathlon, so add cycling and swimming) who would spend $350 on the Apple Watch and additionally you are required to have your iPhone with you to use the GPS. A sports watch without GPS, IMHO is a no go at $350. For <$300 I can get GPS, HR, ANT+, waterproof* and +20h battery life. e.g. Garmin Forerunner 910xt.

(I won't comment on the lack of info on battery life and water resistance).

*Edit: changed from water resistant to waterproof.


Exactly. I put off buying a GPS watch because I wanted to see what Apple was going to offer. Answer: Nothing.

I really cannot imagine a more useless product than this watch. It requires an iPhone and seems to essentially serve as a small, remote interface for your phone. And how do I navigate that small interface? With an even smaller "digital crown." I hate trying to set the time on my watch, and now they expect me to interact with something more complicated using a tiny, rotating nub?

Imagine a typical scenario. You are walking down the street and suddenly need to navigate somewhere. How many minutes are you going to waste playing with that little nub and resizing things on the screen before finally pulling out your phone and just using that.

The only argument for this watch is that it might be helpful for those times when pulling out your phone is just too onerous. I regret that I do not have the type of lifestyle where that is a serious limitation.


Whether this will be useful all rests on the quality and differentiation of the haptic feedback.

For example, imagine walking down the street towards your destination and feeling the right side of the watch vibrate to signal that you should turn right.

If your watch can communicate contextual information related to your intention and local then it will be superior to (1) wearing a socially inappropriate device like the Google Glass, (2) being called out to by a device, (3) fumbling in your phone in order to then open the correct app.

Apps that correctly use haptic feedback should be able to silently and subtly give users superpowers without forcing them to clumsily interact with a product.

I actually wrote about the benefits of this back in 2012 [0], though I was talking about phones and notification fatigue back then (and not leveraging Future Interface style stuff.)

[0] http://sebinsua.com/your-thigh-as-an-interface-from-your-pho...


The overriding feeling I had during this keynote is that every feature that I found cool in the watch I would much prefer on my phone.

Cool watch app? Wait, actually that would be cooler and more usable on a big screen...

Haptic feedback? Agreed, awesome idea, but no reason it can't be on my phone and buzz my leg instead of my wrist.


> Haptic feedback? Agreed, awesome idea, but no reason it can't be on my phone and buzz my leg instead of my wrist.

It's frequently lost upon this crowd (I'm guilty of this myself) that half of the population in the West frequently wears clothes which lack pockets.


Your statistic confused me until I realized you were [assumedly] referencing females who keep their phones in their purses/bags.


Please try to say women, not "females." I don't think you meant anything by it but when you always see that usage, (common in tech spaces) it starts to feel a little dehumanizing.


http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=female

From Wikipedia:

"It is not etymologically related to the word male, but in the late 14th century the spelling was altered in English to parallel the spelling of male."

I honestly don't understand how "female" is any worse then "woman" honest question I'm easily the least sexist person you could run into (ask my wife) but sometimes it seems like no mater what you're still going to offend someone. :(


I think the issue is that "female" can refer to any species, whereas "woman" refers only to humans. So when someone obliquely refers to women and someone responds "oh, you're talking about females!", the subtext is that they have now realized that we're talking about women, but haven't quite realized that women are people too.

It would be the same as calling someone a "human" rather than a "person". Like aliens do in the movies. Maybe you don't feel that's dehumanizing, but I think a lot of people would.

(Classicist pet peeve: A word's etymology has nothing to do with its modern denotation and connotation.)


Personally, I like to imagine the post is being written by a Ferengi. There's more than sufficient evidence for it.


Oh lord, get over it. Female is degrading now?


Well, it does make you sound like a Ferengi.


What's a Ferengi?

Edit: Nevermind. I Googled it. Star Trek alien.


There's plenty of other languages where the words for "female" and "male" are different for people and animals.


a.i. males in medical community?


Phones already do this. My android phone vibrates when I have walking directions on and I need to turn.


I think interface wise Cook has the right of it when he says they didn't just strap a reduced iPhone on the wrist.

It's clear that they spent a large amount of time and effort with the haptic feedback and the crown.

But functionality wise... well I completely agree with you.

I can't see anything a smartphone cannot do, better and more efficiently, with the exception of the heart rate sensor.

Some functions in particular seem very awkward to me: I cannot see a reasonable way of using it as a phone or an audio player, in public, without bluetooth earphones.

With mobile phones, mp3 players and smartphones the value proposition was clear, but what is the killer application for smartwatches ?

That said, I would be far from surprised if they sell like hotcakes.


agree. What's the killer App for it? Maybe it's the HealthKit related things, but they hardly appeal to core Apple buyers: young people! It'll be a historical change if Apple starts to add oldlies into its base.


> no reason it can't be on my phone and buzz my leg instead of my wrist

There's a much higher density of tactile nerve endings in your wrist than in your thigh; even if you can reliably feel your phone vibrating in your pocket (I can't!), that's no guarantee you'd be able to discriminate finely enough for haptic feedback to be of use, especially since the phone's orientation in your pocket is not guaranteed.


Re haptic feedback:

I'm forever feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket when it isn't vibrating... and still manage not to notice when it does vibrate.

Perhaps I would perceive the signal more accurately if it was on my wrist instead of my thigh.


Until you start having the same phantom vibrations in your wrist as well.


In my experience, Google Glass turns you into a walking celebrity, and has been as far from "socially inappropriate" as it can get. I'm not in San Fran, which seems to be the only place that pours haterade.


Seriously ? Other geeks maybe interested in your new toy but nobody would be thinking that your social status has been elevated in anyway. In fact it is the complete opposite.

The early adopters of Google Glass have cemented its reputation as a geeky, invasive, awkward, Star Trek like toy for socially inept young men.


Only to geeky, invasive, awkward, Star Trek lovers aka socially inept young men.

None of the people who have approached me directly gave a shit about who I was or what I did for a living. They rarely even introduced themselves. It usually went something like "Is that the google?...." and the conversation goes from there. My IRL experience does not match the blog hatersphere at all.


Actually they have thrown out people even in Paris McDonalds for wearing a Google Glass.

And just try wearing it in some sensitive areas (e.g night-clubs, expensive restaurants etc) around the world and see what happens...


>Actually they have thrown out people even in Paris McDonalds for wearing a Google Glass.

The incident you're thinking of was Steve Mann being assaulted and thrown out for wearing his own custom digital eye glass, about a year before the Google Glass developer release.

I also haven't heard of frequent incidents involving "sensitive areas". Some incidents, yes, but definitely not enough for me to categorize it as a trend.


Unless what you're describing was a later repetition of a 2012 incident, that was actually Dr Steve Mann being kicked out for wearing his EyeTap - which is physically bolted to his head and cannot be removed easily. Nothing to do with Google Glass at all.


So it's socially inappropriate because it's not allowed by a gigantic corporation (that films everything we do at their restaurants), as well as stuck up fancy institutions that will scoff at your shoes and not let you in for that?


Walking celebrity? I saw someone wearing Google Glass (on the east coast) and I had a very negative reaction. Just felt not at ease with this stranger around me.


What personal reactions do you have with Google Glass that are untainted by what you've read? It's fear dude. I've had old ladies, young children who read about it and are amazed, and technology enthusiasts who would have nothing more than to try it on and give it a go.

I know people theorize about the mark of the beast and cyborgs and privacy but I simply haven't seen it. It's a cool gadget and I have fun wearing it in public. It's also great for hiking and camping and Auto Awesome is the shit, so... you are missing out.


Re: "It's a cool gadget and I have fun wearing it in public."

Having a camera pointed in your general direction is enough to give most people pause. I have really bad anxiety, and if someone wearing Glass looks in my direction, I will be made incredibly uncomfortable. It's the kind of thing that makes me want to never leave my house. Not saying you should live your life based on how I feel, but I think people who wear GG should at least be aware of the (great) potential for making others feel uncomfortable.


Absolutely. So I do things like put them on top of my head when entering restaurants, public restrooms, and small social gatherings. Anything that isn't intimate is fair game. If its not "rude" to walk around with your phone out, Google Glass is fair game.

IF someone wearing google glass looks 180 degrees within your direction and you get anxiety - that's a personal issue. IF Google Glass makes you never want to leave your house - then you live in San Fran when you shouldn't, or you have an irrational fear.

On top of that, for every 1 person that has an irrational fear of Google Glass, there are 99 people who are enthralled by it. So, democracy and all that.


The reaction I had was not tainted by what I read since I don't read about Google Glass and I'm only vaguely aware of anything about it. My knowledge of Google Glass mostly comes from these HN comments, really. I have no fear (I'm not sure WHAT I am accused of be afraid of??) I had no opinion of it at all whatsoever until I saw someone wearing it in real life. This was in a bar, btw.

My visceral reaction was that of human disconnect. I hope I am explaining it right, it is a hard feeling to describe. It is the same sort of reaction I get (except stronger) when someone is wearing those bluetooth ear things. It makes me feel uneasy. The person isn't "completely there." A disconnect.

Uh, I think it is too complicated to explain, but it is a human interaction thing, not a technology thing.


Sure, but this could be analogous to sitting at a bar looking at your phone - you're at a bar, what are you doing there?!

Now, if it was the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, its probably a stunt. But yes, a bar is not a place for google glass. Just like work is a place for pants. Common sense folks.


> Just like work is a place for pants.

Maybe on the east coast.


Imagine if I took out my phone in a restaurant, said "I'm filming this," and pointed it at you while you ate for the duration of your meal.

That's weird, and initially I thought glass was cool. It's not.

I had this experience sitting across a restaurant from someone wearing Google glass, and it made me realize what a horrible idea it is.


Yes, filming 100% of the time while you are eating at a restaurant would cause unease. Reality TV does this with $10k cameras that are mounted on a dude's shoulder. You don't need Google Glass to know thats a bad idea, so contributing that bad idea to Google Glass isn't a fair comparison because you can do it with other items.


> (3) fumbling in your phone in order to then open the correct app.

This isn't directly tied to you or your argument, but whenever people talk about about smart watches, 'fumbling with your phone' seems to come up. I can't recall the last time I thought of checking my phone as a hassle or felt like I was 'fumbling with it'.

That being said, I am excited to see what developers come up with for smart watches (either platform) and am interested to see how the haptic* feedback performs.

* I know Apple is calling it the Taptic Engine, so I'm not sure if we're supposed to be calling it taptic or haptic feedback, especially since it's not entirely haptic


Is your wrist sensitive enough to determine whether the right or left of your phone has buzzed if you're walking?


Might be one if by land, two if by sea.


>Imagine a typical scenario. You are walking down the street and suddenly need to navigate somewhere. How many minutes are you going to waste playing with that little nub and resizing things on the screen before finally pulling out your phone and just using that.

Reminds me of a joke I heard:

A local school board was trying to find ways to increase the efficiency of their schools. A local computer programmer had come to the board meeting with a proposal.

He suggested that each desk be equipped with a small button, that via wireless technology would light up a small panel on the teachers desk.

That way if a student wanted to ask a question, they could simply press the button which would light up say spot A17 on the panel. Then using a quick lookup sheet the teacher could then see that desk A17 is where John was sitting.

The teacher could then look up quickly and say, "John...you have a question?"


In fairness, and to think a little more about your throw-away joke than I suspect you intended, the 'push and forget' nature of a button as compared to holding up your hand is important in some situations.

The Software Carpentary workshops that I've worked with/seen, for example, use a post-it note system that signifies that a student has a question (or is done, depending on the colour of the note). This allows the student to continue trying solutions without holding up their hand looking for attention. When an instructor is available, they can go over and help.

The advantage of a button system, then, would be that you could gather data on which students were asking the most questions, how long they generally have to wait, etc.


I like the watch idea personally. Say you're riding your bike and you receive a text message. in order to see what's going on you will probably have to stop and take the phone out of your pocket. with a watch you can simply look at your wrist quickly.


As a daily bike commuter around Boston, this idea terrifies me. Multitasking is extremely dangerous while biking. There are already enough bikers out there who choose to distract themselves with earphones and music while biking. Reading a text message while weaving in traffic is a recipe for disaster. When you're on a bike, be on the bike.


I am a daily bike commuter in Anchorage where we have tons of dedicated trails. I can ride all the way to work 7 miles and I only have to cross a couple streets.

This would be fine. better than pulling my phone out of my pocket while riding (which is what I do now)


Apparently you can record video with your iPhone 6 while on a bike so Apple clearly have different use-cases in mind.


I think a lot of what they're aiming at is rethinking a lot of the scenarios where you're trying to directly replicate how you use your phone, on your wrist.

So to take your map scenario. Here's how it currently works for me. Take the phone out, pull up maps, figure out where the hell I am, where I'm trying to get to, and then plot a route between the two.

Yes, that's going to work a whole lot better on a phone.

But what comes next? Following the route from A to B with the phone held flat in front of me like it's some kind of divining rod.

And this is where rethinking the actual interaction starts making a difference. Having the phone push cues instead of walking somewhere I'm unfamiliar with my nice expensive divining rod held out ..


I'd wait and see how it actually works - for example, with the navigation scenario, it's far more likely that you'd choose your destination on your phone which will then handoff the navigation to the watch. Thus, no need to constantly look at the phone while you're walking + haptic feedback to guide you along the path.


Siri could be the big savior here. I'm actually very happy with my iPhone's voice recognition and Siri's performance.

Another gripe, the "digital crown" is on the opposite side of the watch for me. It could be an impediment of being left handed, but having it on the right hand side of the watch increments the awkward factor for me.


Apparently, the orientation of the display will be a matter of setup configurability:

http://www.slashgear.com/wheres-our-left-handed-apple-watch-...

"So, it turns out the Apple Watch really works TWO ways. Apple tells us on initial setup, you can choose to have the watch face orient itself for use on the right wrist, making it friendly to lefties. The watch bands are also swappable, so your band isn't facing the wrong way. Good news for everyone involved, but like most things in life, Lefties will still have to deal with a right-handed design -- the crown will be on the bottom of the left side of the watch when on the right wrist."


It seems like it's reasonable for it to switch orientation with the easily switchable bands. The 'crown' nub would then be on the bottom left of your right arm.


Doh! Of course you are probably right. Hopefully the display (like an iPhone) can determine its orientation and adjust.


I'm guessing it takes it's orientation from the strap.


Is Siri really good? I only ask because I spent a significant portion of today's commute shouting "OK GOOGLE" repeatedly at my phone, only for it to misunderstand what I was saying. And I speak with a flat English accent.


Yeah, I agree on the leftie thing. They most likely won't make a leftie variant but I do think that they could make it rotatable.


> Imagine a typical scenario. You are walking down the street and suddenly need to navigate somewhere.

"Siri, give me walking directions to the nearest Starbucks."


Isn't the whole scenario far fetched? Does anyone really wander around and then suddenly have an urgent need to be somewhere (other than a restroom :)?

The only thing I can think of that might make me suddenly need to go somewhere is a message/reminder...from my phone.


I think the idea is that you would raise the watch to your face and say "Siri, directions to closest Starbucks". The little dial is not the only way to interact with the thing.


How many minutes are you going to waste playing with that little nub

Zero minutes and five seconds. The watch has Siri. You say "directions to X". Boom. Done.


Zero minutes.

Once start walking your route, feedback will be given via haptic feedback to let you know which way to turn so you won't have to look at it again.

(Source: the keynote)


> now they expect me to interact with something more complicated using a tiny, rotating nub?

Did you ever use a Blackberry? Tiny rotating nubs are really good.


You cannot imagine a more useless product?


As a serious runner, there is no way that I would run for an extended distance without my phone on me. First of all because I would rather not have to drag my injured self out somewhere to ask for help, rather than being able to call for it from my phone. Whenever I do triathlon training, I would also not think of leaving without my phone, as I tend to go for 30-40 mile bike rides into remote areas, and having a way to communicate with the outside world in case the worst happens (equipment malfunction, injury) is preferable. I don't think I have a single watch that can last more than 7 hours of continuous GPS usage, between running and biking, so I'd like to see what the battery life on the Apple Watch looks like before passing judgement.


Many Garmin watches last much more than 7 hours. My old 310XT lasts around 12.


I've had both the 310XT and the 910XT, and neither lasts more than 6 hours now. Using the heart rate monitor strap greatly impacts my battery life, for some reason. I wish there was a way to tell how many cycles my batteries have left in them. I think it's time for an upgrade :)


>My two cents: I don't know any person who is into serious running (I'm into triathlon, so add cycling and swimming) who would spend $350 on the Apple Watch and additionally you are required to have your iPhone with you to use the GPS.

Yeah, it's for the sligltly LESS serious runners, of which there are millions...


No, this is a huge impediment to its usefulness. Having to carry around a phone while running is a drudge regardless of how serious of a runner or athlete you are. Not to mention so many other sports that could benefit from this but won't. This is especially so considering the larger size of the iPhone 6 and especially the iPhone 6 plus.


What casual runner goes running without their phone? That's how we get GPS, work with Nike+ gear, and can be reached if someone needs us or make a call if we need to.

How many leave their phone on the house and go out jogging?


> What casual runner goes running without their phone?

Me for one. I run 2x a week for about a half-hour each time in the park near my apartment building. That's about as casual as it gets?

I used to run with my phone, but I recently bought a tiny mp3 player and a Casio wristwatch for running. I don't care about GPS since I know my park, and if someone needs me I'll talk to them in a half hour.

Needing to bring a phone with me makes this watch absolutely a no deal.


Casual runner, cyclist, recreational triathlete. Phone always on me; it's one of the few times I want the phone functionality in case of mishaps. Running vests with cyclist-style tail pockets plz!


> What casual runner goes running without their phone?

Judging by the answers you got, ones who have oversized phones and think that shaving a little weight is worth not being able to call emergencies (who cares, they can use a strangers phone if that happens, just like the guys who cycle and skip tools, patches and pumps and then end up asking people passing them by, and anyway emergencies happen to other people).

OTOH, I don't know why anyone would ever wear a watch after 1993.


I wear an automatic watch.

1) I like being able to know time and date at a quick glance -- the ease of this is light years ahead of any smartphone. 2) It never runs out of juice since it doesn't have a battery. 3) It looks good (IMO). 4) I irrationally like the fact that my moving about gives life to a tiny beating mechanism. For that reason my watch has a power reserve meter.

Have zero interest in smartwatches though. I have enough crap to keep charged as is.


I wear one all the time. It's purely fashion.


Hah, I buy this argument far more than any claims that people need accurate time measurement at notice short enough that taking a phone from a pocket/bag is unacceptable. Though I do think watches are hopelessly retro :-)


I mean, don't get me wrong. It is an added convenience to have access to the time a bit more quickly. If I'm checking the time, there's a decent chance I'm in a rush for something.

But yeah, almost purely fashion.


Casual runner here. Could not imagine running with my phone.


I think the point is that lots of runners would prefer not to bring their phone if that was an option and this watch could have enabled that. It's a legitimate (minor) annoyance to carry your phone while running.


It's more than a minor annoyance. The problem is how to carry it. Pockets are out of the question (for those that have them) as is any sort of bag or purse. I used to have a band for my old iPod that would strap to my arm. I suppose going back to that contraption with a phone is a possibility, but considering the discomfort and weight, not to mention the possibility of rain destroying the phone, I would do anything to avoid that. And if it's on my arm anyway, why would I need the watch interface?


Easy, get a race belt.

These are nylon belts with a buckle and a small expandable pouch. They also have 2 toggles to attach your race bib too.

They are just big enough to hold your phone, keys and some cash or cards.

You'll see people doing fun runs wear them to avoid carrying a pack for their stuff. To prevent water damage, put your item in a ziplock bag.


Completely agree.


For less serious runners, the GPS serves no noticeable purpose. Without the GPS, the Apple Watch can still track your speed and distance.


It certainly serves some purpose to map your runs even for less serious runners. It would also be cool to have music without being tethered to the phone.


Every runner I know, casual or not, myself included. Not to mention other athletes in such sports as football, soccer, basketball, hockey, etc.

It's very inconvenient to run with a phone and almost impossible to play other sports with one.


>What casual runner goes running without their phone?

ME!! I don't want something bulky weighing me down.


Of course I always have my phone!


Not to mention women's running clothes don't fit phones typically.


I carry my phone around while running all the time. How else would I get music and GPS tracking?


Having run quite a number of marathons, half-marathons, 5k, 10k and all distances in between, I have noticed that there are still a good amount of runners out there (whether serious or not) who use their 4"/5" phones for tracking.


I was happy to use my Pebble and now, my android wear devices to track my running pace. I run about 4 miles a day. Honestly, the iWatch is just too pricey for what I would use it for.


If $300 sounds to much for a fashion item, it's probably not for you. Heck, I don't think I'll buy one either.

But then again, consider that people buy $300+ headphones (Dre's) because of how they look, fashion etc. And they are not even the best headphones out there, whereas this is probably the best smartwatch.

Or that people bought iPods for $300 or more just 6 years ago. Without video or phone or camera. Heck, I bought my first iPod for ~$800 10 years ago (complete with a black and white LCD display).

And that's the 1st gen. In a year, it will be like $200 or $100 for the same thing or the new model.

So, yeah, it might flop or it might sell, but it won't be due to its price.


"If $300 sounds to much for a fashion item, it's probably not for you."

Fair enough, but i have to say, I feel like i'm taking crazy pills here. So apple releases it and suddenly it's a fashion item to have a clunky, square watch. Just a few short months ago, i was reading nytimes articles about the current crop of smartwatches saying "'They’re just not that attractive,' said Mr. Dawson, 'they are all clunky and square'"

But now suddenly it's a fashion item to have a clunky, square watch?

(I understand fashion is fickle, but this is really really fickle :P)


Agreed. Apple make beautiful devices that are fashion accessories... but this isn't one of them, in my opinion.


I know it's wasteful to cut the corners off LCDs to make them round, but I am a little surprised that Apple didn't go that route just for novelty value if nothing else. Would've made a nice interface paradigm with a rotary dial on the face too.


Round LCDs do have an undeniably cool look: http://www.zerotohundred.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/MG_5...

But I have a feeling Porsche has just used an ordinary square panel here, with its edges concealed by the gauge bezel. A watch designer doesn't have room to pull off a visual trick like that.


You're surprised that Apple didn't make a fundamental design decision for novelty value? Not sure you have been paying attention to Apple lately.


Ok, ok; bad phrasing on my part. I meant that with Apple's branding around affordable luxury and challenging the status quo, a round screen would most definitely have been a talking point for this product and a differentiator from everything else on the market.

That said, I've since been reminded about the Moto360 which _did_ have a round screen, so my point is moot anyway.


usually, the more into the hobby, the more you spend into it. Not the opposite.


My wife runs long distances with an iPhone AND a watch.

My impression is that Forerunners have fallen out of favor. The GPS doesn't work all that well compared to a phone (I'm guessing because it lacks the AGPS data a phone has access to). Plus if you're running a marathon you probably want some music to listen to, and it sure is nice to have a phone with you even though it's perhaps a bit heavy.


I've got 18 months of Moves data logged against corresponding tracks from my 910XT and the difference in consistency, accuracy, etc., is telling - the iPhone is frequently off by 10s (if not 100s) of metres and especially coming round the Millennium Dome is a joke - it has me jumping from the south to the north of the Thames every few hundred metres.

Moves iPhone 5S - http://imgur.com/kjYf8Tj Garmin 910XT - http://imgur.com/jnXuaQC


I bet your iphone is trying to use cell tower locations or wifi hotspots it's picking up around there and borking up the location. The area around there is kind of open and flat so I wouldn't be surprised if it's picking up location information from across the river.


It does seem to be WiFi related. But if I have to remember to disable the WiFi whenever I want to do some GPS tracking - and if I forget, I basically get random garbage - that pushes it well into "no bloody use" for me.


Surely there is an app for that? Android has plenty of apps that will automatically turn on/off your wifi based on various criteria, such as your location (I always turn it off as soon as I'm 50 yards away from home or from the office).


That's a feature, not a bug ;)


Uh, no, I'm pretty sure that's a bug. Unless you literally want to consider inaccurate tracking a feature.


I would bet it is the cycling of GPS that the app is doing. If GPS is just left on, a battery can get burned through in a couple hours (for one of the newer iPhones, much less an older one). Those wacky readings are some of the initial results after GPS is cycled back on.

One might look for a higher power setting if you are doing an hour / half hour run and not concerned about keeping battery life up.


Moves is on "battery saving" mode (which actually makes little difference - I get bugger all life out of my phone anyway) but that doesn't really explain why it's just around the O2 it has serious issues - that's only about 2-3km out of the whole 30km walk.


Probably put these apps should compensate for the fact that humans can't run that fast nor that they can run over water.


Do you use a GPS app in your phone often? This almost looks like it was falling back to AGPS / Skyhook while the almanac was still downloading, which can take half an hour or so.

Once the almanac is downloaded, the phone's GPS track should look much closer to the Garmin's.

If this was a recurring problem then I don't know what to say, other than it doesn't match my experience with RunKeeper on an iPhone 4S.


Well, I have Find My iPhone and 5 other motion trackers (Moves, Argus, Breeze, Human, Nike+) running 24/7 - it's a fair bet my GPS almanac is up to date since they should all be poking the M7 for updates.


Did you disable WLAN on the iPhone during the run?

That's what RunKeeper recommends, because the AGPS using WLAN-SSIDs lowers the accuracy of the tracking.


How long does the Garmin take to find you at the start of a run? I admittedly had an old model, but it was basically a dealbreaker with the forerunner. I was wandering around for 5-10 mins with my wrist in the air waiting to start.


Same here, I've got a Garmin watch and it's great once it finds satellites, but routinely takes well over 5 minutes to do so (in NYC). I've started using my iphone to track runs and bike rides instead, only using the Garmin for really long bike rides where I don't mind the wait and having my current speed on my wrist is worth the wait.


I use the 910XT in a very cloudy part of the world (which I'm assuming makes things worse). I've just integrated the startup time into my prep.

Before I put my running stuff on, I turn on the watch and let it figure stuff out while I'm taping my nips, and if it's winter, gloves, tights, mentally bracing myself for the cold, etc.


I used to have to wait for a fix as well. What works for me is that when I'm preparing for the run, I put the watch in a window for enough time to get a fix, which sometimes take a long time. Then when I go out to run later, it gets a fix pretty quickly.


It's a lot better than the 310XT. I don't think it's taken more than a minute of standing still in the last few months. I do tend to start in pretty open sky'd places though.


The new models lock really quickly. I have a Garmin 620 and it locks within 30 seconds. Cloudy days might take a minute, but basically by the time I finish my warmup walk, it's locked on.


I have found this with the phone, if I do a cold start. When I ride somewhere, start the tracking, the stop the tracking when I get to the run track, the iPhone is so much better at tracking me.


(Totally offtopic but running near the Whitehouse in DC is funny because they screw with GPS accuracy so you bounce all over the place)


How is that possible? GPS satellites are sending the same signal out to everyone, I don't see how they could possibly target a certain area.


The Economist[1] had a story about the London Stock Exchange getting jammed GPS-signal 10 minutes every day. I believe they are using something similar.

[1]: http://www.economist.com/news/international/21582288-satelli...


Gps satellites all send slightly incorrect information... A separate radio signal correction is transmitted to correct it. That way, during wartime (or in high value target areas) the US can basically mess up enemy gps enabled weapons by broadcasting misleading satellite and correction data.


That doesn't answer the question of how they could make GPs inaccurate only in a specific area.


Low power GPS jammer at the Whitehouse, perhaps?


A terrestrial transmitter spoofs or overpowers the GPS signal.

GPS satellites have a signal strength on par with a night light's, so it's easy to overpower in a small area using a low power transmission.


I don't know how they do it, but if you drive by the Pentagon with a GPS unit you'll see it go crazy.


On some you can load AGPS data onto it for the next few days, but the bigger issue is that Garmin no longer uses SiRF chipsets, which are vastly superior when compared gen-for-gen vs. the generic stuff Garmin's using now.

It's a shame, but the most accurate Forerunners are the older ones–same for Foretrex, etc.–which are often the ones with the shortest battery life.


I doubt "people into serious running" run into the 10s of millions that Apple are aiming the watch at though.

(I agree with your point though - I have a 910XT for the battery life - the Apple Watch would be useless as an activity tracker for me since the iPhone 5S doesn't really cope with 5h+ activities.)


I agree with you too. The Apple Watch is a mass market product, not for heavy users. However, I can imagine many people wearing this watch at gyms, where people tend to look after themselves (healthkit, etc)... but I don't see professionals using it (unless endorsed).


If the battery life doesn't suck (which I fear it does given the total lack of reference to it) and the "iPhone required" isn't as onerous as it seems, I might well wear one just for the easy 24/7* heart rate tracking. Granted the optical ones aren't as good as the HRM straps (as best I remember the dcrainmaker reviews) but they're less onerous for long periods.


I think it's a general limitation of the optical heart rate trackers that they aren't quite "24/7". At least on all the Android Wear devices that feature one, you have to ask it to take a reading, and it's pretty unreliable if you're moving. I didn't see it mentioned in the Apple coverage, but I assume it's probably similarly limited there?


My Basis watch takes readings regularly (not sure the interval once a minute, maybe) of my heart rate. Battery lasts about 3-4 days.


I would have bought one since that's exactly what I want but they're -still- not shipping outside the US. Think they may have missed their chance now...


More significant than "people into serious running" is "people who want to be into serious running". Fitness products live and die based on their ability to hook the consumer with aspirational marketing. A well-placed fitness magazine "review" will impact sales far more than superior tech specs.


So the heart-rate sensor is for people that sit at their desks all day?


There is a probably a middle ground (and possibly a large one) between people running triathlons and couch potatoes.


Actually, yeah, that's pretty much the market for the fitbit and similar devices. People who sit at desks looking to get more activity in their lives.


It's certainly not for people exercising, because it clearly won't work for that use case. You can spot that from a mile away.


This comment reminded me of CmdrTaco's slashdot comment after the iPod launch: http://t.co/RPAX2r93kx

I think Garmin forerunner will be to the future of wearables what Nomad was to the future of music in 2002.


Do you remember what a Creative Nomad Jukebox actually looked like around 2001? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQaplenaBl4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR5hPd_inno

Existing MP3 players offered a pretty rough user experience; the iPod was a pleasure to use in comparison. Largely the same was true of iPhone as compared to existing smartphones. The first generations of iPod and iPhone also had hardware that was strikingly attractive and even more important, ready for prime time: well able to meet the needs of their software and of the use cases they were designed for. The Apple Watch has lovely fit and finish but looks portly and awkward, and faces serious questions on the basic criterion of battery life. The UI looks promising, but from what there is to see so far it doesn't look as if it's going to blow Android Wear out of the water. (The "digital crown" looks promising, though!)

Moreover, even without a second 5GB of storage or wireless, the iPod had a compelling "value proposition" that was soon clear to everyone, even if it wasn't immediately clear to CmdrTaco: "portable MP3 player that doesn't suck". What's the comparable pitch for the first-gen Apple Watch; what does it offer that feels like a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have, and which you can't do fairly well using your smartphone?

None of this is to say that the Watch is terrible, or will fail, or will never amount to anything. But the CmdrTaco analogy seems clearly inaccurate to me at this stage.


I have fond memories of my Creative Nomad II: http://www.nextup.com/img/Creative_NomadIIc_Large.jpg


"Existing MP3 players offered a pretty rough user experience; the iPod was a pleasure to use in comparison."

You clearly didn't own one of the first gen of iPod. Amazing as it was, crashes, reformatting and general bugginess were daily occurrences.

What the iPod brought to the table was a (buggy) new interface and click wheel which allowed you to browse your massive collection of pirated MP3's and ripped CD's much easier than other methods. Also form factor/hardware design was more pleasing to the eye to many.


At first glance, OPs comment was comparing what I believe is the first really usable wearable device to something that looks similar in form factor but is eons behind in day to day usability. So the analogy seemed quite accurate to me.

And yes, I do remember the Nomad. At the time the iPod launched, my music player was a Sony Discman and pre-ipod, I would have bought the Nomad in a heartbeat if I could.


You're right; I was somewhat OT as antr's comment was about exercise watches.

I don't think the analogy is very strong even looking at Apple Watch as an exercise watch competitor, though. Firstly, I'm not closely familiar with the recent exercise watch/widgets on the market, but I'd be surprised if all of them are as unpleasant to use as the Nomad was. Second, even if the UX advance is really that big, it seems the (first-generation) aWatch is going to have other stumbling blocks, like the need to own an iPhone 5 or higher and the need to have it with you for GPS. Those aren't just missing checklist ticks or things which will annoy a minority of technically-minded users, they're issues which affect whether "the rest of us" are going to enjoy using the aWatch or bother buying one at all. (Yes, the iPod originally required a Firewire Mac, but precisely for that reason it didn't really take off commercially until that requirement was lifted.) Thirdly, the iPod addressed a huge market, even if many users didn't even realise they were in the market for a portable music player until they heard about the iPod. Even if the aWatch wins over nearly everyone who currently uses an exercise wearable, and also draws in a substantial number of people who don't currently use one (and that's a super-optimistic outcome for as long as an iPhone remains a required accessory) is that really a big enough market to make for a commercial success on the scale of the iPod or iPhone, the kind of scale Apple now needs to keep its investors from being disappointed?


Or consider the first iPhone which had no 3G. Building your first iteration specifically not to go up against a particular competitor can be intentional, in hardware and software. Two or three generations down the road this watch could prove interesting (or may be not, like the iPad.)


No 3G, no app store(!!), no copy and paste, no GPS, worse call reception than the phones it replaced, the list goes on. It was still a massive success.


A pretty big difference is most other smartphones either didn't have these, or if they did the feature was so unusable it could just as well have been left out.


I remember it being fashionable here in the UK, mainly for the Carlsberg app that used the gyroscope (accelerometer?) to pretend that you were drinking a drink.

And for showing that you had a lot of money compared to us pauper Nokia users.

People were really disappointed with the lack of MMS, as I recall.


I'll ignore your slightly pedantic tone. I'm not calling this a failure or lame. Don't read between the lines. I'm just saying that at $350, for people who take sports seriously (a very very very small niche), there are better alternatives. This is Apple Watch 1.0, I'm sure there are better things down the line. Thinking otherwise is just a mistake. I said it before https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8292596


There are better alternatives-- IF and only IF you value certain features that the Apple watch lacks over the features that it has, but that the frontrunner lacks.

The front runner has GPS so you can get GPS without carrying your phone around. That's great. But what use is that GPS? (seriously, I don't get it- it's a 80s era LCD display).

The Apple watch has GPS (in the phone) but also gives you maps and haptic feedback to send you along your route without ever looking at the watch. I presume the frontrunner doesn't do that (how do you put a route into a watch without a map display?)


Sorry for the snarky tone. I think your clarified stance is a fair one.


Whoa, a Garmin Forerunner 910xt for $300? Hardly. My triathlon bundle cost $500, $400 for just the watch itself. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/prod90671.html


"$350!? And it can't even do the things my highly specialized device can do." It's funny you should mention the Forerunner 910, because you know what the 910 can't do? Be a watch. But that's okay because you didn't buy it to be a watch.

Besides, I'm the only runner I know that doesn't bring a phone with me when I run.


It's ironic if the 910 can't tell you the time, since one of the necessary components of a GPS device is a ridiculously accurate clock.


The 910 is capable of displaying the time of day, but it should be glaringly obvious to anyone that owns one that telling you the time is a peripheral feature that comes for free because of the nature of GPS devices. Combine that with a 20 hour battery life (probably far less if you're in an office and the GPS receiver is cranked all day), huge size, and questionable aesthetics, and it's obvious that Garmin did not intend for you to wear it to work. Not that it keeps people from trying if the Garmin forums are indicative of anything.

And Captain Pedantic has swooped in to inform us that the ridiculously accurate clocks live on the GPS satellites not on the device.


While the GPS satellite has atomic clocks, the GPS device also requires an accurate oscillator that is synced with the satellites' clocks — it uses the satellite signals to approximate the actual time and uses that approximation to measure the time delay to each satellite's clock to estimate distance, using an iterative algorithm.


They mentioned the low-end model requiring an iPhone, but unless I missed something due to the sporadic live-stream, they seemed to trail-off when it came to what the other two models would be like. I could see GPS being something built in to the higher-end model for instance.


I am a serious runner (have run 3 marathons, running a fourth in a month and a half), and I'm entertaining the possibility of converting over to the iPhone + Apple Watch. For me though, it's more complicated.

I always run with my phone & wallet for emergency reasons. I don't use a sports watch anymore (I do have a Garmin), but largely due to their bulk & wanting to focus less on my time/pace & more on my body.

I also am getting sick of Verizon getting vendors to lock down Android phones AND forcing phone vendors to toss a bunch of crapware onto the phones. The only reason I haven't switched yet is because I am on a legacy $40/month/line family plan. I am not a huge fan of iOS - I love Google's integrations with its services with Android.

A lot of what I end up doing is taking out my cellphone to check for messages or the time. It's excessive, and quite inconvenient.

Why not one of the existing smartwatches? I haven't yet been convinced that they're built for my desires.

I'm not really in a rush to make a decision here, and likely will wait some before jumping in (probably will try out the Moto 360 in the short term), but the cost isn't really out of the realm of reason necessarily to me.


I run with an iPhone in a running belt, a BT HR monitor (Wahoo TICKR Run), and the Magellan Echo. I'm very pleased with the setup.

The Echo is now compatible with several Android phones as well. Given your description, I think you'd really like it.


This is Apple's way: Release a product at a high price initially to capture extra dollars from early adopters with the extra money while also buying time for Apple to work out kinks in there production chain and also reduce costs as efficiency increases. Six to twelve months later cheaper Apple Watches will come out.


That doesn't seem to match my offhand recollections. Apple tends to keep price points the same and just update specs occasionally. The first iPhone famously had a price drop quite soon, but has that been true for their other product lines?


The MacBook Air went from being their most insanely expensive product to their entry-level without changing all too much (besides the requisite performance upgrades).


Good point. I'm still skeptical that's the plan for the watch, but I guess it's plausible at least.


I don't think Apple needs that handful of extra dollars from early adaptors.

The reason the initial price is high is because its easier to decrease a retail price than it is to increase it.


Apple tends not to lower their prices. Instead, they offer newer models will with more features at stable price points.

If prices do drop (e.g. the 5s) it's because an older product is still being sold alongside a newer one at the standard price.


This is not the case with first run products. The original iPhone's price was $599 (8GB) and $499 (4GB) when it was released in June 2007. Then in September of the same year they discontinued the 4GB model and dropped the price of the 8GB down to $400.

I'm not saying that they will drop the price of the watch but there is a history of them doing this with the first run of a product. Also someone mentioned they did something similar with the MBA in this thread.


Good point, though I think that few people paid that directly. From what I recall, base models have been $200 with a two year contract from the word go.


Nope, people who paid $600+ for an iPhone still had to have a two-year contract, they didn't even get compensated for it with a subsidy. And at the same time that you paid $600, AT&T was giving Apple a cut of the contract, something like 10 bucks a month from your AT&T bill went straight to Apple in the beginning. So Apple was really getting around $840 per iPhone over the life of the contract, $600 up front and $10/month for 24 months.


Maybe during the event but every other day while your out working out and such? I don't know about you, but I don't know any cyclist that leaves home without his phone. Heck it comes down to what not to take beyond a few certain requirements. // 2 tubes, pump, money, id, phone, water, energy gels (yuck), rain cover //

If I am short riding, as in I could walk home, the phone still goes with me. However I see no use for the watch. I have a simple comp on the handlebars, maybe I could stick the watch there?

While I disagree with your premise as the phone is there anyway, I see the watch more as Starbucks wear than anything else.


The fact that the Apple Watch doesn't do everything we can conceive combined with its visual elegance (at least in the videos) suggests to me Apple's target in this first iteration is the luxury market. I expect the athletes using those "crappy" Beats headsets will be popularizing Apple Watches to adoring fans before too long. That will give Apple enough time to make improvements over time.


Well, that's just marketing. Of course it isn't the ultimate device for serious athletes, but it has useful health related features for the broad audience.

No matter how Apple markets its products, it's always intended for a broad spectrum of users, which almost excludes the possibility that you'll ever see a Apple product that is specialized for some kind of niche


Do they have watches, sub 250, that can be used for swimming OR running?

Even just the swimming would be great, cause the price point and being forced to carry an iPhone around kind of defeated the purpose of buying the Apple Watch for me.


Nevermind, my own question got answered by looking up the Garmin Forerunner 910XT: http://sites.garmin.com/forerunner910xt/

Run, swim, AND bike. Excellent.


The swim stroke tracker is hit-and-miss for me (sometimes guesses the wrong stroke and length points) but that probably says more about my swimming (which is awful) than the watch.

But I can definitely vouch for the excellent battery life, resilience to water, and usefulness on a bike laden with sensors.

The only gripe I have is that you can have multiple sets of bike sensors but not anything else. That and their approach to OS X software basically being "well, be grateful you're only 2 years behind the PC and that we acknowledge you at all."


Good to know, thanks!

Sadly, it might be outside of my price range. It does look like it's the perfect thing for tracking my workouts, but damn is that one hell of an investment.


It's also due to be replaced any day now (it's the last piece of the Garmin series that hasn't been updated in for.ev.er.). Once the new version comes out, 910xt's should be pretty cheap to pickup.


I believe the Fenix 2 has already replaced it - http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/03/garmin-fenix2-multisport....


This is pretty ridiculous comparison. The Apple watch is clearly not targeted to any serious runners/triathletes. I don't recall anyone claim it's a "sports watch".



There is a huge difference between a sports watch and a sports edition of a watch.


I'm a casual runner and see no value in the $350 Apple Watch as well.

Heart monitoring and GPS is a nice to have for me. Seriously, all I need is my old $75 16GB iPod nano 6th generation square.


I run and this is fine with me. I don't go anywhere without my phone anyway, and I imagine GPS on the Watch would mean shorter battery life or bigger battery/watch.


>> (I won't comment the lack of info on battery life and water resistance)

Did they comment on water resistance? I thought they had a photo of someone pouring water over it...


There is a difference between submerging and just a sprinkle of water. I don't think the Apple Watch is submergible/usable for swimming.


Yes, waterproof is submersible and water resistant is rain/shower etc. Your comment referred to water resistance which that displays.

I would hope they make it waterproof as I don't want to have to leave an expensive watch with my bag on the beach unattended. But then I already have to do that with my phone I guess.


> I don't want to have to leave an expensive watch with my bag on the beach

While it's sapphire, I recommend that you keep your watch and phone as far away from salt water and sand as possible. One grain gets in the crown and you could be in trouble.

My sport watch is a Timex which is resistant to 100m, but the springs sometimes get sand stuck in them.


Ah yes! Waterproof vs water resistant. Yes, that was what I meant (changed). The AW appears to be water resistant, while many, if not most, sports watches are waterproof. Waterproof is a feature that I'm sure Cook would of mentioned if it were the case.


He probably would have, you're right. Maybe it will be exclusive to the sports edition. Seems like a good way to differentiate.


There isn't really a "water-proof" watch. There are varying degrees of water resistant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resistant_mark


"Steve Ballmer Laughs at iPhone" in 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywi0h_Y5_U


Fellow triathlete here! 100% agree.

It looks nice though...


My impression from the marketing video where Ive speaks is that this is more like a vanity jewelry item, not anything serious and definitely not something that can handle abuse. I don't think they even market it as a sports item.


> I don't know any person who is into serious running ... who would spend $350 on the Apple Watch

People will spend that much money on the Apple Watch. Because it's Apple.It might seem like a ripoff to you but the price was calculated to maximise Apple profit.


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