How embarrassing is this? Few hours ago, I exercised with my wife—and I was in pushup position, which brought the top of my hand in frequent, forceful contact with Apple Watch crown and button. Suddenly, […]
I suffer from phantom smartwatch syndrome—an ailment that hopefully will disappear over time. Nearly four weeks ago, I put aside Apple Watch 2 stainless steel and replaced it with the simple but appealing ManchesterWatchWorks Iconik 3. Problem: Almost any shifting movement of the timepiece causes me to reflexively flip my wrist and look down; there is false perception of hepatic sensation. Apple has trained me well, and I’m tired of being its dog doing tricks. Woof. Woof. Growl.
I feel free! Gone are the nagging alerts—and I had them barreled down to a minimum of approved services: Some for breaking news; emails from a half-dozen people; and text messages. Among this still seeming torrent, the Activity app annoyed with congratulatory badges and prompts that one of the four main exercise goals (Calories, Exercise Time, Stands, and Steps)—Apple’s athletic lifestyle version of the four food groups—would soon be achieved. The badges are about as infantile as gold stars that teachers give kindergarteners and with similar purpose: To make the recipient feel good, whether or not deserved. The achievement badge for Earth Day flipped my goat. Seriously? I ordered the Iconik 3 that evening.
In a post to Google+ this AM, journalist Kevin Tofel asks: “Who else doesn’t think many people will buy a $1,500 Android Wear watch simply because it’s made by TAG Heuer?” His question is spot on. The timepiece maker introduced its new line of smart wristwear earlier today.
I see TAG Heuer Connected differently. The high-end brand is carried in fine jewelry stores everywhere. This watch will make Android Wear visible to millions of buyers who might never see the platform. Demographically, many of these same people might never encounter or consider purchasing Apple Watch, either.
As Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus preorder weekend progresses, I reflect on the week’s announcements. Increasingly, I see the company as the middle-aged boys club; men of a certain age designing products for rich, white, middle-age males. Of course, execs want women and people of other ages and classes buying pretty things, too. I refer to a mindset that seems to be core to Apple’s post-Steve Jobs design ethic.
“Products without purpose” I call new MacBook, Apple Watch, and iPad Pro. Where once Steve Jobs filled niches and created new categories, CEO Tim Cook and company create new Apple ware for which there is little to no need whatsoever.
Apple’s newest tablet, announced earlier today, isn’t on my shopping list. At 12.9 inches, the screen on the iPad Pro is too big. The device can’t comfortably fit the hands for long periods of time. I have experience with 12-inchers. I will likely keep my iPad Air 2, unless Google comes out with some gotta-have Nexus tab before Apple starts selling its beast in November.
The media event marks a big day for the fruit-logo company, which also introduced new Apple Watch models. That’s code for same internals with more case color and band choices. Apple TV gets a big refresh, and new iPhones are queued up for preorders starting Saturday September 12. The company usually does Friday, but that’s the 9-11 terrorist attack anniversary.
In another universe, I don’t own Apple Watch. Either LG Watch Urbane or Moto 360 adorns my wrist. But in this one, I not only sold my soul to the bitten-fruit logo company but I grew to enjoy the servitude. Thirty-three days after purchasing the smartwatch, I can express satisfaction, even if sometimes muted, with the user experience.
I prefer Android Wear for its fantastic contextual utility, but find greater overall usability and positive emotional response from living with Apple Watch. As expressed in the previous post, I suspect that returns rates may be high for this device—at least compared to others that Apple produces. The real measure of any product’s success is: 1) Did you keep it?; 2) Do you use it?; 3) Do you enjoy it?
Apple announces on Tuesday quarterly results that will for the first time include its wearable. Already, ahead of the big day, speculation soars about Apple Watch sales. Expect drama for sure, as CEO Time Cook explains how supply shortages constrained availability, leaving investors with more questions than answers.
I am more interested in data the company likely won’t reveal: return rates. I took back two. The first: I ordered online but sales started, after long delay, in the retail store before the device arrived. Rather than wait another week, I bought there and later returned the other, which the shop specialist sold seconds afterwards to a family that had come in looking for Apple Watch only to be told the Sport sold out. The second: A week later, I exchanged the aluminum timepiece for stainless steel. How many other people returned one for another because of taste or altogether because of dislike? The measure of Apple Watch success is percentage of returns.
After spending 7 days with Apple Watch Sport—and largely enjoying it—time comes to test the next pricier model. When trying to compare the two, I find very little useful from Internet searches. So a primer is in order for other folks also wondering: Which one is right for me? Ultimately, the best answer will come from going into an Apple Store (if there is one nearby) and putting the timepieces on your wrist.
Last week, I compared Android Wear and Apple Watch platforms, starting from the different design ethics behind them. Obviously, timepieces from the bitten-fruit logo company are more alike, with the main differences being materials, pricing, and target customers. Interestingly, the combinations offer subtle changes in benefits that will matter much to some shoppers. Henceforth, I will refer to the devices as Sport, for the aluminum model, and Apple Watch for the stainless steel sibling.
Last week, I had opportunity to use Apple Watch, making it third of the modern smart variety that I have experienced (the others being LG Urbane and Moto 360). The differences between the platforms are quite startling and worth highlighting. They begin with diverging design ethics derived from the fruit-logo company’s app-centric heritage and Google’s place in the cloud.
For people who use either Android handset or iPhone, existing device really determines what watch platform you choose, if any—that is for now. Down the path you go. But where it leads is somewhere else, not the same destination. One platform is more responsive to you in varying contextual situations. The other requires more direct interaction, but gives other benefits.
Sunday afternoon, I cleaned out old CDs from a folder to make room for DVDs the family will keep but in more manageable storage. The things we save and forget about: install disc for the Suunto N3i MSN Direct smartwatch. The discovery is opportunity to express one of my ongoing gripes regarding news gathering today: Wild speculation about things to come that ignores context of past accomplishments.
Consider the smartphone, which you would think Apple invented based on all the blog blathering. Credit belongs to Nokia, about 20 years ago. Then there is the smartwatch. My feedbox fills with increasing speculation about when Microsoft will develop a wristwear platform or when will traditional timepiece makers produce the devices. Been there, done that.
I never expected to part with my Luminox 3187 (pictured), nor the Moto 360 that replaced it. But, hey, Craigslist sales happen. Both devices went to new owners this week. Meanwhile, I settle into supreme satisfaction using the LG Watch Urbane. We’re 10 days a team, and inseparable except for charging and showers—I do try to time their start together, seeing as how the Urbane comes off the wrist for either.
My initial first impressions are little changed. Overall, I prefer the LG smartwatch to the Motorola. Traditional styling, always-on screen, and satisfactory (but not exceptional) battery life are among the Urbane’s charming qualities.
Late yesterday morning, LG Watch Urbane arrived from Verizon. Turnaround is quick for anyone who wants one right way, rather than waiting for Google to ship (now 1-2 days rather than by May 8). I am rushing a first-impressions review for BetaNews, and some comparison to the Moto 360 is mandatory. If round is your taste, consider one of these two smartwatches.
Meantime, to collect my thoughts for the review and for anyone considering the Urbane, I share something sooner. Overall, I am satisfied with the initial out-of-the-box experience. Urbane is gorgeous and looks like a traditional watch. The always-on, dimmed face contributes to the effect—without bleeding dry the charge. The watch is also more functional as a timepiece, as such. I mean, shouldn’t it be?