Apple watch : Impressions

Apple Watch iWatch smartwatch

The watch

The Apple Watch has a square screen, comes in two sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm and in three different collections, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. They say they’ve essentially shrunk a computer on a one tiny chip. The watch has Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) and Bluethooth connectivity and also GPS, accelerometer and a heart rate sensor to track your daily activity. You can watch the data it collects on your iPhone via the companion Fitness app. You navigate through the watch UI using the new Digital Crown and the touch screen. Apple calls the touch screen a “Retina display” as usual (It basically just means that the screen has a high enough resolution that you can’t see the individual pixels from a normal viewing distance) and the screen can sense how much pressure you use when you touch it.

What Apple’s smartwatch came to be was bit of a surprise to me.

Availability and the different materials

You can get the watch enclosure in polished or space black stainless steel, space gray or silver anodized aluminum and 18-karat rose or yellow gold with interchangeable straps. The watch will be available in the US only, starting in at $349 in early 2015. We’ll see if it will come to other markets after it’s released in the US.

I’m genuinely surprised about the Apple Watch

So, Apple released the rumored “iWatch” on Tuesday in Flint Center, Cupertino and as you know It’s not called the iWatch, but the Apple Watch.

Why am I surprised? Because this is not even close to how I imagined Apple’s smartwatch to be like. I though it would be something that was designed to be a watch. What they seem to be going for instead, is almost a computer on your wrist. They showed off Apple Maps on the watch and you could zoom and scroll the map just like on the iPhone, there’s also a full fledged Twitter app and a lot more.

Now, this might be exactly what some people want from a smartwatch, but my vision is more along the lines of Android Wear (I wish I could prove you I’m not being biased).

My vision of a smartwatch ; Android Wear

If you didn’t know yet, Android wear is a version of Google’s Android OS, made for wearable devices, especially smartwatches. The UI shows a watch face by default, and if you get a notification, a small card will peek from the bottom of the screen. If you swipe up it will show all the notifications it feels are important to you. That is important in my opinion since I wouldn’t want to be navigating around my watch like I was using my phone, which is the way things are on the Apple Watch since the apps are put so front and center. Basically, Android Wear devices are watches that show your phone’s notifications. You can also answer to calls and text messages with them.

They do have apps though, and you can for instance navigate from point A to a point B, cook and watch the recipe from your watch, order a taxi and a lot more. It’s obviously up to the developers what kind of apps the platform will get in the future. The apps are not the main thing in the interface though, unlike on the Apple Watch.

The future of smartwatches

I’m not yet sure which one of these smartwatch visions is “the right one”, but currently I’m liking the Android Wear watches a lot more, especially the round Moto 360. Regardless, I think in the coming years we will see smartwatches in general become more mainstream and it depends on the public reception whether it’s the Apple’s or Google’s smartwatch that catches on.

Comment your opinions on the subject!

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