Apple Watch: With Great Intention
This isn’t to imply that Apple could do no wrong, but simply that its very unlikely that they will.
Its easy to look at the Apple Watch and pass it off as other gadget. Its also easy to write it off as an item of luxury. After all, Apple is going though great lengths to make sure you know that there is quite a bit of luxury to be had with Apple Watch. So you must be thinking that at worst, it must be another Nike band and at best, an overpriced watch with an Apple logo. Please don’t be that person. Don’t let your preconceived notions of the current tech landscape cloud your vision, and please remember that this is Apple. They invented the Mac, the iPhone, and the iPad. We all scoffed at all of that back then. A computer for the home? a $700 phone? An oversized iPod touch? Who would want those? This isn’t to imply that Apple could do no wrong, but simply that its very unlikely that they will.
There is a lot to unpack with Apple Watch. The important thing to remember is that despite what ridiculousness you may come across while exploring Apple Watch, this is an Apple product through and through. And as it turns out, the Apple Watch is the most sophisticated device Apple has shipped since the original iPhone.
What Makes It Tick
The Apple watch is an extension of your iPhone. It pairs, and can display virtually everything you would check your lock screen or notification center for, plus much more. While not checking the time, you will receive notifications for messages, mail, maps, and virtually every other app on your phone, and if the developer spends some extra time, you will be able to interact with those notifications in some cool ways. A message can be replied to with the same clever contextual auto responses that were introduced with iOS 8 or by voice dictation. You can answer phone calls, interact with Siri, and even get map directions. Apple Watch literally does everything your phone does, without having to reach into your purse or pocket and checking your phone like a scrub. Your favorites list is no more than a single click away and Apple has built in some new ways to message others with an Apple Watch.
The health features are what elevate Apple Watch to greatness. The device has multiple sensors on the back of the watch (the part that rests on your skin) that constantly track your pulse rate. It uses that along with accelerometer and gyroscope, pairing with your phone to give you way more information about your daily activity than you ever knew you wanted. The watch can be set with personal fitness goals to achieve throughout the day, and can also tell you when you should stand or walk. Apple has made a huge investment in health recently and this is the frontrunner component of that vision.
Under the hood, Apple Watch is a beast. When Apple first reveled it back in September of last year, the thing that really knocked me back was the technology inside. Along with the sensors mentioned above, the Watch features a special new chip at its core. Apple calls it the S1 chip, and it is one of the things that make Apple Watch such a huge technological achievement. The S1 chip is an an entire computer in one single chip. That includes the CPU, GPU, RAM, and Storage. The phone also features a haptic feedback module called the TAPTIC engine. The module acts like vibe motor to give you a literal tap on the wrist when something on the phone needs your attention. Apple Watch also features an all day battery. Apple has been very open that this is a device you will want to charge on a nightly basis. With everything the Apple Watch does, I don’t blame them. However, it would have been nice to see something that can take you to two days, incase you miss a night of charge, or if you use it a bit more heavily sometimes. Perhaps next years model.
Yes the Apple Watch is amazing. The net is a buzz with all the reviews. If you want to learn more about the watch itself, the reviews are out there. However, It isn’t what it does on the inside, but it’s what it looks like on the outside that is most intriguing of all. And that all rests on the very important fact that on April 24th, with Apple Watch, Apple will officially enter the fashion industry.
Apple has always been known for the quality of their craft. Not an event goes by that we don’t learn about their hardware, materials, and processes. The materials used, has always given Apple their edge in quality and visual luster. Aircraft-grade anodized aluminum with diamond-cut chamfered edges adorned the iPhone 5 and 5s’s jewel-like finish. Etched glass gives your MacBook pro’s trackpad years of usability without wearing in the slightest. Your Apple product will look the exact same in 5 years (granted you take care of it), thanks to the care and attention that goes into the craft. Yet surprisingly, all of this doesn’t come with a premium price, at least not over its direct competition. You can make the argument that Apple has set the price bar with their popularity and prestige forcing the competition to compete and match their pricing, but that a topic for another day. The topic at hand is that Apple has always defined the materials used for its products but their functional contributions. And on April 24th, it is all going to change.
Your Apple product will look the exact same in 5 years.
This is the first time in Apple’s history where the price is purely determined by the different materials and aesthetic choices. There is no choices in storage or processor, ram or graphics. The only arguable choice in in screen size (38 and 44 mm watch faces). However there is no functional advantage, so it doesn’t count as a technological advantage or feature (Even the iPhone 6 Plus has additional software and hardware features over the iPhone 6). The only difference in price between the Watch models is going to be completely cosmetic.
There are 3 collections of Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition. The Apple Watch Sport is made of a straightened anodized aluminum alloy and features Apple’s Ion-X glass, making Apple Watch the most durable of the line, and ideal for active use. The Price is $349 and $399 for the two respective screen sizes and is available in a silver or space grey finish, similar to the iPhone. The Apple Watch Sport is also available in a variety of colored bands, made of a durable fluoroelastomer plastic, again designed for durability and wear-resistance, while maintaining comfort again your skin.
The Apple Watch (with no name) is Apple’s mid-line watch and will most likely be the more popular option due to its versatility in styles and options. It is cased in a highly-polished custom Stainless Steel available in silver and space black colors. The display is made from Apple’s infamous sapphire crystal. Since the material is the second hardest clear material next to Diamond, it is optimal for scratch-resistance, assuring the Apple Watch Edition will look stunning for years to come. The Apple Watch is available with a sport band for $549, but this is where things start getting interesting. This Watch line is also available in a variety of other bands, ranging from leather to Steel Link Bracelet. Your choice in band in this instance take the potential price as high as $1099.
Finally, the Apple Watch Edition is Apple’s high end line watches. They are incased an a hardened 18 karat gold, available in Yellow or Rose Gold, and finished with the same sapphire crystal display. Yes, that is a gold watch, no plated, colored, or skinned… it is solid 18 karat gold. So what does the gold watch cost? It costs what you think a gold watch may cost. The Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000. Your selection of gold color and band can take your watch price up as high as $17,000.
Apple Watch may not change your life, but it just might help you become more aware of it.
At a Glance
If you decide your hard-earned (or not so hard-earned) money is worth an Apple Watch, your watch budget is purely going to be based on your lifestyle aside from technology. Your choices may be purely cosmetic, but Apple’s sense of purpose with its available choices in fully in-tact and seems to be tastefully executed. Apple Watch may not change your life, but it just might help you become more aware of it.
Apple has accomplished enough with their hardware to be fully confident in their ability to pull off a product like the Apple Watch, where the technology comes standard. “It just works” is a popular phrase in recent Apple PR talk, but they’re right. They say “It just works” and you know it’s going to. Their days of proving that is now over. Apple Watch isn’t necessarily a technologically revolutionary product by itself, but is its newest star-child showcasing how innovative and bold Apple is as a company.
The Apple Watch even goes as deep as to influence Apple’s retail strategy. To try on a watch, Apple has introduced the ability to make an appointment to try on a few different models, and you will have your own private Specialist to help you and give you advice on which one best suits you… like a jewelry store or tux shop. It’s very different, yet very Apple in its approach. The Apple Watch is Apple’s “most personal device” and it deserves a different approach than long lines wrapping around the block. The only way to attain a watch, in fact, is to order online or to make an in-store try-on reservation, and thats the way it should be. Like I mentioned before, there is only one Apple Watch from a technological standpoint, the only decisions you are making are fashion choices. It stands to reason that you might want to try on a few to figure out which one looks good to you. That would be your only reason to visit a store, if you are considering purchasing one.
April 24th is just a few days away and it will be interesting to see how this immense strategic shift will affect the stores and the company. The reviews are out and they seem to cautiously optimistic. Tim Cook has been recently quoted in an article at fastcompany.com and said “everything can change except values,” in reference to Apple’s future. This is an exciting new adventure for Apple, and with what I’ve seen from their marketing push, I am confident Apple Watch has the potential to become the next great must-have Apple product. If you aren’t much of a watch person, you soon will be ✶