I said before that smartwatches were Apple’s game to lose with the iWatch (announced today), and I stand by it. Though apparently the iWatch is called the Apple Watch and not the iWatch. None of the Android Wear watches seem like they’re going to kindle enthusiasm in the mass market, and this is a niche where, if it can be done at all, it will need to be done with Apple’s characteristic attention to detail, innovative design, and smooth user experience.
I was also somewhat skeptical that smart watches were going to be a thing at all. I continue to be somewhat skeptical.
How successful the Apple Watch will be is very much up in the air, and won’t really settle down until well past its release in early 2015. But I have to say, I’m not in love with its appearance.
The Moto 360 is, in my mind, inarguably a better looking watch than the Apple Watch. Apparently, the Moto 360 is also a complete piece of shit in terms of internals, so that’s a bummer, but I’m a little surprised at how thoroughly the Apple Watch is a loser here even purely in aesthetics.
I’m not a huge partisan of “team round,” either. What I had hoped to see from the Apple Watch was something that was a little less traditionally watch-like altogether. Something that suggests that the smartwatch is its own separate category of device in the way that the iPhone initially seemed different from other cell phones. Remember that at the time, phones were typically either flip devices or were sort of lozenge-shaped with significant depth and heft. The iPhone was, just by glancing at it, different from other cell phones. The Apple Watch seems like a watch that has replaced its face with a small screen.
None of this is terribly damning. If the Apple Watch does a good job of really making its users’ lives much easier, the appearance will recede into the background. But it does make me wonder, at least for a second, whether Apple is still pushing boundaries, or if they’re content to follow.
Tangentially: “iWatch” sounds a bit stupid, yes, but “Apple Watch” is way too long to type and say, and no, we aren’t just going to call it a watch, now.
Less tangentially: Reports are that the aWatch will last “about a day” per charge. Lots of people are complaining about the battery life, but honestly as long as you can really reliably reach bedtime before needing to charge, I don’t see this as a killer issue. You’d probably be taking your watch off for bed anyway. So you have to put it in a particular charging spot rather than throwing it on the table. Who cares? It means one more charger you have to bring with you on trips, but honestly that’s the world we live in, people. You’re gonna be charging shit.