I was actually very excited by the prospect of the Apple Watch (or iWatch as it was rumoured). It has very good functionality potential and whilst I have not worn a watch since I was a teenager, in March I bought myself a $2 Casio Classic Digital Sport Watch to wear in anticipation of having to wear a watch after 20 years without one!
However September 9 brought with it a few disappointments – the iPhone 6 line (as you can read here) was a huge let down and the Apple Watch was even worse. So much so that, at this stage, I will not be buying one, for three major reasons – it has less than one day battery life – yes it must be charged every night; there is no built-in GPS – it will utilise your phone’s GPS; and it’s not waterproof!
Less than one day battery life
For me, having to remember to charge both your phone and your watch every night is a pain. The phone is easy, because you put it on silent, and charge it like you’ve done with your phone as always. But with a watch it is different. Even the old windup analogue watches lasted days or weeks, and it didn’t take hours for them to recharge! What’s the point of a watch if it’s not easily ready to use.
But need to charge overnight is not my main gripe – it’s the inability to use the Apple Watch as a sleep monitor in a similar to the Jawbone UP24. The UP24 has the ability to monitor your sleep pattern and allows you to use a Smart Alarm that wakes you using gentle vibrations of the band within 15mins of your “alarm time”. This means that you wake out of the lighter part of your sleep pattern and feel more refreshed.
No built-in GPS
For those of us who like to try and keep active, tracking a walk, run or ride is an essential feature of any smart device. The fact that there are so many fitness apps that utilise GPS is testament to that. So having to carry both the iPhone and the Apple Watch to track GPS makes the watch a little pointless as a fitness device. All fitness smart-watches to date feature built-in GPS, so why Apple have left this out seems a bit dumb
A watch that you must take off in the shower? Are we in the 19th century or the 21st century? A sports watch that can’t get wet? Yes, it is sweat and shower-proof, but it won’t survive if you go swimming. It can’t be that hard for Apple to make it waterproof.
I’d be more than happy to give up power hungry features like bluetooth headphone support to get more battery life and built-in GPS. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, stated:
It requires an iPhone, because they have been designed to work together. However, if you go for a run, and you don’t want to carry your iPhone, music is also on your watch. So with a Bluetooth headset, you can run and listen to your music without your iPhone.
My question is, who is going to go for a run without GPS in their smartwatch? Offered a choice, most runners would prefer GPS over bluetooth headphone support – we have the iPod and wired headphones for that.
TAG Heuer have promised to bring out a smartwatch that will eclipse the Apple watch (article here), which hopefully with result in more features being included in the Apple Watch. This increased competition will only be good for the consumer as the Apple watch is not going to be cheap, with the sports model starting at about $350, the stainless steel version starting at $1,000, and the 18-karat gold Watch Edition starting at a whopping $5,000!
The Apple Watch has the potential to be an essential and amazing device. It’s very customisable inside and out, packed with apps and can even tell the time. It will likely kill off the Pebble watch, or improve it, and if the public take up to the Apple Watch like it has with other Apple devices, then hopefully the second generation Apple watch will be a much better device that what has been promised for the first one.