I’m watching the keynote introducing the Apple Watch right now, and they’ve gone beyond what I even imagined – this is going to be incredibly useful. The maps themselves make it desirable, let alone everything else it can do.
It’s funny that just before this started I was reading comments from the CEOs of Swatch and Bulova who said “We’re not worried about an Apple Watch” – very similar to what the CEOs of Verizon, Blackberry, and Nokia did when the iPhone was introduced. Even pairing with Google, watchmakers are not going to be able to compete with this anytime soon. Many of them will disappear waiting for that day to come.
Yeah the map thing is great. If you want to try it grab one of the Android watches that have been out for months… They all have that exact feature.
Actually is not exactly the same. Unfortunately you have to use Google Maps rather than Apple Maps.
Seriously though, I genuinely wanted it to be a leap forward as I’m not at all sold on any smartwatch at the moment. Apple showed how to make smartphones, then they showed how to make tablets, but this watch just doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.
My perspective: I had numerous Windows smart phones going way back (“HTC i-mate”, anyone?). On paper, they did most of the things the iPhone did – but in the real-world, the experience of using thing was so poor they barely did any of them. The iPhone changed things through usability more than “previously-unseen” features. I expect the watch to be the same – yes there are Android watches that can do these things – do they do them well? The reviews say no. In the recent past, Apple’s been better and getting usability right – most of the time – than anyone else. I’m expecting the same this time, and the demo suggests it’s so.
But the other BIG thing for me is the NFC payments. I don’t want to have to carry around a bunch of credit cards, and this should allow me to do that. “But wait! Android already has this!” Yeah, they do, but Google didn’t get the big banks on board, Apple did. And a feature you can’t use doesn’t count as a feature in my book. Even more importantly, though, is Apple’s Secure Element chip – which makes every transaction a virtual “one-time credit card”, and Apple as a business. Apple sells you stuff, and makes their money off that. They don’t sell or rent your data to other companies to sell you stuff; Google does – It’s their entire business model, and that’s not the company I want tracking every purchase I make.
So, yeah. Google has Google Gear, but it’s not for me.