A new milestone in timekeeping and computing comes to pass today when the eagerly awaited “Apple Watch” becomes available for pre-order online and “demonstration” by-appointment-only at Apple Retail Stores.
Deliveries and in-store sales kickoff in two weeks on Friday, April 24th.
I published my first take on the Apple Watch back in September when it, along with the latest iPhones, were announced.
And a month ago, I ran an update on Apple’s new timepiece.
I haven’t got my hands on an Apple Watch as yet (and probably won’t be buying one anytime soon), but that doesn’t mean I can’t pass on to you what I’ve learned as “The Watch” debuts today.
Tech pundits have been taking the Apple Watch for a “test drive” over the past week or so. And because “seeing is believing,” they’ve filmed “The Watch” in action as well as provided their impression of its utility and functionality in print.
Here’s Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue (who wrote this piece about “The Watch”) showing off his Apple Watch.
Or must I?
In the final sequence of the Pogue video this ugly question rears its head: Why do I need this gadget?
And that raises another question: How easy is the Apple Watch to use?
As this video (and the accompanying story) by Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times points out, the Apple Watch is a far different device than an iPhone, and there is a learning curve you’ll have to climb in order to use it effectively.
In what seems to be a tacit acknowledgement that using the Apple Watch isn’t going to be entirely intuitive for most users, or that it needs to conduct a “visual campaign” to convince iPhone owners to purchase “The Watch,” Apple is producing a raft of videos promoting its new device and showing how its works.
The key things to remember of the Apple Watch are:
- You need to own (and carry with you) an iPhone to use most of the Watch’s functions.
- The cheapest Apple Watch runs $350, but depending on the level of “wrist bling” you want, plan on paying $549 or more.
- The Apple Watch doesn’t do e-mail, maps, and isn’t really a substitute for a phone when it comes to making or receiving phone calls.
- It may be a while before there are a flood of apps designed for the watch.
- You’ll have to make sure to re-charge the watch’s battery every day.
- If you have “OCCIPD” (“Obsessive-Compulsive Checking iPhone Disease”), the Apple Watch with its tapping/buzzing alert system may be ideal for you.
- Unless you must own the latest technology, regardless of whether it will be of significant use to you, you probably don’t “need” an Apple Watch.
Apple apparently is so confident that all iPhone owners will definitely buy an Apple Watch that it has included a seemingly unremovable Apple Watch app on the iPhone’s Home screen.
But even if you decide you can’t live without having an Apple Watch on your arm, getting your hands on one could be problematic. Update, Friday, April 10, 10:45 am, PDT: According to this CNET story, some models of Apple Watch are already sold out, some won’t be available for delivery until June.
This Associated Press story lays out the steps you’ll have to follow to buy one. And Reuters reports that Apple expects demand for the Apple Watch to exceed the initial supply of the device.
CNET reporting from Sydney, Australia shows what to expect when you make an appointment for an Apple Watch “fitting” at an Apple Retail Store.
Finally, consider whether instead of buying the first iteration of this “wrist bling” you should wait for Apple Watch 2 or Apple Watch 3.
And while you are cogitating, and waiting, waiting, waiting until maybe sometime this summer to get one anyway,tune into Nilay Patel’s of The Verge in-depth video review, or read the print version, or both, of this latest of Greatest-Thing-Since-Sliced-Bread-Maybe products from a company started by two young guys in a garage back in the day. Nilay takes you through an entire day in his life wearing and using the watch, and its the best review I’ve seen this far that demonstrates the utility and the shortcomings of Apple’s first venture into “wearables.”