I Don’t Get It: The Apple Watch

applewatch2Originally this was going to be one of my Onion-style fake news posts about Apple’s big news being that they’re releasing a product that was essentially released by Pebble over 2 years go. But it wouldn’t even really be a fake article, because it’s true. So this will be the first in a new series called “I Don’t Get It.”

So here’s my understanding: Last week Apple announced a new iPhone that is yet again pretty much the same as the last few iterations of the iPhone. That’s fine.

But the big, splashy news was the Apple Watch. It’s essentially a mini iPhone on your wrist…actually, no. That’s how Apple portrayed it. It’s really more like a watch on your wrist that has some functions of fitness wristbans (but in a much fancier, expensive package–I can’t imaging someone going for a jog with that on their wrist).

The watch loses many of its key functions if you don’t have your iPhone nearby–indeed, the two devices are quite dependent on one another if you’re going to be texting or receiving messages from people.

In fact, it appears to offer so few features by itself that one of the big highlights on Apple’s homepage is that you can draw pictures on your watch and send them to other people. It’s kind of like poking someone on Facebook, except much more visible to other people, and involving a lot more penis drawings.

Now, I’ve been an Apple doubter in the past. I wrote a blog entry years ago about how I’d never buy an iPhone because I wanted a physical keyboard to type on. I’ve since had two iPhones, and I understand the value of the touch screen (which is another weird thing about the watch–does it even have a touch screen? Or just that weird dial on the side?)

However, I’m completely baffled by this device. I’m sure people will buy it because it’s Apple, of course. And I really don’t mean to be so cynical about it. I just wonder if I’m missing something really obvious and cool about this device that other people are seeing.

Here’s my theory: I think Apple has a much cooler, forward-looking device in mind, but they haven’t yet perfected it. It’s like the original iPod with the moving dial. It was good enough, but it wasn’t great. So I think we’ll see a big step forward for this Watch in a few years. Maybe by then it’ll be functionally interesting to me, but not in its current state.

What do you think about it? Do you already wear a watch or a fitness wristband? Does this watch give you what you’ve always wanted in a wrist accessory?

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