Apple Watch is officially the number 1 watch in the world but that’s not what matters according to Tim Cook during the Apple Keynote 2017 presentation. It’s the number of lives it has changed, and the 50% growth year on year of course. I think you’d agree with me, if you’ve used the Apple Watch, that Apple has got the smartwatch formula figured out. The wearable is intuitive and is a near perfect fit for most iOS users.
Whatever naysayers may proclaim, it’s undeniable the Apple Watch is the fitness focused watch we regularly see on the subway, in the shopping malls, in gyms, along with Fitbit and perhaps Garmin. Sales numbers don’t lie.
Despite all that, I’m not all that impressed with the new Apple Watch Series 3 as compared to the Series 2 which has since been removed from Apple Stores.
The biggest hoo-ha over the Apple Watch Series 3 is simply the addition of cellular connection over the Series 2. I’d agree it’s an engineering marvel and the presence of cellular capability will allow the Apple Watch to stream music directly from Apple Music without being connected to a mobile device. And putting a phone call through directly on the Apple Watch a la Dick Tracy is now a reality.
Yet I for one am skeptical about conversing over a smart watch and have everyone around me listen in. Neither do I see myself Stand Up paddling with both hands occupied and having to converse urgently. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure there are those rare occasions when conversing over a watch vis-a-vis over a mobile device’s speakerphone function is great but I doubt it’s the norm.
Do you really want to take a call or reply to a message while exercising? It’s very likely that’s the main reason why we exercise in the first place; to get a tiny break from an ever connected life. And the thought of 40 million songs is just daunting. I doubt I’ve digested a million songs my whole life!
Plus the use of cellular will no doubt come at the expense of battery life of an already juice-starved Apple Watch, not to mention additional charges of cellular network use.
On the contrary, watchOS4 is genuinely exciting and will affect millions of Apple Watch Series 2 users.
There’s smart activity coaching to further encourage wearers to close the iconic triple rings. High intensity interval training, better swim tracking metrics and the inclusion of multi-sport modes are all coming. Gymkit is going to enable users to sync their workouts on compatible gym machines so that actual workouts and tracked workouts are identical. These new features have been on the grapevine the last few months so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Whats’ surprising was when Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, announced 2 new features related to Apple’s heart rate sensors.
The Apple Watch will have a new resting and recovery HR reading; both of which are signs of improving cardiovascular fitness. Secondly, Apple Watch will be able to surface irregular heart rhythms and notify users in what is known as the Apple Heart Study. In collaboration with Stanford Medicine, the first phase of the Apple Heart Study will be available in the USA on the App Store.
Together with new features for diabetes management, the Apple Watch is well placed to play a bigger role in health management along with fitness. I’m convinced Apple Watch is the smart watch leader to beat in the near future and the OS4 brings with it immense possibilities and improvements along with a multitude of watchOS apps. As for the Apple Watch Series 3 cellular, I’ll sit on the fence for this one. More features with the same battery life seems like a poor concoction.
Pre-orders for the Apple Watch Series 3 will begin on the 15th September with delivery expected on 22nd on the same month. The Nike+ version will be available on the 5th October 2017.