Apple Watch Event Thoughts

After a little more than a day, and digesting the latest Apple event, I figured I’ll write my first thoughts.

I haven’t yet checked the latest iOS Simulators, nor rewatched the event video. I’m writing this as bullet points, as I don’t have any coherent thought to run through all of them.

Overall it was an amazing event (even with the poor streaming), except for the U2 part at the end, which fealt overacted and uncomfortable.

Apple Watch

Ever since I got my first mobile phone I stopped wearing a watch. I do have a Fitbit One, that I like and use everyday.

  • It’s the first version. It the Watch success (and I think it will) it will be remembered fondly as the original iPod, iPhone or iPad.
  • It’s a sad fact that it needs to be recharged overnight (even more, it appears to be designed with that use case in mind). Fitness trackers are used to track sleep, and one of the features I like the most is their silent alarms, so you can wake up in the morning without waking up the rest of the family. I figure we’ll get there eventually with the Apple Watch.
  • I like how they made so many different bands and styles. I always considered a watch to be more about personal style than a phone, and I like how this is being addressed.
  • The watch creates a new entry point for a potential halo effect on the iPhone. Some people might get attracted to the watch more than to the iPhone, creating new potential customers for both.
  • We can always use more sensors. A gyro would be useful to measure stuff on a tennis or golf player for example. If the iPhone is any experience, sensors will be added.
  • I’m really curious on the update cycle for the watch. With no subsidy and potentially high prices, what’s the expectation on users updating their watches? How will that fragment the app ecosystem?
  • I’d love it to be thinner. Once again, I can see this happening sooner rather than later, as it did with the iPad 2.
  • I know about Option + Shift + K. Did you know about Simbol to type it on the iOS?

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

  • They look big and great. If I were to pick one, I think I’d go with iPhone 6. The huge hardware change will certainly draw a lot of people to the iPhone, either switching from Android for the first time, or coming back after feeling dissapointed by smaller screens.
  • I like that the middle tier is now 64GB, but dislike that the bottom one remained at 16GB. It strikes me as unfair1, although I understand the reasoning to try to drive customers to a more expensive device.
  • 3x assets and the scaling is weird. I figure it’s a stop gap measure until we can get screens at 4x resolutions, so we can go back to pixel perfect assets if we wish to. While iOS 7 and 8 have a visual style that do not require pixel perfect mockups, iOS 7 was touted as designed for retina displays, and the recommendation was to use retina assets (like 1px lines) which might not look good on the 6 Plus.
  • It’s a sad reality, but the leaks during the buildup for these events keep being real. At this point, Apple can only either preannounce hard, as they did with the Apple Watch, or surprise us with software, as with iOS 7, Yosemite or Swift. It’s a bittersweet feeling: I like the huge reveals, but as a developer, I can also see the great value in revealing software that has the potential of changing the hardware we already own.

Apple Pay

  • I really love the focus on privacy. The fact that the credit card information remains on the phone is reassuring.
  • There are two steps that are moody for me:
    • How is the validation with the bank done? Will Apple have to partner with every bank that provides credit cards?
    • If credit cards are local to the phone, what happens when they add the card you have on file on your Apple ID? Is it transfered? Referenced?
  • Living in Argentina, I don’t see this coming soon here, but I’m certainly used to that.
  1. I understand “fairness” is not how this should be thought of, but an impression: 32 more GB are suddenly “free”, but 16 more for the smaller one are not…