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March 15, 2015 4:23 PM   Subscribe

 
“Females wear watches because of fashion,” Erinn Murphy, an analyst in Houston with Piper Jaffray Cos., said in a telephone interview.

Goodness, I had no idea.

I do look forward to laughing at anyone purchasing this fascinating item, though.
posted by erratic meatsack at 4:26 PM on March 15, 2015


*heavy breaths* The feeeemales covet the watches for ADORNMENT, yes yes.
posted by The Whelk at 4:28 PM on March 15, 2015 [55 favorites]


Still waiting for literal retina display.
posted by Fizz at 4:30 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


A bit tangential, but I found a large rubber band among the detritus on my kitchen table that's perfectly sized for strapping my iPhone to my wrist, and I'm planning on showing off my new Apple Watch at work tomorrow.
posted by uosuaq at 4:30 PM on March 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


First line of the Snob or Idiot link:
If you buy an Apple Watch, prepare to be judged.
Well played erratic meat sack.
posted by unliteral at 4:31 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


"We should be thanking Apple for launching the $10,000 "apple watch" as the new gold standard in douchebag detection." [Anna Kendricks]
posted by parki at 4:31 PM on March 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


I have to wonder how many people freaking out about a $10,000 watch (who are unaware of the jerks at work, the bank, etc. already wearing some every day) have spent that much or more on a piece of jewelry that doesn't even tell the time (and probably has more "blood" on it than the slavery involved in an average Apple factory).
posted by trackofalljades at 4:35 PM on March 15, 2015 [19 favorites]


I'm just going to go on record as saying the Apple Watch will probably be ridiculously successful, and I wish I could delete the Apple Watch app on my phone since I don't plan to buy one.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:37 PM on March 15, 2015 [6 favorites]




It really is one of those things that you need to have an existential reckoning about.
posted by Abon Sapi at 4:41 PM on March 15, 2015


Or a panic attack, if you have trypophobia.
posted by kafziel at 4:42 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


To be honest, although it seems, at the moment, like a fairly pointless piece of kit, it doesn't raise my hackles as much as most big watches. At least there is a point in making this watch so large it is uncomfortable to wear, other than simply to draw attention to the amount of money some red-trousered gimp has thrown away on an ugly piece of tat.

Turns out I didn't need to spend any money at all to discover that I fall into the "snob" category!
posted by howfar at 4:43 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


[sigh] I am a female who wants an apple watch, but also knows to wait for the second gen to work out the bugs.

*checks pants* yup, still card carrying vag owner.

I really want to harm someone in that article. Because heaven forbid the fairer sex be interested in technology or be tech savvy in any way, shape, or form.

(And I don't care if wanting one makes me . . . Whatever it is supposed to make me. I desire the apple watch in the same way that I had that ridiculous black and white camera watch that I can't even remember the name of. I also wanted Google Glass before that fell apart because I will be a gargoyle before all is said and done, dammit!)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 4:45 PM on March 15, 2015 [33 favorites]


“Females wear watches because of fashion,” Erinn Murphy, an analyst in Houston with Piper Jaffray Cos., said in a telephone interview.

And men wear them for...what, weight training? Surreptious signalling of sexual preference? To attract magpies? To hold their secret stashes of speed?

I'm a dude, and I wear watches for fashion. It seems to me that, for anyone who has a phone, the only reason to wear a watch is for fashion. It doesn't tell time better than your phone. The form factor is only barely more convenient for telling the time that your phone.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:46 PM on March 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


There's no need for any existential pondering. We hate, we find a socially acceptable target for hate, and gain validation from our demonstration of that hate in a public arena. Feedback loop begins as validation of hate attracts additional hate. Repeat until hate target is exhausted, move on to next hate target.
posted by Grimgrin at 4:46 PM on March 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


All the people I know who like gimmicky Apple stuff don't wear watches
And all the people I know who wear watches wouldn't wear anything that fucking ugly.
posted by The Whelk at 4:51 PM on March 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


The relevant XKCD.

I have a Pebble. If you take Luke Wroblewski's definition of a successful device as "the one you keep charged," then it is successful since I'm wearing it a year later. There's really something there, I think, though glancing at one's watch to see a text message has a high likelihood of being confused with sending a signal that a speaker is boring, as we have more history with that connotation.

Plus, it serves as a nerd detector. (I am much more interested in people who I don't have to explain that to.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:52 PM on March 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


When I was in 5th grade I wanted one of those calculator watches more than I want an Apple Watch currently.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:54 PM on March 15, 2015 [28 favorites]


We hate, we find a socially acceptable target for hate, and gain validation from our demonstration of that hate in a public arena

If one must hate someone, I think the kind of people that would spend $17,000 on a watch that has literally no more functionality than the version that costs $400 is a worthy target.

At least a Ferrari delivers a different driving experience to a Toyota.

Or, if you're buying a watch as jewelery, you know that your $20,000 mechanical Rolex is basically a heirloom piece. Your topline Apple watch will be a useless, outdated, supported hunk of junk in 2-5 years.

Yes, people will buy it. I'll think they are tools. They won't care because when you have that much money, other people's opinions are totally irrelevant. The world will continue to turn.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:56 PM on March 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


I would say that overly competitive and macho (read:a-holes) men -pilots, military, police, idiots- have a long and stupid tradition of wearing oversized watches with bazillions of generally unused functions. Women have always seemed smarter about that kind of thing.
posted by umberto at 4:58 PM on March 15, 2015


If one must hate someone, I think the kind of people that would spend $17,000 on a watch that has literally no more functionality than the version that costs $400 is a worthy target.

It's a criticism that could reasonably be aimed at any jewelry though. It's about form, not function. Put me on board with not getting the hatefest on this, though I definitely would never buy even the cheaper one for myself. It's just not pretty enough.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:59 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Truly Apple has mastered the art of separating fools from their money, and I say that as a person who makes all his income with a two year old Macbook Air.
posted by Sternmeyer at 5:02 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


i wish they would just make it with the little thingies you can hook bands to on either side, have it get super popular, start a trend for handmade watch bands, and then have something new for me and other crafters to sell
posted by NoraReed at 5:02 PM on March 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Part of the point of having a gold watch is showing the world that you can afford to have a good watch. It's also no coincidence, I imagine, that the gold one is matched with a red band.

Also, yes, I too would like to pile on the "the females of the species wear clocks for adornment" nonsense. As though expensive watches aren't literally the only socially acceptable form of jewelry for men in white-collar jobs.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:04 PM on March 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


I definitely would never buy even the cheaper one for myself. It's just not pretty enough.

I agree, but I think they will still sell like hotcakes. 'Not pretty' hasn't stopped the take up of fitness trackers - for them, all that was required was 'reasonably unobtrusive'.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:04 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Volume-wise, I wonder which smartwatch women might prefer?

0.82 in³ = 38mm Apple Watch
0.96 in³ = 42mm Apple Watch
1.13 in³ = Pebble Time Steel
1.17 in³ = Moto 360
1.47 in³ = LG Watch R
1.76 in³ = Samsung Gear S
posted by fairmettle at 5:05 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not interested in getting one of these (my watch cost $80 and has worked flawlessly for a decade), but the people expressing shock and horror that someone would pay $17,000 for a watch must never have been in a fancy jeweler's. $17,000 is nothing; you can spend $100,000 or even a million on a watch if you really want to. Here's one.

If you're looking to get upset about conspicuous consumption of frivolous luxury frippery, this thing isn't even on the radar.
posted by Fnarf at 5:05 PM on March 15, 2015 [25 favorites]


Wait, the watch only works if you also have an iPhone? Hahahahah. Oh Apple. Bless your elitist little white suburban heart.
posted by dejah420 at 5:06 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


As though expensive watches aren't literally the only socially acceptable form of jewelry for men in white-collar jobs.

Not quite - don't forget cufflinks. My sociopath former boss wore $2000 platinum cufflinks. They were ugly as sin and scuffed to hell (platinum is soft), which is why I guess he felt the need to mention the price to me.

I wore the steel (?) ones that came with my shirt, since he was paying me peanuts.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:07 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


And men wear them for...what

I think the word you're looking for is "status." I'm sure people wear watches for all kinds of reasons but status is a pretty big factor when you're talking about a $10,000 gold watch.
posted by Jeff Howard at 5:08 PM on March 15, 2015


It seems to me that, for anyone who has a phone, the only reason to wear a watch is for fashion. It doesn't tell time better than your phone. The form factor is only barely more convenient for telling the time that your phone.

Well, it's contextual, though. In my job I spend quite a bit of time in meetings or conversations where having one's phone out at all, for time-checking or anything else, would be seen as rude and unprofessional, whereas a discreet glance down at the wrist (so I can ascertain how long, oh lord, how much longer) is OK.

I've been out of the Apple ecosystem for years and years, so I have no dog whatsoever in this fight, but will be following the whole thing with interest--gadgets, the ways people interact with them, the ways they come define "need" and blur memories of "life was perfectly good before this thing" are perennially interesting to me.
posted by Kat Allison at 5:08 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Macelope piece is actually quite good. Hidden behind the usual snark and cynicism is the excellent point that the purpose of a thing like this is to REDUCE the amount of time you spend looking at smartphone-related stuff, especially in social settings. But then, of course, we've all seen that photo from the early days of streetcars of people all reading their own newspapers and "failing to connect to other people" in simply a less electrically-powered way.

Funny thing about Golden Ages, that they always were and never are.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:09 PM on March 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


you can spend $100,000 or even a million on a watch if you really want to. Here's one.

I love the idea that someone willing to spend a million dollars on a watch would be willing to buy it through a website. "Honey, have you seen my wallet? I need my credit card... I can't seem to log in to Paypal".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:09 PM on March 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


If one must hate someone, I think the kind of people that would spend $17,000 on a watch that has literally no more functionality than the version that costs $400 is a worthy target.

Although you don't have to hate anybody - that's your choice. Finding someone who appears to justify and make rational the choice to hate is just an excuse for indulging in the pleasure of hatred. For some it might be people wearing a ridiculously expensive watch; for others gay or trans people; for me, sadly, it's people who cycle past me from behind on the pavement (sidewalk) very close and very fast. It's got to the point that I lose all rational control and have to work very hard not to scream abuse at them. Sometimes I fail. But it's my problem.

The product in question is a computer you can wear on your wrist, designed to accentuate the timekeeping capabilities in order to create a simpler product description. There are a number of potentially interesting things that one might do with such a thing, and it remains to be seen whether developers will create the software to make those things possible. At the moment it functions more as an extension to the iPhone, but I presume that it will get more processing capability in future versions.

I didn't really understand why I might want an iPhone until I played with one, then I could see exactly what I wanted it for. It may or may not be the same with the watch.
posted by Grangousier at 5:10 PM on March 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


Wristwatches were originally designed solely for women because their clothes had fewer pockets in which to keep a pocket watch. The first computers were out of work French hairdressers dabbling in post-revolutionary mathematics. Combining a wristwatch with a computer is a good idea, because few people have pockets big enough for jobless coiffeurs. That there is some good synergy.
posted by Thing at 5:11 PM on March 15, 2015 [27 favorites]


Now I'm just wondering how one DOES buy a million-dollar watch. Bank transfer? Those things that were in the vault in Die Hard?
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:11 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, it's not just status. It's a collecting mania. Many super-richies have dozens of ultra-expensive watches. They even buy special machines that rotate them (automatic watches are powered by motion, not batteries or winding). Jonathan Ive, the top Apple designer, is a big-time watch collector. I guarantee that his gold Apple Watch won't be in the top ten in his collection, dollar-wise.
posted by Fnarf at 5:12 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now I'm just wondering how one DOES buy a million-dollar watch. Bank transfer? Those things that were in the vault in Die Hard?

Fresh human organs.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:12 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think you buy them from that penguin in Olive The Other Raindeer
posted by NoraReed at 5:12 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am Of A Lady Persuasion, and what I want is an update to the 6th generation Nano that can be clipped on a shirt in the same way but plays nice with the iOS/iTunes/janky 3rd party hacks thereof ecosystem, ie it has modern pedometer, accelerometer, heartometer etc crap and can sync with all my dumb fitness apps, and it can sync offline Spotify playlists. That's all I fucking want. I don't even want FLAC or OGG support anymore, I've given up on that entirely.

The Watch could have been that but it is not that and it sucks and I'm angry. The 6th generation Nano is God's Own MP3 Player. They still sell for upwards of $200 used on eBay, while the 7th generation is at like $100 these days. You'd think Apple would buy a fucking clue, but nooooo.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 5:14 PM on March 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


I'm not interested in getting one of these (my watch cost $80 and has worked flawlessly for a decade), but the people expressing shock and horror that someone would pay $17,000 for a watch must never have been in a fancy jeweler's.

Are fancy jewelry watches designed to be obsolete in 2 years? Will Apple upgrade the internals of your $10K watch as they release new versions?

The whole thing reminds me of that company that made luxury cell phones (Vertu, I think). Oh cool, your phone sure looks awesome, but it's still got 2G data and a 5 year out of date OS.

Now I'm just wondering how one DOES buy a million-dollar watch. Bank transfer? Those things that were in the vault in Die Hard?

Bitcoins, duh.
posted by kmz at 5:15 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of tempted by the new Pebble. But I already have a Microsoft Band that covers my basic make-my-wrist-tingle-when-I-get-email-plus-step-counting needs, it's just a bit less cool.
posted by Foosnark at 5:15 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The gold watch is for the Chinese market. The real watch snobs will laugh at the peon wearing the gaudy bauble. One of my coworkers is into expensive watches and brought in a upscale catalog - the real $100000 watches are designed to be noticed only by somebody in the same social class.
posted by benzenedream at 5:22 PM on March 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Huh. I am a lady-type person, and I actually sort of like the way it looks. I don't like the way it looks enough to buy one, but it totally fits with my basic watch aesthetic. I mostly can't figure out anything this thing would do that would make it worth the money, but I said that about smartphones for a long time and turned out to be wrong, so I'm open to having my mind changed.

The snob or idiot link is sorta hilarious, because in my social circles, a $350 watch is a very fancy watch. Nobody is going to think you're a pauper because you have the downmarket Apple Watch. Actually, they might think you're a bit of a big spender, because I would guess that most people's watches are Timex and come from Target.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:23 PM on March 15, 2015


Are fancy jewelry watches designed to be obsolete in 2 years? Will Apple upgrade the internals of your $10K watch as they release new versions?

Are they going to? That was immediately what stood out as an issue to me when they first announced the super expensive versions. It seems like a, "Duh, of course they will!" thing but you never know.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:24 PM on March 15, 2015


I do look forward to laughing at anyone purchasing this fascinating item, though.

Every iOS developer desperate to recapture the glory days and revenue of the App Store circa 2010, probably.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:25 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Back when it was first announced, it was rumored that the iWatch guts would be upgradeable. I haven't heard anything about it recently though.
posted by rifflesby at 5:27 PM on March 15, 2015


I've decided to do a Flava Flav and hang an iPad around my neck. Sorted.
posted by alexordave at 5:28 PM on March 15, 2015 [34 favorites]


I love the idea that someone willing to spend a million dollars on a watch would be willing to buy it through a website. "Honey, have you seen my wallet? I need my credit card... I can't seem to log in to Paypal".

My favorite detail is the prominent 'Shipping - FREE' because man I love a deal.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:28 PM on March 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


i bought a dozen three dollar watches off the internet because everything I touch breaks and I thought I'd finally be living high on the watch hog well into the future but it turns out you can't change their batteries and they all died within days of each other two years after they arrived

planned obsolescence i tell ya
posted by The White Hat at 5:35 PM on March 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


The last thing I need is one more gadget that needs to be charged every day. I have enough trouble keeping my fitbit charged and it lasts for at least a week. If someone gave me a smart watch, I'd play with it for a week or two and then start forgetting to charge it and eventually give up and stick it in a drawer.
posted by octothorpe at 5:36 PM on March 15, 2015


My wrist?! But that's so far to look. Can't Apple also make a contact lens or something that notifies me that my watch is notifying me about my phone
posted by oulipian at 5:39 PM on March 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


The form factor is only barely more convenient for telling the time that your phone.

A bare margin of extra convenience does seem to be a tenuous basis on which to launch a product line, but it seems to be the business zeitgeist, and I suppose Apple has done it before.
posted by weston at 5:41 PM on March 15, 2015


Remember before the government privatized time and we all had socialist clock towers, and if someone got an email the clock tower notified everyone in town equally
posted by oulipian at 5:42 PM on March 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


The way guys like me use watches, I don't know if the iWatch makes sense. We wear a watch in order to tell the time where etiquette prohibits looking at your phone (client meeting, dinner table, private club) or athletic practicality prevents carry or at least accessing your phone.

I think the etiquette issues will extend to any serious use of the iWatch other than to tell time, and the athletic ones for everything except situations like rock climbing or skiing where you have pockets to safely tuck away a phone but can't access them.

Pretty much every dude on Wall Street wears either (or both) an Ironman or similar under $100 digital watch or an over-$5,000 nice watch (Breitling, Rolex, Ulysee Nardin, Panerai, IWC, etc.). The watch category that's died out is in between -- I can't remember the last time I saw a Seiko, Movado or Tag Heuer on a guy's wrist.
posted by MattD at 5:43 PM on March 15, 2015


The chief Apple hater among my circle of friends (and I use "friends" here only in the Facebook sense) spends many times the cost of the cheapest Apple watch every year on the difference in gasoline consumption between his SUV and my modest hatchback, although he could manage perfectly well with my car, a truth bomb that I will drop at the very first chance. (I'll keep the cost of his action figure collection cued up in the bomb bay, although I doubt it will be necessary.) It is a bit of a toy, but it looks to be a far more fun toy than anything that I would personally wear, at least out of the bedroom.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:43 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think that data coming from the Apple watch will be really cool to look at when Olympians wear during training and events.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:45 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:45 PM on March 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


I didn't know it came in Iron Man but now that I do I want it.
posted by Mizu at 5:48 PM on March 15, 2015


I remember seeing a promotional video for this thing. Jonathan Ive was gushing over some new clasp design,
talking about how it used 'a new design vocabulary'. I smiled at this. I love Ive's delivery of pretentious marketing douchespeak. It's his best since he first started pronouncing 'aluminium' like it was a precious metal.

I'm pretty sure I'm one of those customers Apple chooses not to serve, as Tim Cook so delicately puts it.
So, you know, I'm rocking a Casio for the foreseeable future.
posted by KHAAAN! at 5:49 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I didn't know it came in Iron Man but now that I do I want it.

Can the voice of Siri be Paul Bettany's JARVIS? Or maybe even angry ULTRON?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:49 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If someone could gimmick up a watchface that had Pinocchio, and at random intervals would have his eyes glow red and him growling, in James Spader's voice, "I GOT NO STRINGS TO HOLD ME DOWN", that watch would own me.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:56 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love watches. They're about the only fashion accessory I give a crap about, but I would hardly call the watches I own as terribly fashionable. Virtually all of my watches have been broken or gave up the ghost after a long live, so I'm watchless now. I am also a jogger, and well before Apple announced their watch, I had dreamed up my dream watch: a digital watch like the Pebble that has multiple watch faces, GPS functionality, and MP3 playability. The Apple Watch apparently does the first two but doesn't play music. Or rather, you have to have your iPhone or iPod with you, which for me defeats the purpose.

I don't give a shit about status--I want a specific functionality, and the Apple Watch doesn't cut it. To be fair, though, my dream watch isn't really made by any company at this point.
posted by zardoz at 5:57 PM on March 15, 2015


Does the golden apple watch come with ΤΗΙ ΚΑΛΛΙΣΤΗΙ engraved in it?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:57 PM on March 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


I have had a moto 360 since Thanksgiving and love it. Notifications vibrate the watch (no noise from my phone) and a quick glance allows me to monitor texts and email without annoying those people with whom I'm currently interacting. Most don't even realize what I've done. It looks like I just looked at my watch- which I did- and most people don't have a problem with that like they would if I pulled my phone out. When I'm driving with GPS it puts the next turn on the watch so I can look at my wrist quickly without taking my eyes too much off the road.

I don't know what kind of interactions apple intends for its watch, but I agree with Google when they say this form factor is best for 30 second or less interactions.
posted by sciencejock at 5:59 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know if it has wireless? And how does its storage capacity compare to a Nomad?
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:01 PM on March 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Where's the line I get into for "Meh"? Am I in the wrong thread?
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:03 PM on March 15, 2015


Also,
It looks like I just looked at my watch- which I did- and most people don't have a problem with that like they would if I pulled my phone out.

I love shifting social protocol. Makes life so exciting.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:11 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's not waterproof. Why would they make it not waterproof?

If I am going to spend that kind of money on an athletic tracker, I need for it to be tracking when I swim or run in the rain or fight bears in the forest.

I only do one of those but like to pretend that any of them is likely.
posted by winna at 6:12 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


but I found a large rubber band among the detritus on my kitchen table

Does it feel like shark dick?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:13 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not waterproof. Why would they make it not waterproof?

Well, you need to be carrying the non-waterproof phone too, right?
posted by Drinky Die at 6:14 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Watch could have been that but it is not that and it sucks and I'm angry. The 6th generation Nano is God's Own MP3 Player. They still sell for upwards of $200 used on eBay, while the 7th generation is at like $100 these days. You'd think Apple would buy a fucking clue, but nooooo.

Someday maybe Apple will figure out how to make products people want and that they will buy at a hefty profit margin. Maybe next year.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:16 PM on March 15, 2015 [30 favorites]


Well, you need to be carrying the non-waterproof phone too, right?

You can put the phone by the pool while you swim and in a pocket when you run or fight bears.
posted by winna at 6:18 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think I would have been outraged by this if I hadn't bought my partner a watch for Christmas. I wanted something well-regarded, classic, and fashionable. What I learned is the ~$100 budget I'd set was such a ridiculously paltry sum among those seriously into watches that there simply were no blogs or aficianados out there who bothered reviewing watches that cost that much. There was a Reddit thread devoted to individual reviews of watches under $250, but other than that I could not find any serious efforts to catalog the best watches available at those lower prices.

There's people who wear Timex Weekenders, and then there's people who are seriously into their watches, and the latter is probably incredulous that anyone finds it shocking to spend $10k on a watch.
posted by schroedinger at 6:20 PM on March 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


I love watches. Especially automatics...most people reading this will be thinking of a casio as I used that word.

So what about the iwatch.

Its a wait and see thing.

I love that it interfaces with my phone. But beyond that I'm wondering if it is worth it.


Regarding the bit about women not liking it...yeah, i totally buy it.

Dudes are kinda slutty when it comes to wearing watches. I see all sorts of nasty things on them. Women who claim to care about watches care more about brands/materials/how it looks rather than the fact that its got a cheap japanese quartz movement inside (cf. michael kors).

But these aren't the peeps I have on watchuseek. These people (men and women) give a shit about watches. Even when they can only afford $50 watches, they make sure they get good shit. Like a gshock 5800. And then there are those who can and do get an emergency...in the offchance that they are stranded in some remote location after a plane crash.

But in the end, its a watch...and all of us will have to see what it is actually capable of. As of right now, it just seems like a mirror of one's phone...and the rest of it are just aesthetics. If thats the case, its straight up garbage.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:24 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


NoraReed: something new for me and other crafters to sell
Here you go - Hiné Mizushima.
posted by unliteral at 6:24 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, the into-watches crowd is laughing and laughing that people think $10,000 is unthinkable. The Luxury Watch Crowd is also utterly uninterested in the Apple Watch as a timekeeping device (since they're all about the mechanical movements), but word has it that that scene is actually pretty impressed with what Apple's done with the watch bands. Like, apparently it's a Really Big Deal that someone's developed a link bracelet that can be resized without a special tool.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:24 PM on March 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Disconnected thoughts because I'm too tired to write more:
1. Watches are the only jewelry many, many Western men feel comfortable wearing.
2. $10k is as nothing to many, many, people in this modern top-heavy economy.
3. Of course it will be a successful product but the savvy buyer will wait for the 2nd generation. (At least.)
4. (Wristwatches were originally designed solely for women because their clothes had fewer pockets in which to keep a pocket watch.) I've always heard that wrist watches came about because WWI aviators needed them, but I'm not a horological historian.
5. The really good uses for this thing won't show up until after Apple upgrades their developer tools to enable genuinely native applications. Again, give it a year (or two).
posted by LastOfHisKind at 6:26 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Big Apple fan here (though much less so since iPhone 6). I'm not interested at all. Maybe the second generation, but we'll see.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:28 PM on March 15, 2015


If you're looking to get upset about conspicuous consumption of frivolous luxury frippery, this thing isn't even on the radar.

It's kinda like being able to feel outrage about multiple issues at once - I've got the bandwidth to hate this along with other 10k+ watches/jewelry.
posted by erratic meatsack at 6:31 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hmm. It's prettier than most of the Android wear watches I've seen, I'll give it that. Still too big for my feeeeeemale tastes.

I haven't worn a watch since 1995. And you have to have an iPhone to use it? I'll wait until they go full Dick Tracy wrist phone. An all-in-one device you can wear (and thus hopefully be less likely to drop/lose)? Sign me up.
posted by lovecrafty at 6:33 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I'm just wondering how one DOES buy a million-dollar watch
This is how you buy the Henry Graves Jr. Patek Philippe Supercomplication for $24,000,000 (both links with video).
posted by unliteral at 6:36 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The more comments I read about the Apple Watch, the more I realize that people do not actually know what a watch IS, or why it even exists in the first place, or for that matter, what time is for.

A conventional watch (with hands) is a mechanical representation of the geocentric universe with Earth (and YOU) at the center. Its hands move in synchronization with the rotation of the Earth.

The reason we have watches is for navigation. Every Boy Scout probably knows how to find North with a wristwatch. Or at least, they used to, before digital watches. And that is why portable clocks were invented: as a navigational aid for ships. Time is a measure of the rotation of the Earth in Longitude.

I personally don't wear a watch, however, I do keep this clock open on my computer screen, just for my amusement. I removed the local time and my map coordinates from this screen cap, but a good navigator could calculate them easily. And that is why clocks and time exist: as a marker of our place in the universe. This is what Douglas Adams alluded to, in the famous quote I just posted. Our precise position in time and space is one of the greatest enigmas, fueling the development of civilization from prehistory through today. But on a personal level, our precise spacetime coordinates are almost completely useless. Our watches are a sign of our vanity, that our position in the universe matters.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:38 PM on March 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I can't see myself buying an Apple Watch 1.0, unless I need to develop for one. Having said that, I didn't buy an iPhone until years after they came out, and I stand by that decision (the iPhone 1.0 was less capable, practically and technically, than my Palm Tungsten; it's only from the 3G onwards that the iPhone started to become an interesting platform to both use and develop for).

I'm still not sold on smart watches either. Perhaps if Apple (or someone else) nail this, then wearing one will become a no-brainer. (If it does, it will probably be due to the health-related features, with being able to check your messages/appointments at a glance as a bonus.)
posted by acb at 6:42 PM on March 15, 2015


10,000 for a luxury watch isn't unthinkable if you're into luxury watches. It's unthinkable as a watch that will, in a few years, be completely useless.

(My uncle said that his smartwatch was essentially gimmicky -- I believe it came free with the phone -- but fantastically useful for one thing: warning him when he went somewhere and forgot the phone.)
posted by jeather at 6:44 PM on March 15, 2015


Anyone expressing an opinion on the Apple Watch should be required by law to include any comments they made about the the iPhone and iPad prior to their launches.

I'm not saying the Apple Watch is a guaranteed success, but I remember these same kind of sneering comments ("LOL, it has less space than the Nomad!", "LOL, it's just four iPods taped together!") before each of those massive successes, and I'm guessing a lot of the people here making these comments now were making them then.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:46 PM on March 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Someday maybe Apple will figure out how to make products people want and that they will buy at a hefty profit margin. Maybe next year.

iPony.
posted by srboisvert at 6:48 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or, if you're buying a watch as jewelery, you know that your $20,000 mechanical Rolex is basically a heirloom piece. Your topline Apple watch will be a useless, outdated, supported hunk of junk in 2-5 years.

Which makes it even more powerful as a token of status; it practically screams “I have so much money, I can blow $10k on a disposable watch”. It's somewhere between Veblen goods and the big-man gift economies of a lot of societies where rival tribes would gather to compete on which can irredeemably piss away resources the most profligately (and thus prove themselves to be the wealthiest and most powerful).
posted by acb at 6:50 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Out of curiosity, why are we discussing the 10k watch -- I thought top of the line was 17k?
posted by jeather at 6:54 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


$10K apple watch as a jewelry is counter intuitive. A jewelry watch retains its value, does its function even after a long time. you can wear your grandma's jewelry watch and everyone will complement you for it.

The apple watch would be outdated in 2 years.

In 1 year, it will be too thick, too heavy,too ancient for the fast moving electronic goods market.
Of course there will be people who would think that a $10K watch for 2 years is good enough as a status symbol.

I wonder if Apple itself will support today's apple watch after 3 or 4 iterations of iphone.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 6:59 PM on March 15, 2015


Jeather's right! We could be having 70% more outrage!
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:01 PM on March 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


His thoughts were red thoughts: "I'm a dude, and I wear watches for fashion. "

I read an article the other day commenting that the real threat to traditional men's luxury watches isn't the Apple Watch but bracelets.

The day that men can wear a pretty gold bangle inset with rubies and have it admired rather than mocked is the day the luxury wristwatch industry goes belly up. Phillipe Pateks don't cost $60k because they're $59,900 "better" than a Seiko -- they're functionally equivalent for 99.9% of uses -- but because DUDES NEED SPENDY BLING TOO.

As a lady-person, I'm waiting for a basic bangle that I can wear with dressy outfits that has a small display for text alerts, etc., so that I can leave my phone in my dressy cocktail clutch and just glance at my wrist to see if it's worth pulling my phone out, as cocktail dresses do not typically have pockets. (Then I count up how often I've worn a cocktail dress in the past two years and I think, "This is a solution in search of a problem." But I'd still probably buy a bluetooth bangle that was the right amount of dressy.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:08 PM on March 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


I am so on board for magical contact lenses that put texts right in your eye. I'll settle for nothing less until then.


RIGHT IN YOUR EYE.
posted by erratic meatsack at 7:15 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


PS, the killer app to get me back into wearing a watch was solar-charging watch faces on smaller women's watches (my carpal tunnel flares if my watch is too heavy), which took a LONG TIME to trickle down from giganto men's watches to delicate women's watches, but finally it came in small watches with pretty, pearlescent watch faces, and NOW MY WATCH NEVER RUNS OUT OF BATTERIES, which is probably what will prevent me from buying a smart watch until it's several generations on: battery life. For several years I carried my phone for the time (like a normal person under 40), but I eventually got stressed that when I wanted to check the time I'd see 500 notifications, alerts, messages, e-mails, etc., on my phone and I wanted to JUST see the time again. I'd have to think really hard about a daily-wear watch that carried all that information, and whether that would be helpful or just stressful.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:16 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh sweet jesus god the ice caps are melting and 90% of the earth's biomass is corn smut wtf are we doing here?
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:39 PM on March 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


The day that men can wear a pretty gold bangle inset with rubies and have it admired rather than mocked is the day the luxury wristwatch industry goes belly up.

In my experience, many Asian men often wear expensive jewelry - gold and jade wrist and neck chains, rings...etc. as obvious and overt status signifiers. They still buy watches.

My Indian father wears a gold watch and a chunky gold Mr T wrist chain. The effect is rather spoiled by the fact that he generally gets about in old tracksuit pants and 15 year old sneakers.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:42 PM on March 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


oh sweet jesus god the ice caps are melting and 90% of the earth's biomass is corn smut wtf are we doing here?

Distracting ourselves.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:43 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


oh sweet jesus god the ice caps are melting and 90% of the earth's biomass is corn smut wtf are we doing here?


Corn smut?

Seriously, go on.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:46 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I think they're pretty. No, I seriously do. I'd wear one, and as I'm small for a guy, I'd probably go with the "Lady's" size. I'm not going to anytime soon though because, the money I'd spend on that currently has to go to car repair. Then comes scooter repair. Then a trip to Mexico, a new camera, a new receiver, multiple computer upgrades, an iPad replacement, then maybe an iWatch. each single thing on that list gets it's own month with a month between. And I'm not even counting making art for upcoming shows because I'm one of the lower end artists, you know folks who spend money to make art, and nearly never recoup that cash. So yeah, nice. Maybe next gen.
posted by evilDoug at 7:47 PM on March 15, 2015


From what I gather, China and India in particular are still very '80s-style flaunt-your-wealth. Like, the message sent by wearing gold in mainland Asia is "I am rich and affluent," whereas in the US the message sent is generally "I am a platinum-certified douchebag."
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:47 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I started screwing around with smartwatches early last year, and settled on the Pebble. We've all heard how beautifully minimalist the Pebble is, and I agree. A color screen/touchscreen seems like overkill to me. Maybe some new app will change that, but here's what I love about the Pebble:
1) I work in a very, very, very distracting environment where I have to talk to a bajillion people all day every day. We use our cell phones like walkie-talkies around the office, and we send each other tons of IM's and texts, and having that info on my wrist saves lots of pocketing and unpocketing.
2) Wrist control of music. I am glued to my earbuds, and like to keep my headphone cord under my shirt to keep the cord out of the way. Again, huge for me.
3) STRONG vibration. I wear this thing to sleep. Audio alarm clocks fail for me. The vibration on my wrist is about the only thing I've ever found that effectively wakes me up.
4) Ability to switch bands & dorky clunky plastic - I'm wearing my Pebble next to a calculator watch, a bunch of cheap H & M bracelets, and rubber wristbands from god only knows what events. Ok, fine, my wrist dresses like a 10-year old frat boy raver (yes I'm single), but the Pebble looks freakin' cool and gets compliments. People notice when I'm gesturing and it lights up. People with LED's in their necklaces like it, and I want attention from those people. :)
5) It works with every phone, like it damn well should. If I upgrade my phone, which I have three times in the last year, from a nasty 2012 relic to a 4.4.4 phablet thing, I know my wrist still looks and works the same. Perfect.
6) As electronics go, it's so cheap it's almost disposable.
7) Map extensions, remote shutter on phone cam, fitness tracker, blah blah blah. I don't use these functions much, but they feel right to me. These are in fact things that a little e-ink screen and four buttons on my wrist can help with.

I am a solid fan of the smartwatch form factor, and I'm happy to see Apple working to make my favorite wearable more universal so I can stop hearing people tell me why I don't need a Pebble. I just wish it were a little more relevant to me, and had less Vertu-stink.
posted by saysthis at 7:49 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]




Didn't we go through this when Gaston Glock hit the scene? C'mon people.
posted by valkane at 7:51 PM on March 15, 2015


I bet they sell a bunch, but in the current iteration I am not the target audience at all. (And I'm typing this on a Macbook, with an iphone to my right and an ipad over to the left, so it's not like I'm opposed to spending my money on Apple products.)

I actually need to buy a watch soon, but it will need to be cheap and waterproof, because I need it for telling time on days when because of rain or other environmental issues I can't carry my phone. More connectivity is not what I am looking for in my life at this time, nor do I need more devices that will be outdated in a couple of years, but as a business move I suspect this will pay off big for Apple.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:58 PM on March 15, 2015


Jesus what did I just read in that "Who's afraid of Apple Watch" link? It's likely the worst, trolly clickbait crap of the Apple vs. Google persuasion that I've encountered, ever. It's as though they weaponized ignorant smugness and deployed it in the service of ... generating AdSense impressions from outraged Android users.

Huh.

That's pretty clever actually. Carry on, pro-Apple trolls.

And I also really like my Moto360 and would recommend it to most people; killer apps include calendar integration, setting reminders and timers via voice while I'm busy and texting replies to my wife with multiple children / bags in hand. I think Apple Watch is too nerdy-looking and possibly too fiddly, but I'm reserving judgement until I play with one.
posted by xthlc at 8:01 PM on March 15, 2015


OS X user here. I think it's the most professional, least in-my-way OS. I make a good living using it as my dev space. Could probably slide over to a Linux without much pain. Windows with Cygwin is horrible.

Do not wear a watch. Do not use iPhone. Feel "meh" about the watch. I can see that as smart watches go, it'll be preferable. Apple does tight design. It'll hit more "right" than "grar" than other products. Unless it leverages iTunes, which has become a clusterfuck of grar.

What I actually want us the antique iPod device updated with cell and health. It fits every pocket. It takes abuse. It's small. It fits my hand. A retina screen would make a huge difference. It doesn't need more speed. It's thick, so it could last days on a charge.

It would be a pocket watch device. Bigger than iWatch. Lasts longer. Shows more. Still fits everywhere. Still takes a beating. Integrates with the best OS.

Ain't gonna happen.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:03 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The day that men can wear a pretty gold bangle inset with rubies and have it admired rather than mocked is the day the luxury wristwatch industry goes belly up.

Oh wow. Gold, really? None for me.

I'm a winter.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:06 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's funny. I went to school with someone who was the child of one of the richest families in the world. He didn't wear ostentatious clothes, didn't wear expensive jewelry, and didn't even have a car on campus until the last semester of his last year, when he brought a new, nice, but sensible mass-production car to campus. I don't recall him judging anyone for what they wore or how rich they were, and if he did, he certainly never said anything about it to anyone.

The people who judge others about this kind of stuff are classless, grasping twerps. You don't have to automatically buy the most expensive whatever-it-is, because often the most expensive widget isn't the best one for your particular needs. I'm inclined to judge someone far more harshly for spending money they don't have on tech they don't need.

(I bought my watch at TJ Maxx. It tells the time and has a nice window on the back that lets you see its self-winding guts. My daughter has a Lego watch with Boba Fett on it from the same store that we got for $20, and on balance I think she came out ahead of me.)
posted by 1adam12 at 8:12 PM on March 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


The people who judge others about this kind of stuff are classless, grasping… sociopaths.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:15 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


To people who don't understand why anyone needs a watch when they have a smart phone... I recently had a chance to play with an android smart watch, and after a few days I really understood how nice it was. It seems like a small thing, but not having to check your phone every time you get a text is nice. Glancing at your wrist to see what's the next turn when using GPS is a much less distracting than looking at your phone on the dash mount. Calendar integration is also really slick. None of these things feel huge, but on the whole it's a lot of small things that did add up. Oh, and the whole see what time it is without pulling my phone out of my pocket thing was actually pleasantly simpler. I'm not sure I'm going to get one now, but I wouldn't be surprised if they take off, especially the next generation which should be smaller and, most importantly, thinner.

That said, I really don't like digital watch faces, and a square face really doesn't work well for an analog watch face. It took noticably more brainpower to read than a regular clock. (I think it's figuring out if the little hand is on 1 or 2 that did it, but I'm not sure).

I have no idea if the apple watch will be a success, but there is utility in the form factor.
posted by aspo at 8:31 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jesus what did I just read in that "Who's afraid of Apple Watch" link? It's likely the worst, trolly clickbait crap of the Apple vs. Google persuasion that I've encountered, ever.. And I also really like my Moto360

ROFL I knew you were an Zune Android user.

Dilger has successfully identified who is afraid of the Apple Watch: you. But he missed one important point, despite his coming so close: it is impossible to kill the Apple Watch with a single photo like Scoble killed Google Glass.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:34 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Corn smut?

Hot 'n' buttery.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:43 PM on March 15, 2015


it is impossible to kill the Apple Watch with a single photo like Scoble killed Google Glass.

A picture with Scoble naked in the shower will kill literally anything, be it Google Glass, the Apple watch, a political career, or your continued desire to live in this world.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:51 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Dilger has successfully identified who is afraid of the Apple Watch: you."

Actually, as a Android Wear user I'm pretty happy that Apple is entering the smartwatch space. They've validated it, and they'll continue to improve upon it, and push Wear vendors to build better and better devices.

And really? Zune? That is... not an apt comparison. Like at all.
posted by xthlc at 8:54 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


ROFL I knew you were an Zune Android user.

Why are you trolling? Apple v Android arguments were boring in 2011, now they just look pathetic.
posted by Abon Sapi at 8:56 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


So the people spending $350 on an Apple Watch Sport are being laughed at by the people spending $1000 on an Apple Watch, who are being laughed at by the people spending $17,000 on a gold Apple Watch Edition. Those people are being laughed at by the people who spend $40,000 on a watch, who are being laughed at by the people who spend $100,000. Then there are the people who think nothing of spending $1 million on a watch, and then that's "entry level" for some who are spending multiples of that.

Every single one of these people, in this chain, is overcome by intense, crippling class anxiety.

This is as good an example as any of the notion that no money is "enough", as long as you're suckered into caring about the competition. Keep up with the Joneses, and there's no point at which it stops. Is there anything more insane than capitalism? It's this utterly bizarre alien virus that has infected our world.
posted by naju at 8:58 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is there anything more insane than capitalism?

I saw an actual, real-life university Quidditch team in action least week, so, yes.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:03 PM on March 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Every single one of these people, in this chain, is overcome by intense, crippling class anxiety.

Would you be so good as to give us your list of which retail products can be bought/used/worn without it signalling the user as being crippled by intense class anxiety? After all, I'm sure your list will be completely objective and in no way reflect the things you yourself choose to spend money on.
posted by modernnomad at 9:06 PM on March 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Did that read as holier-than-thou? I'm as caught up in the cycle of capitalism and consumerism as anyone else on here. I'm totally including myself in the class anxiety masterpiece theatre.
posted by naju at 9:08 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Would you be so good as to give us your list of which retail products can be bought/used/worn without it signalling the user as being crippled by intense class anxiety?

Fire bad. Pointed stick good.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:09 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a Nano 6g, which I have a janky video codec for (if I run video on the 6g, it doesn't do much else). After video was released of the Apple Watch announcement with its dummy interface, I ripped the "screen shots" and loaded it onto my 6g, which has a watchband-style carrier. I even was able to make two other "app" videos - gif loops, really - that would launch with either single or multi-touch on the 6g's screen, then return to the "apps home screen" with another touch. So, simulated app launches.
Then I showed my "Apple Watch" to my best friends from Microsoft who work on devices and mobile. Good for at least 10 minutes of "How did you get that?!" and "Let me try it!!", then months of gotchas.
6g's back to podcasts and music, though. Maybe I should make a slightly nicer "home screen" video and try the joke again on some different geeky friends.
But what I'm really having fun with are two tiny video screens, (smaller than the 6g's!) on rasberry pi chasses to make into video cufflinks.
posted by Dreidl at 9:13 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Twenty-five years ago my then-sweetheart bought a Casio digital watch that stored, if memory serves (see what I did there?) about 250 phone numbers and contacts; at the press of a button, the watch would emit the tones needed to dial the phone numbers. Oh and it included a calculator and day/date function along with, natch, telling the time in 12- or 24-hour format. He used the watch to keep track of all sorts of random information, like the model number of our vacuum cleaner bags. This technological marvel provided so much help... and joy! "Is there nothing 'Magic Watch' can't do?" we asked, with total sincerity. Good times.
posted by carmicha at 9:34 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wait, the watch only works if you also have an iPhone? Hahahahah. Oh Apple. Bless your elitist little white suburban heart.

Seriously?

There are legitimate technical reasons that a smartwatch needs to be paired with a phone. You'll notice that all of the other smartwatches also need to be paired with phones. It's (currently) impossible to fit all of the electronics such as a cellular and wifi radio into a smartphone form factor. That makes Apple elitist, white and suburban? Or is it that they chose to make it work with their own devices rather than their competitors'? Even if there weren't pretty obvious and sane business reasons to do that, it would require significantly more engineering work to make it cross-platform. Of all the things to call Apple elitist over, this is a strange choice.
posted by primethyme at 9:56 PM on March 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


Would you be so good as to give us your list of which retail products can be bought/used/worn without it signalling the user as being crippled by intense class anxiety?

Fire bad. Pointed stick good.


A pointed stick?! Fucking yuppies.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:06 PM on March 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Apple Watch Edition makes me sad because I have no interest in owning any Apple phones or computers but that video-screen-in-a-big-gold-rectangle-with-a-portentous-button-on-the-side looks exactly like the science-fiction video watch I used to imagine having when I would dream about such things as a kid.

It boggles my mind that (1) the thing actually exists and (2) I don't want it.
posted by straight at 10:09 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I saw an actual, real-life university Quidditch team in action least week, so, yes.

At one point my undergraduate alma mater had the top Quidditch team in the league. I was so proud that our dorks are clearly the best dorks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:29 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's not waterproof. Why would they make it not waterproof?

Ever since Sony released the waterproof--Xperia?--I have been completely baffled as to why Apple hasn't waterproofed their devices.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:58 PM on March 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Even if it were cheaper, or more useful, I wouldn't get one. The interface really does creep me out along Trypophobic lines. Gah.
posted by Auden at 11:06 PM on March 15, 2015


Now everybody knows how I feel about wedding rings. But wedding rings seem to be significantly worse since that is about how much you love someone else.
posted by johnpowell at 11:21 PM on March 15, 2015


To refrain what I said months ago when this was announced.

It's so Skymall-y
posted by The Whelk at 11:31 PM on March 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


or Sharper Image-o-ramic
posted by Auden at 11:40 PM on March 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm going to buck the trend here and just say outright that I want one, and I fear no judgement.
posted by shazzam! at 12:30 AM on March 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


Quite a lot of rich guys who are really into watches have six or seven of them in a little case, and enjoy deciding which one to wear. They'll buy this.
posted by colie at 1:34 AM on March 16, 2015


It's not waterproof. Why would they make it not waterproof?

FTR, no watch is rated "waterproof", there are only varying degrees of water resistance, and the Apple Watch is indeed rated water resistant to the IPX7 standard.
posted by fairmettle at 3:06 AM on March 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Even if there weren't pretty obvious and sane business reasons to do that, it would require significantly more engineering work to make it cross-platform.

For what it's worth, the Microsoft Band and the Pebble are both cross-platform.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:10 AM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


iNeed, iWant, iWatch.
posted by polymodus at 3:14 AM on March 16, 2015


When the prices of the steel and (especially) gold Apple Watches are announced, I expect the tech press to have the biggest collective shit-fit in the history of Apple-versus-the-standard-tech-industry shit-fits. The utilitarian mindset that asks “Why would anyone waste money on a gold watch?” isn’t going to be able to come to grips with what Apple is doing here. They’re going to say that Jony Ive and Tim Cook have lost their minds. They’re going to wear out their keyboards typing “This never would have happened if Steve Jobs were alive.” They’re going to predict utter and humiliating failure. In short, they’re going to mistake Apple for Vertu.

And then people will line up around the block at Apple Stores around the world to buy them. I think Apple Watch prices are going to be shockingly high — gasp-inducingly, get-me-to-the-fainting-couch high — from the perspective of the tech industry. But at the same time, there is room for them to be disruptively low from the perspective of the traditional watch and jewelry world. There’s a massive pricing umbrella in the luxury watch world, and Apple is aiming to take advantage of it.
John Gruber, who knows what he's talking about more than anybody in this thread.

People are so fucking ignorant about technology these days that there's a particular sublime joy in observing them as they attempt to comment upon any one of the "Four Horsemen" tech companies. With Facebook it's listening to people who haven't used a new social media application since MySpace bemoan the latest set of changes to its UI; with Google it's that people think their "concept products" will actually make it to launch. With Amazon, it's any sucker who thought the Kindle Fire was a good idea.

With Apple, of course, it's literally everything, because it's possible to simultaneously hate Apple for being too snobby and too consumerist, too sappily utopian and too filthily capitalist, too dedicated to the pursuit of impressive technical feats and not nearly dedicated to the pursuit of the right technical feats. It spends too much money creating its hardware and it doesn't spend enough of its money making its hardware "competitive". Its UIs are too stupid, so stupid that they are For Little Babies, and at the same time every time they release a new one it makes things too unnecessarily complicated why couldn't they just leave things the way they were. Every single person on the planet knows that Apple is the shittiest fucking company, run by absolute fucking morons, and it's even more doomed now that its delusional sociopath founder with a knack for lying about things gave way to its new lame corny earnest CEO who spends too much time caring about issues that aren't True Apple issues. Plus they fired their dictatorial prick asshole designer who totally sucked to make way for the egalitarian European collaborationist designer who also totally sucks, and how are Apple products even still a thing?, they've seriously only got one or two more years before Samsung and Google team together to beat the shit out of them and nobody'll even remotely care anymore.

The reality of the situation, if you want my opinion — and you should, let's just leave it at that — is that Apple's only really begun moving towards its real ambitions as a company. The early Apple was brilliant but unfocused, and succeeded only by the relative simplicity of its product innovations at the time. 90s Apple we don't really need to talk about; 00s Apple began moving towards its end destination, but most of what it did — the entire pre-unibody Mac line, OS X, Aqua, and even the original iPhone — more pointed in the right direction than they were end destinations unto themselves. I'd say that with the iPhone and the original Macbook Air (the one three times more expensive than the just-announced Macbook, and far, far weaker by comparison to its predecessors), they finally pointed unmistakably to the future that they were hoping to build. With the iPad and iPhone 4 they started building devices that looked somewhat like components of that future, but it's really only been the last couple of years that their products really started inhibiting that abstract theoretical space that Apple's wanted to get to since they first stuck a colorful plastic back on a computer and called it a day.

If you want an idea of Apple's future, look at an iPhone 5S — thin, lightweight, gorgeous display, Touch ID sensor — and understand that that is the clunkiest device that Apple wants to create. Look at the latest iPad Air — which I'm writing this on, and which, paired with a Bluetooth keyboard, is my wet dream of a writing device — and think of it as a primitive prototype of the tablet that Apple wants to make. You can keep the Retina MacBook Pro, probably, and possibly the 5K iMac, but look at the Macbook Air, which The Wirecutter's called the best laptop for the most people for three years running, and understand that it's a failed attempt to make the machine that Apple really wanted to make, a prototype of the new Macbook they just unveiled.

Apple is striving to reach the point where technology meets abstraction — where the machines they create perfectly symbolize the functions they execute. A really good analogy here is the difference between the way you manipulate the interface of iOS versus OS X:

— With OS X, you control a mouse, manipulating a selector on-screen, using a series of commands to activate functions through that selector — right-click for context menus, click and drag to select, double-click to launch programs.

— On iOS you just touch shit. You put your finger on a thing and that thing does a thing.

It's obviously not as simple as that, and there are still many ways in which iOS is pretty limited, or more confusing than it necessarily needs to be. Apple spent how many years developing its text select/copy/paste UI? People complaining every year that the iPhone was a dud until you could copy and paste with it. And the solution that Apple devised was more elegant than anything else that existed when they devised it, but it's still comparatively clunky, in the sense that I can Command-C Command-V a lot faster than I can hover over test, wait a second, highlight a word, drag the selector over the rest of the text, hit the right button on the context menu, switch to a different app, hover my finger over the right space, wait for the context menu to appear......... bleh. (Using a Bluetooth keyboard removes all those steps, because iPads let you use OS X key commands when you've got a keyboard connected. Which, not to mince words, makes the iPad a fucking awesome word processor. But the ideal would be to make the iOS interface somehow stand alone.)

This is really really difficult, is the point. Apple's not just creating hardware and software, they're attempting a judo flip wherein their software becomes so refined that it starts to feel like a perfect extension of its hardware. This is pure lunacy on the fronts of both hardware and software, and it's led to a decade-and-a-half of both software and hardware that simultaneously a) felt ridiculously usable compared to the thing from just a year before and b) were still nowhere near the ideal that Apple has been pretty open about wanting to meet since, I dunno, six years before I was born.

When you see videos of Steve Jobs talking idly about concepts in 1994 that wind up in products over two decades later, it's not because he's been having a fun time watching Star Trek. This is a roadmap that has been agonizingly labored upon, for a longer period of time than most tech companies know how to focus on anything, and it's only recently started to emerge into its final form. By which I mean, "literally just this last year." iOS 8 finally creates the cross-app computing architecture that it's sorely needed for, oh, seven years; OS X was given a form which reflects the new resolution-independence of Apple's product line (as of the Macbook's release four weeks from now, at least); and the Apple Watch got announced, and simultaneously blew everybody's minds at once, only like, in a really, really weird and subtle way. People were looking for tech, but the Apple Watch barely counts as tech, in the way computer-y geek-y people know it.

We've had a decade-ish now of people writing rapturously about the mobile revolution, which as we all know has Changed Literally Everything, Forever. And I mean, it has. It's changed gaming. It's changed the way social media gets designed (from the clunkiness of MySpace to the swiftness of Instagram and Snapchat). It's introduced a whole bunch of ways of using computers that people would never bother with doing if they were doing it on computers as clunky as laptops or even tablets. Its portability and convenience essentially means that every hardware innovation, every new piece of worthwhile software, has an impact orders of magnitude greater than you'd expect from the relative simplicity of the innovation. Look at the way Grindr and Tinder took off, just by focusing around a feature that OkCupid had had for a while beforehand and making it mobile-centric. Look at Apple's "Shot on iPhone 6" campaign, for that matter, or its "Art made on iOS" series. Our culture's changed drastically in the last decade, and mobile technology has been a major part of that.

But our mobile experience is still, in a lot of ways, dominated by that legacy understanding of what a "computer" is. Computers equal screens. They equal attention. They equal giving a shit about the device you're manipulating, rather than looking beyond the device to focus upon the action itself. The Apple Watch is the first significant departure from that, the first device whose interface exists to be looked at as little as possible. If you want to look at it from a traditional tech-geekery standpoint, it's not going to impress — and that's the fucking point, nerds. If you look at it from a point of hardware and software design, on the other hand, holy shit this thing is incredible. So many fantastic things going on at once, obscured mostly by the fact that Apple spoiled the surprise by implementing a lot of this in iPhones over the last five years, which doesn't especially matter.

(If you are not an Apple enthusiast, which is perfectly fine, then you possibly forget the collective sigh of disappointment which arose after Steve Jobs revealed the iPad, in a keynote demo which involved his sitting on a couch and using a bunch of apps that looked almost exactly like their iPhone equivalents. It was a very "boring" keynote, so people assumed that iPads totally sucked and wondered who the hell would ever want one. How could something we'd seen before be revolutionary? People are bad at assessing the awesomeness of brand-new things, which is why you're all so lucky to have me around to help out.)

Cool things about the Apple Watch: force-sensitive screens. That digital crown. All of its various always-on sensors. Its ability to connect to a GPS for location-sensitive tracking. Its voice recognition. Its haptic feedback chip, which was made demo-able in the new Macbooks last week before it ever got used in the Watch itself, and now reviews of the "taptic" trackpad suggest that this is, in fact, an engine capable of doing some impressively subtle things. The software UI: a communicative app that consists of incredibly lightweight interactions. Again, all the crown-based sensitivity stuff. That fitness app has some VERY cool stuff going on with its UI/UX, not in a flashy way but in a "this is thinking about how software should work veeeeeery differently than is the norm", which ought to be bundles more exciting.

The challenge Apple's had marketing this, speaking as somebody who's pretty fascinated by Apple's marketing processes (they are pretty goddamned insightful, and astonishingly free of BS), has been: the Apple Watch has about five times more gee-whiz-awesome technology behind it than can be sold in a thirty-second spot, and they all combine to perform a function which is "make technology be not-a-thing-you-have-to-think-about", which is weirdly hard to sell alongside all the gee-whiz. They'll have an easier time once the product's out and people've used one before, but right now they have to both explain what it is in those luscious, abstract marketing terms and then tell you why it matters that it is that way. Tricky business! But that's a pretty damn okay position to be in.

The iPhone had the App Store; the Apple Watch has HomeKit. This is a device for interacting with other devices; it's a convenient remote for essentially any piece of technology that is hardware– rather than software–centric. It's important that you can automatically activate different apps based on your proximity to a location; it's important that you have a tier of interactive options that escalate from "press the big button" to "say a thing out loud" to "spin the dial to the right place, and then press the big button". In terms of synaptic response, the Apple Watch's job is to give you a big button that does all the various things big buttons would be useful for, in all the situations that you don't presently have a big button with which to do things. It's a "That Was Easy" button for the world.

Remember the thing I was saying earlier about Apple working towards a judo-flip unification between hardware and software? In their own devices, they have the freedom to pursue this in somewhat extravagant ways. Witness the new Macbook's keyboard, which is the largest keyboard Apple's created in a decade while simultaneously being on its teeniest computer by a big leap. Witness the iPhone 6's rounded curves, which perfectly accentuate the only-a-year-old iOS 7 interface that triggers actions based on swiping from the edges of screens. People got scornful when Apple marketed resolution independence as "the Retina Display", but the reason Apple needed to give that a name was that it represented the complete separation of hardware specifics and software abstractions. Resolution independence equals getting to create visuals that only depict the precise thing you intended to depict. (I'm reading a high-res copy of the complete Bloom County on my iPad as of late, and holy shit it looks exactly like the books I had of it as a kid.) Solid-state drives, Retina Displays, iOS hardware that reflects the iOS interface, touch sensors, Siri... all ways of abstracting, as much as possible, the ultracomplex technology that lurks behind your casual computing devices. Abstracting away the things humans don't care about, so we can focus instead on the tasks at hand. Apple's gotten really, really good at that.

The Apple Watch, then, is a device which helps to abstract away the idiot parts of the entire world. It's already being used to locate cars and unlock car doors, and it'll be used in lieu of car keys pretty soon. It can take you to your hotel door and unlock it for you. It can pay for things without your reaching into your pocket. It'll be used to replace TV remotes, operate thermostats, control garage doors and dishwashers... shit, how many times have you used a machine with a buttons-driven interface and not been irritated by its UI? It's one of the longest-running jokes in our contemporary society, from VCRs to microwaves to, I mean, literally just about everything. Machines suck. The Apple Watch exists to fix them.

That is a pretty primitive way of looking at its purpose, but that's because we don't have any instances yet of hardware designed for and around devices such as this, hardware more elegant and more powerful than anything we have today because it doesn't have to worry about the concerns of interface manipulation that exist in 2015. If you don't need to physically touch a machine, then it doesn't have to be easily-reached when you're using it — can that be used to make something cool? Probably. Certainly a non-shitty touch-based UI can be used to add insane amounts of complexity and nuance to everyday devices, and I'm sure something totally awesome can be built around that as well. It's a future of computing that doesn't look anything like computers, which to my mind is how it should be.

And that's the real endgame here. Not resolution independence, screen independence. Separating the utterly-cool abstractions that computers enable from the clunky devices which have dominated their existence for the longest fuckin' time. From before computers, even. To TVs. Arguably to even before that, reaching back into mediums like print and radio, where the mass conveyance and distribution of media required it to be presented in a unified, consumption-driven format.

Here's where my personal enthusiasms want to take me far past what the Apple Watch connotes and get into a theory of communication and rhetoric, to quote scholars like Ian Bogost who study the nature of play, to talk about how experiences are defined by sensation and narrative and procedure. Computers are brilliant at procedure; they are shit at narrative; they are even worse at sensation. It's why the epithet about staring at a bright screen in a dark room is meant to convey something like the opposite of "living life to the fullest". It's why people tweet about how their popularity on the Internet corresponds to their loneliness in the everything. It's why doing Mom's tech support is a perennial IT joke. Computers are pieces of goddamn shit, not according to their own standards — where they utterly utterly dominate — but according to the standards of much of the rest of, you know, reality. Most experiences in life would not be made better if you experienced them with the help of a computer screen. I don't think anybody's about to dispute that.

But computers, at the same time, represent a pretty fundamental shift in how we're able to exist. They give us a series of freedoms that go beyond what anybody else in the history of humankind has been entitled to, even while their existence makes it easy to deprive a lot of people of freedoms which until a couple decades ago we'd have taken entirely for granted. This has been the paradox of early computing, and I would argue that from where we are now, literally everything is early computing, and the Apple Watch is a museum relic just waiting to happen. We're in the middle of one of the most significant shifts in how people function as people in literally ever, and it's a shift that'll wind up reconfiguring the way societies function at a pretty fundamental level. Forget cars and planes — the shortening of geographical distances is nothing compared to the high-speed processing of incredibly-complex data systems.

Again, I'm not saying anything new here; I'm not saying anything that's been new in my lifetime. But we have a difficult time understanding that new, cool things are in fact still really fucking primitive and soon-to-be-obsolete. Not in a "hardware specs" sense, but in a "what it even means to use this thing" sense. Snapchat is the software equivalent of L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat, that pre-1900s short film about a train arriving that scared the shit out of audiences unused to watching moving pictures on a screen. It reveals something fundamental about the "language" of computer-enabled social interactions, but it's just one letter of the alphabet, so to speak. And computers are much more important than movies ever were or will be, by their very nature. We're looking at one doozy of an alphabet, here.

Right now computers are screens. As of 2007, they are sometimes screens so small that you can fit 'em in your pocket, toy around with 'em on the subway. As of a month-and-a-half from now, they'll be so small that they'll become essentially unimportant, which is why Apple's new Stupid Marketing Brand is their invention of the word "Taptic" — yes, cutesy and annoying, but they need to convey that this is a watch which can guide you through touch rather than through sight or even sound, things like tapping you two different ways for a left or a right turn, or like letting you share a heartbeat in a message. Experiences you don't need to look at. Or, more precisely, subtle adjustments to experiences that have nothing to do with a computer, with your computer entirely existing to get the fuck out of your way and let you focus on doing the thing that you're doing. Computers removing the need for *other* inconveniences, like car keys and overstuffed wallets and plane tickets and, you know, the detritus of a mechanical society that's gotten more and more mechanized over time.

Abstractions are the heart of computing, and this is going to become the most abstract mass-market device ever sold. But when Apple tells you "we are only just beginning" at the end of every marketing campaign, this is why. It's not an empty phrase; it's a statement, over and over again for these last couple of years, that this is where the computing that we'll one day think of as computing really begins.

Once you don't need the screen, you can start to go backwards and adjust all the old screen-based machines to the new reality of technology. Apple did this with their laptops and desktops after the iPhone and iPad; they'll do it to their iPhones and iPads now that the Apple Watch is a thing. Whatever devices they make next — and make no mistake, one thing the Watch represents is a shift away from just making the computers that we think of as computers, which is why Apple's pushing so hard at being a fashion brand here — will shift us even further towards a culture wherein the credo of computing becomes "as little computing as possible", meaning the devices enabling the processes rather than the processes themselves. See also Handoff, Apple's yes-that-was-also-released-this-year system that enables moving work across devices as you move between environments; the device is becoming a tool for processing the information rather than its enclosure. Slowly it'll become hardware in the sense of a workshop full of tools rather than in the sense that it'll need to do every single thing on its own.

I am unbelievably excited about all this stuff, more so than I'm willing to get into here because I'm trying to avoid regurgitating about a dozen massive academic textbooks' worth of Shit You Certainly Don't Care About. But it's huge, really huge. And it's hilarious, like I said above, to watch people who don't know the first thing about technology trying to talk about an unreleased Apple product like they know what they're talking about. It's the equivalent of watching a bunch of teenagers try to make heads or tails of *Spring Breakers*, only on a much wider scale (and I bring this up because I *totally* watched teenagers do that after *Spring Breakers* came out, thanks to the magic of Tumblr, and because this is how I amuse myself with people's idiocy instead of watching Kitchen Nightmares or whatever).

Also, it is a really pretty device and people who think otherwise are objectively wrong. Let me know if I have to write a thing about that, also, I should be free early this evening if need be.
posted by rorgy at 3:53 AM on March 16, 2015 [43 favorites]


Preach on, Brother Rorgy. Preach on.
posted by Wolof at 4:29 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am unbelievably excited about all this stuff ...

Really? I couldn't tell.
posted by octothorpe at 4:38 AM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


And it's hilarious, like I said above, to watch people who don't know the first thing about technology trying to talk about an unreleased Apple product like they know what they're talking about.

We may be idiots, but we are also supposed to be the customers.
posted by colie at 4:43 AM on March 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Don't forget that Apple is, as a large company, uniquely comfortable with the idea of eating it's own.

There's a good chance that in 7 years, this thing is your iPhone.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:50 AM on March 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't think I'm the customer for this, but I'm also not the customer for One Direction, and I can appreciate that both are interesting products.

I think the Apple Watch will sell shed loads in China (where they sold 100m iPhone 6s last year), and succeed enough for Apple to make the next one, which will be better, and the one after that, which will be a lot better.

When the iPhone first came out people talked about using it for email, browsing and watching YouTube. Then apps like Angry Birds and Instagram came along that were designed specifically for the device, and people began to want the phones for what they offered that was better, not just for shiny bits of hardware.

I'm pretty sure the same thing will happen with the Apple Watch, and in a couple of years it'll make a lot more sense.
posted by DanCall at 4:51 AM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


We may be idiots, but we are also supposed to be the customers.

Henry Ford, like Steve Jobs, was kind of a piece of shit, but he said it best: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
posted by rorgy at 5:02 AM on March 16, 2015 [9 favorites]




As someone who hates wearing bracelets, wristwatches, and those little plasticky things you wear around your wrist to prove you paid for admission, I am fairly sure I will not ever adopt any sort of smartwatch. I can wear it for an hour, max, before I get antsy.

(Pre cell phones I did pocket watches and, earlier, pop swatches.)
posted by jeather at 5:14 AM on March 16, 2015


they would have said faster horses

Things have improved: now I can spend 800 dollars on a phone and at least I know my reward is a walk-on part in the grand opera of sublime technological progress, rather than making calls etc.
posted by colie at 5:24 AM on March 16, 2015


I'm not interested in getting one of these (my watch cost $80 and has worked flawlessly for a decade), but the people expressing shock and horror that someone would pay $17,000 for a watch must never have been in a fancy jeweler's

Exactly. Apple understands that for many people, watches are jewelry that happens to have functionality. This is why they have four different case materials, three different finishes on one of them and two on another, and a dozen or so bands for it.

The thing that doesn't surprise me is that an 18K gold watch is $10,000. The thing that surprised me is an 18K gold watch with a gold bracelet was only $17K.

Now, it's very possible you don't wear jewelry or watches, in which case, the Apple Watch, and literally every other watch made, is of no use to you. There are those who will buy a sport model for functionality. There are those would will buy one for the looks. There are those who will buy steel or gold because they want that look, and the fact that there is a computer inside it? Wow, clever.

(Me? I've always wanted an Omega Speedster Professional, but those of you who know me and know what I post here are probably completely unsurprised at that. Those who don't know? You know how to find answers.)

I think there's a lot of interesting here, and I admire how through Apple has been with this. Every other "smart watch" concentrated on the "smart" and forgot why people wear watches, and in many cases, it's not because they want to know what time it is.

And note that Apple had a couple of very clear marks that they were going to hit before they shipped it. It was going to be small, and it was going to last all day, and it was going to have a high resolution color screen with touch. Period. Anything less means it was competing with "smart watches", and Apple isn't interesting in competing on other people's ground. They're far more interested in making other people compete on their ground.

Don't forget that Apple is, as a large company, uniquely comfortable with the idea of eating it's own.

Exactly. If this is better than that, Apple builds this, and to hell with the market for that. See notebooks clawing away their desktop business, iPhones destroying the iPod market -- you know, one of the products that saved Apple as a company -- and so forth.

Will it replace the iPhone? I don't know -- though I could see iPhones becomes iPads with phones and the watch becoming your phone/watch. But there's very limited screen real estate, and very limited interface points.

This time, Apple isn't doing what they did with the iPhone -- the application markets are already at work, and I suspect some very cool, and frankly, some very scary, things to come out of that market. Indeed, the HealthKit/ResearchKit stuff qualifies there. Yes, the population will be limited to buyers of the Apple Watch, but that's a vastly larger population than most studies have.

Oh, and one other thing. I do believe that, for a new product, the Apple Watch Sport is the *cheapest* product that Apple has ever had at launch. The iMac was well over a thousand, the iPod was $399, the iPhone was $499/599/699, the iPad was similar, only a few of the notebooks were under $1000 and even the new MacBook starts at $1299.

Not that Apple has chased the cheap price point EVER in the last 15 years, of course.
posted by eriko at 6:02 AM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


There's a good chance that in 7 years, this thing is your iPhone.

There's a good chance that in 7 years, it will be an implant. Preorders for the iBone start in 2020.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:10 AM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd say that with the iPhone and the original Macbook Air (the one three times more expensive than the just-announced Macbook, and far, far weaker by comparison to its predecessors),

That's a beautiful rant, but as an owner of the original MBA, it wasn't three times the price of the just announced MacBook That Is An Air Even Though It Isn't. The original MBA was $1799/$1899/$1999, the Macbook is $1299/$1599.

It's the apotheosis of the original idea of the MacBook Air, and I find it interesting that the one port they couldn't get rid of was a 3/8th (3.5mm) headphone jack, though they did (as they do in all macs) put an optical TOSLINK port inside of it.
posted by eriko at 6:12 AM on March 16, 2015


No, that's a few doors down
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:12 AM on March 16, 2015


er, that was to charlie don't surf
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:13 AM on March 16, 2015


I'll bet I can have a replacement 18K gold case custom made for a lot less than $16,600. There are folks in China who make $400 Breitlings that need an expert and an open case to identify them (and $80 quartz ones that look perfect, barely tick, but keep better time). I'd bet they can do so for much less, and that they'll be churning out apple watch upgrades within a week.

I'm not quite sure what the legality of this will be. Could be more like the tech world's standard of "your black roundrect looks too much like my black roundrect" or it could be more like designer knock-off clothes. But I really doubt that intellectual "property" laws are going to stop third parties from chewing off a good chunk of that sweet, sweet velben good price premium.
posted by CHoldredge at 6:19 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I feel like Apple evangelism made a lot more sense when they were the underdog continually one fiscal quarter away from bankruptcy.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:23 AM on March 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


But on a personal level, our precise spacetime coordinates are almost completely useless. Our watches are a sign of our vanity, that our position in the universe matters.

Now tell me everything you know about the Yellow King.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:26 AM on March 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


The Master and Margarita Mix: "I am Of A Lady Persuasion, and what I want is an update to the 6th generation Nano that can be clipped on a shirt in the same way but... [snip] You'd think Apple would buy a fucking clue, but nooooo."

Seconded. I swear, if my ipod experience had matched my ipad experience, I would probably not be as hostile about the entire apple walled garden as I am. But just knowing that when my 6th gen ipod dies (and it will), I'll have to buy all new connectors, new accessories so I can carry the ipod while working out...and this will be the 2nd or 3rd time in X years when I've had to replace all.the.things, because Apple is a firm believer if filling up landfills, rather than supporting old products.

This watch strikes me as nothing more than a nano6 on steroids, on a wristband, with a big ol price hike. Meanwhile, they killed the only product that clipped on. Grrr.
posted by dejah420 at 6:26 AM on March 16, 2015


It looks great and I want one (the apps selection is already tempting).

But have I missed something about what happens in 18 months when the chip inside your 17k case is near-obsolete? Do they replace the insides for you or do you seriously abandon a 17k watch after 18 months?
posted by colie at 6:27 AM on March 16, 2015


Anil Dash:
"Do you want to sell gold watches to rich people for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?"
posted by octothorpe at 6:34 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


So the people spending $350 on an Apple Watch Sport are being laughed at by the people spending $1000 on an Apple Watch, who are being laughed at by the people spending $17,000 on a gold Apple Watch Edition. Those people are being laughed at by the people who spend $40,000 on a watch, who are being laughed at by the people who spend $100,000.

Nobody is laughing at anybody.

Well, I'm laughing at the same people making the same jokes and same false predictions in every Apple thread, but you shouldn't worry about that.
posted by bondcliff at 6:36 AM on March 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


"do you seriously abandon a 17k watch after 18 months?"

You're intended to toss it. This seems to be the latest thing in permium-goods-as-status-signaling arena. Like thousand-dollar handbags with gilded plastic chains for straps. Or poorly-made tracksuits marked up 800 percent because of the silkscreened name. It shows that not only are you rich enough to afford the product, but also rich enough to not take it seriously, or care that it will last.

Seems to be an especially huge thing in San Jose, for some reason
posted by CHoldredge at 6:47 AM on March 16, 2015


Anil Dash: "Do you want to sell gold watches to rich people for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?"

I wonder if anyone's ever asked him if he wants to sell people "daily insights about their Twitter and Facebook life", or change the world.

It seems to me like a bunch of people working hard to make a new device that, among other things, will make it easier to stay stay fit, and easier to in touch with my elderly grandmother and enjoy the time we have left together, is going to have a lot more positive impact on my life than an automated email about the latest must-see social network drama.
posted by frijole at 6:52 AM on March 16, 2015


Let me know if I have to write a thing about that, also, I should be free early this evening if need be.

Very much Looking forward to it.
posted by ~ at 7:01 AM on March 16, 2015


Wow rorgy, that's a lot of utopian technowank for a device that you can't even buy yet.
posted by aspo at 7:39 AM on March 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


This time, Apple isn't doing what they did with the iPhone -- the application markets are already at work, and I suspect some very cool, and frankly, some very scary, things to come out of that market. Indeed, the HealthKit/ResearchKit stuff qualifies there. Yes, the population will be limited to buyers of the Apple Watch, but that's a vastly larger population than most studies have.

I'm fascinated by the implication of the health and research bits - And Apple could increase the numbers with gestures like giving away tons of phones/watches to patients in the VA system, or giving every hospital a few hundred kits to distribute, or partnering with athletic leagues to have players wear them in practice, etc. etc.
posted by jalexei at 7:49 AM on March 16, 2015


In reading this thread I am pleased to discover I still live & work in a part of the world where no one is offended in a meeting or social setting if you are constantly looking at your phone, texting, surfing, checking the time, whatever. Glancing at your wristwatch, however, is a clear sign that you've run out of time for whomever is wasting yours.
posted by chavenet at 8:00 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The best part of the Apple Watch is people talking confidently about the mindset of people who buy very expensive watches, something they had previously given zero thought to and continue to have pretty much no real insight about. Other than "Chinese people love gold" and "rich people will spend any amount of money on stuff because they are rich." Real deep.

I would love to see a real interview with someone who can afford this watch and their thoughts.
posted by smackfu at 8:05 AM on March 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Its going to be a lot of fun to come back to this thread in a few years.
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:07 AM on March 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


You're expected to toss it.

Well, I don't know about that. There is a robust market for used Apple gear, even stuff near the bottom of the New->Old Crap->Rare and Valuable curve. Seriously, take a look on eBay for prices of old Apple stuff. (Top Tip: Save all the original packaging to get the best price.)

I can hardly wait to see what Gazelle will offer for a lightly used Apple Watch Edition.

At the true end of lifecycle there is, of course, valuable gold in the thing. It may get melted down but I doubt any Edition will just go into the trash.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:08 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Alright, I've watch the Dancing Mickey Mouse Watch Face for five minutes now and I'm now planning to try to get one for my birthday. Damn you consumerism.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:51 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


This looks really good. Too bad it is tied to Apple's ecosystem (particularly the rage inducing iTunes). Do any of the Android variants mentioned have highly customizable faces Apple has featured?
posted by Mitheral at 9:21 AM on March 16, 2015


All the Android ones run a common operating system, Android Wear, and it allows you to make your own watch faces, like apps. So there are a bazillion of them.
posted by smackfu at 9:28 AM on March 16, 2015


I've been pleasantly surprised at the accuracy and utility of the Google Now voice recognition on my android phone. It would be pretty great if I could just talk to my watch and leave the phone in my pocket.

(I wish it would let you choose your own activation phrase. The closest I've come to customization is training the phone to respond to "Ok, Poodle Cow," which after six months still amuses my family when I'm wandering around the house, saying it in every room to find where I left my phone.)
posted by straight at 9:52 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The ad copy for the Apple Watch sounds like it plans to lean heavily on predicting what you want to do, which seems like a great way to get everyone stuck in boring ruts of always responding to your buddy's latest hilarious Facebook meme with the same LOL emoji.
posted by straight at 9:55 AM on March 16, 2015


Its going to be a lot of fun to come back to this thread in a few years.

Partly because there's a bunch of ways this could go, and anyone who tells you then know what's going to happen is either a fool or lying.

The android devices have been hits... in terms of watches. They've sold really well, in comparison to other watch sales. They have sold poorly in terms of phone or even tablet sales.

This is Apple (and all the other manufacturers') dilemma, is there appetite for another device category, a second, or third or even fourth device category, consumers plan to spend $300 to $1k on every couple of years? Can the high tech crowd go back to the consumers' wallets again?

Is the watch a new category or is it going to cannibalize an old one, as the iPhone did largely to the iPod? Given the ever increasing size of phones these days, are we going to have a tablet in our bag or briefcase and a light-weight device on the wrist, a no-iPhone future? Or is this just an iPhone accessory, like a fancy fitness tracker or an extended helper device for you phone? In the no-phone future, these sell like gang busters (and iPhones fall off and mutate), in the other, maybe the Apple Watch turns into a minor, through profitable line selling as well as bluetooth headsets.
posted by bonehead at 10:02 AM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


...and that's just two common projections. There are a ton more.
posted by bonehead at 10:03 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


bonehead: "This is Apple (and all the other manufacturers') dilemma, is there appetite for another device category, a second, or third or even fourth device category, consumers plan to spend $300 to $1k on every couple of years?"

My personal intuition, based on basically nothing but being a person in the world, is that SmartWatches will have limited appeal and not become as ubiquitous as smart phones, but instead that limited-use wearables will conquer the world by solving one or two problems -- and being cheaper, smaller, better-battery-lifed, lighter-weight than a SmartWatch. Everyone you know will own one or two wearables that do just a couple of things -- like your Fitbits or your bluetooth headsets -- that improve that individual person's life (and that mostly talk to a more powerful, larger device, such as a phone or tablet). But a wearable that does All The Things will have limited appeal. However, SmartWatches, and their users, will be really important in figuring out how wearables can be used in interesting and productive ways, so that people who get lost all the time can buy a pair of earrings that vibrate left or right when they need to turn and buzz when they walk too far away from their phones.

They seem like a transitional step to the next world-conquering device, not the world-conquering device itself.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:21 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The usual clickbait grar about Apple is silly, of course, and will look sillier in 6-12 months when this turns out to work out just fine for iOS users, especially when the second revision comes out that fixes all the rough ends.

As a developer, I'm interested in tying mine into a local transit API, to get notifications when my bus lines are about to arrive. It's those sorts of interactions that make me pull out the phone and dig through a few levels of an app's menu that I see as being something that devs like myself can have some fun improving upon and maybe make some money off of, who knows?

Those sorts of apps will definitely make an Apple Watch a more compelling buy for other iOS users, for sure. Here's to another successful launch!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:23 AM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would just like to mention that I am 100% sure Eyebrows got the idea for the earrings when I suggested smart underwire bras that could interface with your GPS directions and also smart-jewelry for people who don't want something around their wrist.

Business idea here.
posted by jeather at 10:28 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a developer, I'm interested in tying mine into a local transit API, to get notifications when my bus lines are about to arrive

Feed it enough data, and it could notify you that your stop is coming up. Would be useful for someone like me who often gets lost in a book/listening to music and misses their stop.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:32 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quality-of-life tweaks like that were what made smartphones compelling purchases in the first place. Few probably use their phone only for calls, but for the multiplier effect of the apps. Of the listed sensor hardware and the apps demo'ed so far, the utility of an Apple Watch seems clear and the potential of apps-to-be-written to be intriguing.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:40 AM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a smartphone, use it for all kinds of things, even use it for an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. What I don't use it for it telling time, it's off by at least a minute after it syncs, and that just isn't good enough for my job, so I use a radio controlled watch that updates automatically every night. I think that watch has been out by maybe half a second since I bought it. Oh, and it's solar powered so I don't have to worry about charging it. I got it for astro-nav, and it's been a god send.

That having been said, I'd love a smart watch, just for notifications, but I wouldn't rely on it for timekeeping.
posted by SpannerX at 10:46 AM on March 16, 2015


One of the ideas that went down with the ship when Nortel went bust in the early 2000s was their concepts on wearable cell phones: pendants, earrings and so on. They were trying ideas moderately similar to the Apple watch, to produce a phone device you could wear, that would fit in with everyday and more dressy attire. Voice interfaces. Keep in mind that this was back when the most common phones were the Startac flip and the Nokia candybars.

The tech just wasn't there a decade ago, but today, imagine a set of earrings or a broach that had voice with Siri or Google Now or Cortana or your agent of choice as its main interface. I think you might be able to get a number of people to replace their phones with that. Even ones that look like fancy watches. I'm not sure a primary visual interface is the way to go for these things at all. Some sort of visual display for sure, but not as the primary control. No one really likes poking at a tiny screen.
posted by bonehead at 11:15 AM on March 16, 2015


Forex: Google Now is almost a better calendar than the actual calendar app. Imagine a device, an earring, a ring, a pendant, that could be set to ding/vibrate/put a discrete alert on a small screen when you needed to get moving to go to a meeting or catch a flight (based on actual projected travel time counting traffic), when you've got a call from your kid, so on. Imagine not needing to have a 3x6 slab of plastic and glass in a pocket or a clutch.

I can see those selling a bunch.
posted by bonehead at 11:21 AM on March 16, 2015


Honestly, you don't need much more than a $100 Fitbit for that kind of use today.
posted by smackfu at 11:34 AM on March 16, 2015


If the fitbit included a cell phone, could show a text and looked like a broach you could wear with a little black dress, or as a pair of cufflinks in a suit, perhaps. A fitbit today looks like a pair of trainers, great for the gym, not so great for drinks.
posted by bonehead at 11:47 AM on March 16, 2015


The fitbit flex had some style that would make it wearable to parties, though its functionality is now subsumed by other devices.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:54 AM on March 16, 2015


> The reality of the situation, if you want my opinion — and you should, let's just leave it at that ...

Late to this thread, but this comment alone is worth $5.00. I'm simultaneously impressed, jealous, and appalled.

Oh, and on topic, I used to wear watches - I have a small collection of lovely Skagens - but stopped when my iPhone got a step counter. (What, leave it out of my pocket and lose credit for some steps?) I am obviously going to have to buy my wife an Apple Watch, probably a steel one, and then I might as well get a cheaper one for myself to take advantage of the doodles and heartbeat, and I'll be able to leave my smartphone on my desk again.

My prediction: this thing will sell. They'll bring out version 2 in two years with more native (untethered) capabilities and it will sell even more. In 5 years it'll be part of the background.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:20 PM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


No waterproofing. Less battery life than a Pebble. Lame.
posted by gyc at 12:27 PM on March 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I guess the feeemaaales just have to get a Ringly or a Swarovski Shine if we want smart wearables.
Can we all agree to stop using female as a descriptor of humans? Women is a perfectly good word that does a much better job.
posted by domo at 12:44 PM on March 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Feed it enough data, and it could notify you that your stop is coming up. Would be useful for someone like me who often gets lost in a book/listening to music and misses their stop.

Last summer I was using google maps navigation on an unfamiliar CTA bus route and I had no idea it gave audible directions. I was listening to music and reading on my phone when suddenly it just yelled "GET OFF THE BUS".

It was like the voice of god. It would have been cooler if the bus then exploded into flames (for me - not for the people still on the bus) but I take what I get.
posted by srboisvert at 12:47 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you are not an Apple enthusiast, which is perfectly fine, then you possibly forget the collective sigh of disappointment which arose after Steve Jobs revealed the iPad, in a keynote demo which involved his sitting on a couch and using a bunch of apps that looked almost exactly like their iPhone equivalents.

That was not a couch. It was The Chair. It was a very specific message from Steve Jobs.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:52 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


this thing will sell. They'll bring out version 2 in two years with more native (untethered) capabilities and it will sell even more. In 5 years it'll be part of the background.

The first-gen iPads and iPods were kinda shit for all they made people take notice. iPads didn't really hit their stride technically or in terms of good sales numbers until rev 2 and the iPod took two or three iterations before it really became a good device.

This has all the hallmarks of a first-gen attempt: the iPhone dependence (as the first iPhones depended on a Mac tether), the crappy, sub 24-hour battery life (which they can't really do anything about with current tech), the crazy interface dial all the reviewers have been confused by (anyone else think of the clickwheel ?). But they'll fix all that in rev 2 or 3, and that's the devices that will really show if this in an important form factor or not. We really won't know for a couple-few years.
posted by bonehead at 1:16 PM on March 16, 2015


SpannerX: Apple claims that the watch "keeps time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard".
posted by Baldons at 3:06 PM on March 16, 2015


You would kind of hope that if nothing else, a watch would keep time.
posted by octothorpe at 4:27 PM on March 16, 2015


Well, even precise quartz watches can lose or gain about half a second a day, depending on the temperature.
posted by Baldons at 4:44 PM on March 16, 2015


smart underwire bras that could interface with your GPS directions

Brilliant and hilarious, and pretty much demanding a video. I could see Portlandia doing this.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:56 PM on March 16, 2015


All I ask is that before I need bifocals, they'll come up with some smart contact lenses that will automatically adjust the prescription depending on whether I'm looking at something close up or far away. Is that too much to ask? Are there researchers at Apple working on the iContact Lenses as we speak, or are they not interested because contact lenses cannot be made to fit with Apple's design aesthetic.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:58 PM on March 16, 2015




smart underwire bras that could interface with your GPS directions

There will come a time when someone will ask what purpose nipples served before the development of haptic feedback interfaces.
posted by acb at 5:09 PM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


There will come a time when someone will ask what purpose nipples served before the development of haptic feedback interfaces.

You may be on to something. I recall reading a story about Woz, back in the early days of the iPhone. Woz said he carried two iPhones set to silent mode, one in each pants pocket. He had all his calls sorted through Google Voice and prioritized. Personal calls made the left phone vibrate. Business calls made the right phone vibrate. Emergency calls made both phones vibrate.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:05 PM on March 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like this, and i want this, but apple has pooped on the faces of nerds who buy all their stuff with the 1st gen too much in the past decade or so.

1st gen macbook pro for example. Less than a year later a revised model with a 64bit CPU that's superior in every way comes out. Literally, every freaking way. Not just like a minor spec bump for a bit more power but an upgrade to something that as far as i know is still getting updates with the 2007 model, vs something that got ditched all the way back at osx 10.7

1st gen ipad. This one still pisses me off. Everyone pays out the butt for the 1st gen model, and a year later the 2 comes out. The 1 didn't look that outdated at the time, but got ditched in less than two years! The iphone 5 launched in 2012 with ios 6, and the ipad 1 was stuck on ios 5. Meanwhile everyone who bought an ipad 2 is still seeing updates, and might even see one more. Seriously, the ipad 1 got 2 updates. The ipad 2 will likely get 5. Some of the macs mentioned above have gotten six updates and still run great.(my 2007 imac has run every intel version of OSX)

The 1st gen macbook air was a similar fuck you, when the penryn based model with displayport and a real GPU came out the same year. 1st model is shafted and stuck on lion, updated model from the same year is running yosemite and will likely support the next OS. I owned one, a couple friends had them. They were complete dogs and the updated models were a million times better, especially to try and use with any OS newer than snow leopard.

The last 1st gen product launch that was solid was the original ipad mini. and the ipad mini 2 is so much better it isn't even funny.

I expect the apple watch 2(or 2016, or whatever they decide to call it) to be way thinner, and offer some other features that don't seem like a big deal at the time but will cause it to get way more interesting and longer support further in to the future.

And to be clear, i'm aware every generation gets better. It's just that the 1st-2nd gen jump on apple products is usually completely unfair. 2nd-3rd is generally incremental. If you had an ipad 2 when the 3 came out, the screen was cool, but you were fine. Ditto when the 4 came out even. But if you had a 1st gen ipad you were fucked. The ipad mini was "ok i guess" on this, and the iphone was great. The 1st gen iphone was honestly fine until the 4 came out. But it's like, i just don't trust them anymore to not completely take a crap on anyone who buys the 1st gen software support wise.

But really, i'm still just super bitter over the ipad thing. Anyone who didn't sell their ipad 1 around the ipad 3 launch got fucking HOSED with a tablet that was basically instantly worthless. And they're literally bricks these days that wont even play youtube videos anymore. And bear in mind the iphone 4, which came out the same year with the same CPU, got updated all the way to ios 7 and is still totally usable. ugh.
posted by emptythought at 6:27 PM on March 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Honestly the leaps from 1.0 to 2.0 seem more and more like a purely naked cash grab from Apple when they get laid out together like that. "Eh, we'll ship what we've got now and everyone will eat up the OOHSHINY and they'll just buy it again when we release the real version."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:40 PM on March 16, 2015


But really, i'm still just super bitter over the ipad thing. Anyone who didn't sell their ipad 1 around the ipad 3 launch got fucking HOSED with a tablet that was basically instantly worthless.

There's an old hacker axiom, there are only two types of computers: experimental, and obsolete. Every computer product you can buy is obsolete the moment you bought it. The experimental ones haven't shipped yet, they're still in the research lab.

On a related note, here is a letter from Steve Jobs, responding to criticism of the reduction of the original iPhone price from $599 to $399.

Secondly, being in technology for 30+ years I can attest to the fact that the technology road is bumpy. There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever. This is life in the technology lane. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you'll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon.

I wrote a lengthy response on my blog, viewing this from both the customer perspective and a dealer's. I note that I got the $100 rebate coupon and a year later, it expired before I could figure out what to buy from Apple for a mere $100.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:50 PM on March 16, 2015


bonehead: "the crappy, sub 24-hour battery life (which they can't really do anything about with current tech),"

Well there is a direct trade off between size and battery life. Apple's watch is much thinner than the competitors with proportionally poorer battery life.
posted by Mitheral at 8:40 PM on March 16, 2015


The thing is that the battery life doesn't actually seem to be poor compared to anything but the Pebble — that 18-hour battery life estimate assumes things like using it to listen to music over bluetooth headphones (which requires things like owning bluetooth headphones), and it's also based on the smaller model, with the stated caveat that the larger model will get better battery life.

Like, it's still built around being charged daily, but that's kind of unavoidable without making the sorts of compromises that they clearly didn't want to. Much like the iPad, there's a sort of "solve for X" calculus going on at Apple where they decide what an acceptable minimum battery life is (how one might define "all day") and then work from that in terms of making the device thinner and/or lighter.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:15 PM on March 16, 2015


But really, i'm still just super bitter over the ipad thing

Sure, but if you bought an iPad in 2010, you had technology in your hands that you know was 2-3 years ahead of anything else that could be called vaguely equivalent. And once the clones started coming out and were gaining traction in mid-2013, the iPad was on its fourth revision and Moore's Law had set in on the revisions of the A-chipset, so it's hard to expect that Apple would be motivated to sit still and devote precious developer time to eking out the last bit of performance out of technology that would never (even under the most optimistic conditions) be able to perform anywhere near as well as the next two hardware revisions, especially when allocating that time basically takes away resources to make the current stuff the best it can be, while also leaving competitors breathing room they desperately need to catch up. Emotionally, I get the idea of being upset, but I also write this as someone who sold his iPad 2 and moved on, because iOS 7 was clearly the endgame for that branch of the platform. It is always possible — and perhaps even ideal — to stick with the best operating system that was made for your device — and that's not just an iPad thing, but an issue for just about any modern technology, given the exponential rate at which hardware improvements are being made. It was the same with the PowerBook G4, when the Intel-based models were released. It will be the same, once the second generation Watch comes out. Progress is inevitable, that way.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:59 PM on March 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Anyone who didn't sell their ipad 1 around the ipad 3 launch got fucking HOSED with a tablet that was basically instantly worthless. And they're literally bricks these days that wont even play youtube videos anymore.

I still have an iPad 1; one of the things that still runs well on it is djay (though not djay 2 or Traktor), and so it makes a passable portable DJing deck.
posted by acb at 5:15 AM on March 17, 2015


The thing is that the battery life doesn't actually seem to be poor compared to anything but the Pebble —

The Pebble is really the only smart watch that I'd consider for exactly that issue. The Google watches are neat but I have enough trouble keeping my cell phone charged, I don't want something else to worry about every day.
posted by octothorpe at 5:23 AM on March 17, 2015


The iPad 3 (v1 of the Retina iPads) was also a bit of a dog. Only on sale for 6 months, pretty underpowered, last device without a Lightning port, bigger and heavier than the iPad 2.

But yeah, I certainly think waiting for v2 of the Watch is a good idea. Apple can work out any issues, apps can mature a bit, and we can see whether people really find it useful.
posted by smackfu at 5:54 AM on March 17, 2015


The small print on the Apple site says that if the battery gets very low at the end of the day, the watch goes into 'Power Reserve' and you can use it to just tell the time for another 72 hours. Which to be fair to Apple is the kind of thoughtful little feature they often put in - I doubt the Motorola and LG products do that.
posted by colie at 6:15 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


The iPad 3 (v1 of the Retina iPads) was also a bit of a dog. Only on sale for 6 months, pretty underpowered, last device without a Lightning port, bigger and heavier than the iPad 2.

Also, the 4G feature of the mobile chipset worked only in the US, which was less than ideal for customers abroad. I believe they were forced by European advertising standards authorities to stop marketing it as a “4G iPad”.
posted by acb at 6:42 AM on March 17, 2015


the watch goes into 'Power Reserve' and you can use it to just tell the time for another 72 hours

It will be interesting to see what that looks like, since some of the watch faces seem pretty intense. Do you get an animated Mickey Mouse in Power Reserve, or just the most basic screen possible...
posted by smackfu at 7:26 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


But really, i'm still just super bitter over the ipad thing. Anyone who didn't sell their ipad 1 around the ipad 3 launch got fucking HOSED with a tablet that was basically instantly worthless. And they're literally bricks these days that wont even play youtube videos anymore.

A bit of an aside, but from what I understand, the 1st Gen iPad was stretching the limits of tech so, so far, that it could barely keep up with rendering on its display while keeping a reasonable battery life. Too little memory, too underpowered CPU, direly underpowered GPU, and still, what a remarkable piece of tech.

Our iPad 1 is actually in heavy use right now by our toddler - many useful toddler apps (alphabet and numbers and geography and matching games) support iOS 4.1.2, or have older versions that work on it. It's built like a brick to take toddler abuse, and if it has an unfortunate encounter with a glass of milk one of these days, it will have sacrificed in a good cause.

The iPad 3 is a more problematic one. The GPU really struggled to keep up with that gorgeous (lickable!) screen, and it didn't have the lightning connector. Ours went to distant grandparents, and they still use it regularly for FaceTime and web browsing and email - it's been awesome.

The iPad Air 2 is beautiful, but barely gets any use at all, because the iPhones are far too good now.

My FSM we have a lot of Apple devices these days.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:46 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I suspect the original iPad drive all competitors to advance the technology, allowing Apple to create the iPad 2, leveraging the new tech. Without pushing the competition to compete, the tech wouldn't have advanced as quickly, and none of us would have what we have now.

It's the same with slim, light, full-fledged laptops. Without the first Air, we wouldn't have access to a half-dozen Air-like laptops today.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:51 AM on March 17, 2015


RedOrGreen: Our iPad 1 (which I bought used when the iPad 2 came out) is also in heavy use by our now-4-year-old twin boys, who are not gentle with it. I can't believe the amount of abuse it's taken and it's still going strong. The battery life is also still good, much better than I would expect after this long. Everything that ran on it before still runs fine, and I think kids' app makers take take into account that parents will give their toddlers their old iPads and so many kids' apps are made compatible with older versions of iOS.
posted by Emanuel at 11:53 AM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


On a similar note, I was planning on replacing my seriously undersized ipad mini (16gb, too small!) with a new ipad air2 (128gb!) However I needed to replace my phone first. So I got a One +1, and rarely even use the ipad mini anymore. I was queuing up to laugh at all the folks with the new giant phones and ended up with one. I have to say I love it. Anyone one to by an Ipad Air 2 Cover? Never been used...
posted by evilDoug at 9:42 PM on March 17, 2015


The iPad Air 2 is beautiful, but barely gets any use at all, because the iPhones are far too good now.

This is an interesting point as well. When the ipad was introduced, there were two sizes of iOS device. 3.5in phone, and 9.7in tablet. This was a clear delineation, like a scooter and a normal sized sedan. When the 4in iphone 5 launched, it still felt like it made good sense. It was more like a full sized motorcycle and a car. There was also decidedly a raw performance edge to the ipad.

Then it all kind of started to fall apart. So you have the ipad mini, that's like... a small hatchback? And then around the 5s every device started using the same CPU, with the same amount of ram.*

What really made it confusing though was when not just the 6+ launched, but the smallest size of iphone became 4.7in with quite a bit of bezel. The 6+ is like a kei car. Pretty much a tablet("car") but small... but still big. It feels like the smallest big thing, not the biggest small thing. And the regular 6 is at the upper limit of "two wheeled vehicle" in this analogy, it's like a huge harley bagger.

I have an ipad mini 2 because i think the ipad air/etc is just too large and heavy to comfortably hold up with one hand and poke at. I also have an iphone 6. Both are incredibly fast, there's no edge there. And the iphone is just... pretty big.

And i have the same problem. I'm kinda like, why did i buy an ipad again? If i pull it out and start using it i enjoy it, but it doesn't really make an amazing case for itself as a compelling independent entity. If i'm on my phone, i'll just use that. If i'm on my laptop to Write Things or whatever then i'm just going to keep driving that truck, even if i don't really need to. It's a 15in, and it feels huge compared to either of the other devices.

When i had a 4s or a 5 and an ipad 3, i'd pick up the ipad because it was worlds nicer to read on. It was the nicest thing i owned or had used to just browse the internet on. The only negative point was that it was heavy. But with a bigger phone... i just don't understand it as much.

I hated that they made the iphone bigger at first, but i use the bigger iphone more than anything else i own. My partner is still using a 5 and my old ipad 3, but i find myself going straight from my phone to my laptop and back again. Big phone and small tablet just isn't as much of a difference.

*And yes, i'm aware the air 2 is faster now once again like the early generations, but everything else is so fast at this point that it feels like the extra power is basically just for doing wheelies.
posted by emptythought at 2:03 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is an interesting point as well. When the ipad was introduced, there were two sizes of iOS device. 3.5in phone, and 9.7in tablet

And several iPod variations.

I wish there was an iPhone the size of the 1st gen iPod. Fits in one hand, can type with one thumb, fits all the pockets.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:18 AM on March 18, 2015


I wish there was an iPhone the size of the 1st gen iPod. Fits in one hand, can type with one thumb, fits all the pockets.

... But that's it, exactly.

I think the thrust of the watch is, so you think the big phones are too big? You can keep it in your pocket / purse / backpack / murse for all but the most involved applications. All the everyday stuff can be done right from your wrist, with one finger, or maybe no fingers (Hello, Siri).

There's a menu of choices in the future, and Apple's explicit goal is to have an entry at each point in the menu, from the Mac Pro and iMac, to the Macbook / Macbook Pro, to the iPad, and on down through the iPad Mini, the iPhone Plus, the iPhone, the iPhone Nano, the Watch, and the iEyeImplant[*].

They want you to have one of each, ideally, but they're happy for you to choose. And with Continuity, the promise (not the practice yet, obviously, but the promise) is that the devices will seamlessly hand off between each other in whatever combination you choose to have. Work at your iMac, toss your Macbook in your backpack to go, answer calls on your iPhone, lounge in bed on your iPad, and use the Watch at the gym / in the bar / on the bus / in the meeting. With HealthKit and HomeKit and CarPlay (soon to become CarKit, I bet) and ApplePay, they all talk to your house appliances, your car, your stores, and your medical providers. Everything you need is everywhere you want it to be.

That's Apple's vision. On the minus side, OMG, Big Brother much? And those eye-watering prices! On the plus side, Apple promises that by paying for it, you're not the product.

At least you have to admit that they have a vision.

[*] The iEyeImplant, or as we like to call it, the I. Our most, most personal device yet.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:33 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not really going to be able to browse MeFi on a watch. I can do MeFi and mail on the iPod, though.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 AM on March 18, 2015


Let Siri read it to you in her dulcet tones!
"Here is the most recent activity on threads you have commented in."
"RedOrGreen just posted a reply."
"Why won't you let me read it to you? Don't you love me any more?"

(May the FSM forgive me, but this winter I've consistently asked Siri to read me my text messages instead of taking off my mittens and digging out my phone.
"Here is your text message: Where are you? Have you frozen to death while walking home?"
Send a reply - Still walking home.
"Ok, here is your message: Steel walls income. Shall I send it?"
Yeah, why not...)
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:03 AM on March 18, 2015


the watch goes into 'Power Reserve' and you can use it to just tell the time for another 72 hours.

I think it's just an admission that even Apple knows that a day or less doesn't cut it for a watch. But if you want an oled screen, as opposed to an epaper one like the Pebble, there's really no alternative.

From everything I've seen, the power reserve mode will be very limited, possibly only useful for telling time in some reduced capacity. Seems more gimmick than great idea.
posted by bonehead at 11:04 AM on March 18, 2015


I think the 72 hours time-display-only feature is so that you can tell your friends that at least it's doing everything your old watch used to do, and it looks nicer, even when in Power Reserve mode, and therefore Apple avoids the absolutely fatal (from a marketing word of mouth point of view) situation of people sitting in bars with a chunky thing on their wrist that is completely bricked at 1am and their friends laughing at them.
posted by colie at 11:24 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had this tab open in the background because I didn't feel like going through the links and comments at the time. Now it's a little late but I want to get my comments in for posterity:

The popularity of the Apple Watch is going to be somewhat limited due to the bulk, battery life, and need to tether with an iPhone for many uses.

There. Now, if the 3rd or 4th gen Apple Watch gets real popular, people can point back to this comment and laugh at how foolish I was to naysay such a wonderful device. And if not, no one will come back to this thread anyway.
posted by ckape at 6:20 PM on March 18, 2015


Heh. Editors at the NYTimes surprisingly publish a pretty sad article that hints that the Apple Watch could potentially cause cancer, despite 1) little evidence for cellphones causing cancer, 2) the watch not being a cellphone and 3) said watch not having any cellphone hardware whatsoever in it: "[W]hen it comes to wearable computers, I’ll still buy the Apple Watch, but I won’t let it go anywhere near my head." Absolutely insane article, but good for a few laughs.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:33 AM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


The idea that cellphones cause cancer is unsupported nonsense, but it did give rise to the best Achewood story.

If I had plans, they were made by an incorrect life I no longer maintain.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:47 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bad Astronomy on the cancer story: I expect this kind of thing from rags like the Daily Mail or other fact-free tabloids, but from the New York Times? Wow.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:16 PM on March 19, 2015


Nick Bilton's article gave me cancer.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:30 PM on March 19, 2015


For the females and fashion crowd Intel's Mike Bell Intel MICA I didn't find the trade-show Intel talking heads about fashion and how important that it, but such video does exist.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:25 AM on March 27, 2015


Breaking down the making of the Apple Watch
posted by euphorb at 7:39 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Apple Watch is 'not for everyone,' says almost everyone.

Most say that it's a very nice device, but still more of a tech demo than desirable product. From most reviewers, the consensus seems to be to wait a year or two for a more capable version and a more defined idea of what the whole "wearables" category can be.
posted by bonehead at 11:04 AM on April 8, 2015


Yeah, I think battery advances in the next 2-3 years will make people look back and wince at charging a damn watch every day.
posted by Abon Sapi at 11:06 AM on April 8, 2015


The interface is also still in a lot of flux, just like the early iPods. A lot of people like the crown dial, but then, sometimes in the next breath, note that they scroll using screen swipes most of the time. Like the clickwheel, I think that's one interface peculiarity that is unlikely to last.
posted by bonehead at 11:37 AM on April 8, 2015


Apple has lifted the embargo on reviews of the Apple Watch. Here's a look at what early reviewers thought of the smartwatch.
posted by unliteral at 8:03 PM on April 8, 2015


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