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Friday, 09 January 2015


Always wait for version 2.

(Jobs' Law)

I've never understood watches. But if this device is well integrated it will do well.

Steve would be proud, Grasshopper.

I like and use my iphone, but have a mechanical watch on my wrist. I can't fathom why one would want a watch that needs to be put on a charger every night!

I am torn. It will be beautiful and will do whatever it does, wonderfully. Like all the good Apple products, it will delight users. And yet - and yet....

One problem is that wearable tech such as this is still in its early stages. I would hate to buy an Apple Watch and the (possibly required) iPhone 6 and then find that in just a few months time, a MkII version did much more.

Another issue is identifying the problem or requirement for which the Apple Watch is the solution. I have heard it suggested that it's to save you from having to get your iPhone out of your pocket and look at that. Well, I don't see that as a big enough problem to make me buy another device to save me from doing it.

You can buy a cheap but effective watch for just a few pounds. Or you can spend a lot more on a piece of 'watch jewellery', and I've done that - my supplier of choice is the UK company Christopher Ward - "Swiss engineering, English style". I have two of their pieces, both traditional clockwork, and I very much enjoy wearing them - somewhat similar to using a good manual film camera, in fact. That's probably my preferred direction.

The Apple Watch is considered in the Guardian, 7th January 2015.

I shall give the watch a miss however the article goes on to make a case for simple cameras such as a manual every thing Leica, if you can afford it.

On and aesthetic level, I am very attracted to it. But I must admit I don't really understand what it is for.

Quite apart from the fact that this would force me to upgrade my completely functional and adequate 4S to a newer model iPhone, I simply don't see the need. And this is coming from someone who loves the toys and historically sat on technology's bleeding edge.

I'd be just as worried about getting the damn thing wet as I am with my cellphone (lost a few this way over the years). And if I have to have my phone on me to get the most of the watch's functionality, why bother... it's already there in the phone.

I'm one of the (dwindling number of) people who still wear a watch despite having a smartphone (an iPhone in my case) with me all the time. As such I'm probably part of their target demographic, but I'll definitely be taking a wait-and-see approach.

First-generation products often have bugs and limitations (e.g. the original iPhone not supporting 3G, the original Mac Pro having 64-bit processors but 32-bit EFI that kept the OS running in 32-bit mode.) I'll let the early adopters find those kinds of issues with the watch, and give the ecosystem around it some time to mature. Depending on how that shakes out, I'll see if I'm interested, and if I do decide to get one I'll probably wait until the 2nd generation comes out.

I believe it is not waterproof and has to be charged every day which seems a problem to me. I am not in the target market though.

Dear Mike,

That's interesting. It's like we are looking-glass images. I paid casual attention to the product when it came out and, aside from being intrigued by the technology, found that it left me cold. Even trying to look more deeply into it and read about its features, my mind starts wandering and I turn the page. I don't think I could any more articulate just why than you.

It's a strong reaction, even more than the way people felt when the iPad came out. I ended up in the “I can hardly live without it, even for a moment” camp and others have trouble imagining why anyone would even want one. It's different from the stupid religious wars that geeks engage in, like PC vs. Apple (and there is at least one redundant adjective in the previous sentence). It's just… Well… “taste” and “lifestyle.”

Whatever those words mean.

But my reaction to the watch is stronger and more difficult to articulate than the iPad, which I can at least construct a coherent position on. It's more like strong preferences in food –– “Anchovies on pizza–– Food of the Gods or the Devil's Work? Next, on Geraldo!”

Maybe as electronics become ever more personal, so will our reactions. The electronic equivalent of deciding which shade of lipstick or pair of earrings one would wear (“Oh my God, I could never wear THAT”). Something that cannot be argued objectively or logically, because it is not about that.

That could have some amusement value, watching hyper-intellectualized geeks try to rationalize their preferences in personal electronics. From a good distance.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

I guess it will all depend on how a person feels about wrist watches in general. Personally, losing the wristwatch, as a result of gaining the smartphone, was one of the things that made carrying around a smartphone bearable.

At least with wrist watches,some of them embody Art. From pictures I have seen, the Apple/smart watches have a long way to go before the attain any level of elegance.

Heard almost nothing about it? Then don't do what I did and that is look at all they have on it on the Apple site - the wait is killing me and it will do the same for you! This said by one who doesn't wear a watch and couldn't care less about them but this is one fine gadget ...

I have been contemplating an activity/sleep tracker, but am waiting for the Apple Watch to see exactly what it is like, and how it may compare in that department -- thank you in advance, Mike and early adopters for your input! :)

HOWEVER ... my iPod Touch (Gen3) is beginning to fail, and I am not sure I want another iDevice to replace it. Besides some cool (to me) applications on the Touch, I used it mainly for mobile playback of my iTunes library. With the advent this past year of DSD being added to the high-res download world, I am thinking a dedicated high-res player such as the Calyx-M might be what I want. If so, it's not cheap (I certainly can't afford the even more expensive Astell-Kern devices,) and I doubt I would have the budget for an Apple Watch as well.

I just don’t get it with the Apple Watch. Mind you, I don’t wear any kind of watch, so maybe that says something.

I already have an iPhone and an iPad. My iPhone 4s is already way too small in terms of screen size, so the last thing I want is something even smaller. Actually, the last thing I want is something on my wrist that vibrates and/or chirps every time I get a text or other kind of message or notification. Given that even without a regular watch I never, ever, don’t know what time it is, and I don’t want to have to shift to an even smaller screen for other things, plus I don’t want to be “nagged” by notifications, I can’t imagine any circumstance under which I would actually want an Apple Watch.

I'm intrigued, and usually an Apple early adopter, but I can't wear a wristwatch -- really bothers my wrist -- so I'll be watching this one from the sidelines.

while i'm not particularly interested in owning an Apple Watch, i found a pretty good way to think about it (from the perspective of a technically astute person describing it to an average consumer) at this blog pos by Neil Cybart (via daringfireball.net): http://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2015/1/8/selling-apple-watch

A guy named Nassim Taleb wrote a book a few years ago called "The Black Swan," involving the effect of improbable events on national economies (and other things.) I found the book quite interesting, along with a lot of other insights from the guy. One of the things he said elsewhere was that he no longer reads newspapers or magazines, because they are a waste of time. Any news that he *needs* to know, somebody will tell him. Instead, he reads books, which make substantive arguments supported by data. Underlying this whole concept is that we really have too much useless information pouring in on us, much of which is specifically designed to capture our attention because it is commercial -- that is, you see an interesting headline involving sex, money or cameras, so you click on it, and find that it's really a front for selling you something you didn't know you needed, and probably don't need. The iWatch is just another one of these useless platforms, IMHO. What's it good for? Telling the time? A regular watch will do that. An iWatch will essentially feed you useless bits of information all day when you could be thinking. Or relaxing. Or taking photos. I have a project this year somewhat like your OC/OL/OY. That is, OH -- one hour for all internet activity. Reading the news, answering emails, browsing TOP, looking up the price of cameras and everything else. Other computer activity -- work -- doesn't count. I suspect that at the end of the year, I will be just as well informed, and will have had a lot more interesting and engaging life. It's worth the shot, I think.

I sold my Rolex a couple of years ago as it no longer fit any real need - but this watch is completely rad - watch the video and you willl believe.


Presently on the fence regarding the Apple Watch.

Please let us know how you like it.

I'll keep waiting for a dumb phone the size of a wrist watch being put out by a major manufacturer. A couple of Chinese companies have one on the market, but those are risky buys.

The prospect of being slave to another device that requires charging every day and slicing my limited time even further for no obvious benefit doesn't seem appealing to me.

I would wait for some reviews before spending my money on a smart-watch. I happened to read a review of the motorola smart-watch (http://www.osnews.com/story/28194/Review_Moto_360_Android_Wear) earlier today, and the author raises a number of issues that need to be solved before a smart-watch becomes usable. For starters, I can't imagine recharging a watch on a daily basis; I'm glad that my smart-phone only needs to be charged every 5 days or so. Also, a watch that you have to "wake up" before it tells you the time isn't really an improvement either (no idea whether the Apple watch will iimprove on this)

Over my dead body!

Just remember if you get the 16GB 24hr/day model, after you install the OS you'll get all 16GB, but only 20.87 hours/day.

Buying new technology is like buying milk. It comes with a freshness expiration date....

I am not sure about the Apple Watch, but I am acquainted with an executive from a competitor who has his company's version (not yet available) and it looks like an interesting toy. I say toy because I don't see why I would need one in addition to a smartphone. I'll wait and see how they progress before I consider one.

This whole business of smart-things really disturbs me. Smart phones, smart watches, smart cameras, smart cars, smart clothes and so on.

There is an advertisement in the UK at the moment for some kind of app running on a "smart phone" from a company more associated in my mind with a search engine. A mother is supervising her daughter's bath time and discovers she has poured the entire bottle of shampoo into the bath resulting in a picturesque mountain of bubbles. The mother's reaction? To grab her phone and ask it to tell her the opening times of the local supermarket (which it does in an annoyingly anodyne voice) and then asks it to remind her to buy more shampoo.


What we need are smarter people and not smarter technology.

On the OC/OL/OY thing - I have dragged out my 30 year old 503cw with its ropey 80mm lens and that is what I will be using this year.

I have a phone in my pocket, for "emergencies", that I didn't use a single time last year. I have a watch in my pocket, a cheap Timex that I cut the strap off of, that I look at about three times a month. Guess I'm not the target audience.

I have a nice Seiko.

Apple Watch today...Google Glass tomorrow?
You are the techie!

I'm going to get one, two words: 'Apple Pay'.

Mike, your post brings to mind that famous quote by P.T. Barnum.

To Ctein and the other doubters (or stronger reaction,) I will say this: I was in the "iPad? WTF? Who the heck would want that?" camp. I was rapidly and completely chagrined and won over. Oh no, I don't actually own one -- my wife had the original (or maybe iPad 2) and now has the Mini. Having a MacBook Air, I can't really justify an iPad since it has limitations compared to a "real" notebook computer, and my use for an iPad would be quite specific, and right now that function is really not a high priority for me.

But, my point is that the iPad was a category creator, a game changer. I am not saying the iWatch will be that as well, but I wouldn't bet against it. Useless information? Well, for many people and many needs, I think the information will be highly useful and relevant and, perhaps even critical and life-saving.

I think the best way to think about the Apple watch itself is as a platform, not just a device. Think about this: Your doctor knows about a heart attack nearly before you do. Or -- GM OnStar becomes obsolete. Your range or microwave knows exactly when to start cooking based on your location, route and traffic conditions as you make your way home. OK, that last one might not work completely reliably. For now.

Yes, as a 1.0 device, early adoption will not be a good strategy for some, if not most. But the possibilities of building on and with the iWatch platform are pretty staggering.

Here are lots of words as well:

from http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/hodinkee-apple-watch-review

"Apple got more details right on their watch than the vast majority of Swiss and Asian brands do with similarly priced watches, and those details add up to a really impressive piece of design. It offers so much more functionality than other digitals it's almost embarrassing."

Describing the quality of the band system:


"Another great watch improvement by Apple is in their steel metal bracelet. Not only can the bracelet be sized (by removing links) without a tool, but the butterfly-style deployant clasp (even when closed) is totally flush with the bracelet and doesn't add any thickness. It feels rather natural on the wrist, especially when compared to many other metal bracelets. This is in addition to the clever quick release system allowing a bracelet or strap to be very easily removed from any Apple Watch case. For something even remotely comparable in a high-end Swiss watch, you'd need to spend at least several thousand dollars."

These are hands on from 'watch guys', like those that read here are camera guys. We love to obsess over details of ergonomics and tactile dimensions, sounds like Apple did here as well!


Recharging a watch every night? That's like old watches that had to be wound up every day!

I uncovered my old watch while cleaning out some drawers last week. I was not tempted to get a new battery for it or even try it on. I don't need a watch.

A couple of months ago Microsoft started selling the Microsoft Band -- a device that you wear on your wrist which among other things tells time. It works with your phone (iPhone, Android or Windows) to do lots of stuff, some useful, some interesting and some unfathomable.

I want one. Unfortunately for me, the demand has so far outstripped supply. Someday I'll get one. But not because it tells time.

"Excuse me, can You please tell me what's the time?"

"I'm terribly sorry but it seems that Bluetooth drained the battery.."

"Oh, uh, ummm, okay - sorry to bother Your tooth."

Think I'll pass this jack of all trades and stick to my Citizen.

John Camp's comment makes a great point.

Imagine, Apple is going to sell you a device that will constantly monitor your blood pressure, and also elevate it so that you need to monitor it. Now that is pure genius.

Philip Flower's comment "What we need are smarter people and not smarter technology" got me thinking.

I think we need both approaches. Firstly, more smarts to make better use of what we have and secondly, more smarts to make better things.

We also need to define "smart". There must be a ton of discussion on the 'net about this topic, but here's one: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mr-personality/201305/is-technology-making-us-stupid-and-smarter

I don't carry a cell phone, "dumb" or "smart." There's a prepaid 'emergency' flip phone in my car's center console, at the insistence and expense of my wife. It's always turned completely off. The minutes have accumulated for almost five years now. :)

When I retired nearly four years ago, my watch was also retired -- it sits on the desk next to keys. Gotta remember to replace its lithium battery every seven years or so. There are plenty of time displays around the house and one right there on the car's dashboard. No need for a watch.

I'm unwilling to participate in the Apple cult, and regard Jobs the same as Iacocca. This windows computer is turned off regularly, enabling a life without constant "connection." On the other hand Mike, despite my only digital image-making device being a Canon G9 purchased years ago when publishers begged for files rather than transparencies, you've got me about ready to contact lensrentals.com and try an A7II with those Zeiss 35 and 55 primes. Nobody's ever accused me of being an early adopter. :)

I just got a lovely Seiko automatic watch for Christmas. No battery to charge or replace. No freakin' numbers on the face, even. I look at it and know what time it is. I don't even need my iPhone anymore!

But seriously, a lot of this stuff is neat, but the further it goes the more I find myself asking " do I really want/need a mainline into all this data all the time?" I waste enough time on computers and phones as it is. Do they make a device that allows me to more easily interface with my family?

Another toy for all who wish, then it shall sit on the shelf in a short period after bordeom and sameness sets it. Sort of like similar "i" products.

If I were so rich I didn't know what to do with all my cash, decided I needed a yacht, I'd have built a new Calypso, played Jacques Cousteau and funded marine research around the world. I would not have been responsible for that useless monstrosity the iYacht.


I have to use an Apple laptop at work and I loathe the thing. Slow, stupid, irritating.

Do I need to say more about the iWatch?

What would I do with my Seiko Kinetic?

The idea of a watch I have to remember to charge up is a real issue for me. I forget to charge my phone, or forget to pick it up when I go out, often enough to be a real pain. But my watch I just forget about. It stays on my wrist all the time.

If you think about the Apple watch as a time-telling device, you're completely missing the point. I don't have one, but was given an Android smartwatch last month, and have been using it part of the time. I'm still deciding whether it's something I want to use on a permanent basis, but what it is NOT is a simple replacement for a wristwatch. It would be more accurate to call it a different window onto the things your smartphone does, a window that you wear on your wrist instead of in your pocket. In an earlier comment, Earl Dunbar used the phrase "category creator". And that's appropriate. This is a new category of device. You may find you like it, you may not. You'll only know by trying it for a while, and by that I mean more than a day or two.

How good is the camera?

Don't do it (from someone who is on his 3rd phone in as many months ;-)

Can't believe that people are so eager these days to put on electronic tags ... iPhone, iPad, and now even iWatch. Gives a new meaning to 'Big Brother is Watching You.'

Dear Earl,

If you think I'm a "doubter" then you entirely missed the point of my post.

pax / Ctein

I will be very disappointed if you review the iwatch before the iphone selfie stick! I'm begging someone to send Mike a "review stick". Would be post of the year. B&H, surely you can spot the dude a selfie stick on approval?

I don't see that the iphone can compete with a normal watch. You have to take the thing out of your pocket. Might as well have a pocketwatch.

[As Editor, I'm assigning the iPhone selfie stick review to you. --Mike]

Interesting chart here showing that the general population really couldn't care less about fitness trackers, Apple watches and the like: http://uk.businessinsider.com/almost-nobody-wants-to-buy-fitness-trackers-2015-1?r=US

If you think the Apple Watch is irresistible, seems you're in a *very* small minority, whatever the echo chamber might be telling you!

[A very small minority of the people who visit tTOP buy things through my links, and yet it's enough to provide a living. Besides, I've been an Apple user since 1984. For most of that time, Apple users have been a small minority of the computer market. --Mike]

Ctein -- no, I was just using you as a literary device. :)

A motorbike that'll only work while it's next to your car? Funny idea...

@Wayne -- I know you had your tongue in your cheek, but ... Anyone whose blood pressure is raised by wearing an Apple Watch shouldn't have one. :)

@mrkwr -- No one wanted an iPhone or an iPad before they were introduced. To a great extent, that has been the Apple story. But it is not because they are Apple; any bunch of clever people whose imaginations aren't fettered can do it.

I'm in John Camp's camp.

I abandoned the mechanical camera when my dealer placed the Nikon 801 in my hands many years ago.

But I do not think I will be replacing that mechanical masterpiece that is my Omega Speedmaster with Apples watch after using quartz watches that just died when the battery ran out.

A watch in part is male jewellery and it is nicer to have a piece of Swiss precision engineering on my wrist rather than something thrown together in a Chinese sweat shop.

I was hoping for an iphone with a watch fob, but I guess I'm old fashioned.

@davidB--"Recharging a watch every night? That's like old watches that had to be wound up every day!"

I had the same thought, but then it occurred to me that if you forget to charge your Apple Watch at night, you're screwed for the next day, whereas if you forget to wind your mechanical watch, you can simply wind it in a matter of seconds and be on your way. Personally, I prefer solar/light powered watches that never need charging or winding.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, but as Jared Diamond and others have pointed out, the opposite is often true, i.e. invention is the mother of necessity (http://partners.nytimes.com/library/magazine/millennium/m1/diamond.html ). A prime example is Edison's phonograph. There was no great clamor for recorded sound until after the device was invented and enterprising individuals found uses for it that soon became popular and then essential. The same may be true of smart watches, although I cannot imagine using one myself, at least not at the present time. Who knows how I will feel about it down the road?

We'll be bombarded with devices such as the Apple Watch in the next few years and I'll be tempted by each one of these...
So I put a deposit on a very nice mechanical watch that has a four-years wait time.
46 months left!

A watch made to steal your money, time and privacy. Oh my precioussss...

The iWatch looks mildly interesting to me. Displaying a preview image from an iPhone camera could be useful. As is indicating the time of day.

But what about us left-handers, who wear a watch on our right wrist? (And even there, my watches suffer impacts with solid items.) The wheel & button controls are on the wrong side. Can the iWatch display be rotated 180 degrees? That's the crucial question for me.

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