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Apple Watch – The Story So Far

It’s difficult to believe, given the amount of hype, but the Apple Watch still hasn’t actually gone on general sale yet. It comes out proper on April 24th, but it went up for pre-order on the 10th (last Friday) and sold 957,000 units on that one day alone, shattering the sales record on Android smart watches for the entire year. Just let that one sink in.

There are all kinds of factors to take into consideration where those figures are concerned. Apple products always do well on release because they have a reliable crop of dedicated consumers who will snap up any new product as soon as it surfaces. You know the type, the people who will queue for tens of hours just to be one of the first to wrap their hands around the latest iPad.

It’s not as if there aren’t other options, beyond the Android Wear, there’s also the Pebble, Samsung Gear, Sony SmartWatch, Garmin Vivoactive and a fair few others, but each variation’s success is based on how well it interfaces with other platforms, both desktop and mobile. The kind of consumers who are minded to buy Apple products tend to be more interested in staying ahead in the gadget arms race anyway, so Apple were always going to hit the ground running, despite taking longer to release and being on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

The other thing that helps is that Apple released WatchKit, their set of developer tools for the device at the end of last month, giving app developers an entire month to start putting things together and create a good early crop of software for the device. This has resulted in a some rather interesting compliment of launch apps, here are a few of the highlights:

Watch Quest - an adventure game which displays character creation, inventory and other interfaces on the phone whilst the action plays out on the watch.

·         Pacemaker DJ – This one seamlessly mixes tracks selected on the watch with ones from the iPad DJ app.

·         Babbel  - A language app which figures out where you are and then provides area-specific words in the native language that might come in handy. If you’re in a café, for instance, it will show you how to order.

·         Sky Guide – A star calendar which details when constellations, planets, moons and showers are going to visible above you and for how long. It will also tell you when the ISS is passing over and encourage you to tweet the astronauts, which isn’t creepy at all.

·         Pay – This one scares me, it’s already mapped to iPhones in hundreds of thousands of US outlets and is likely to keep expanding. With the app equipped to the watch, you’ll be able to pass your wrist over the provided reader and bloop, money gone. It works on vending machines too.

·         Infinitweet – A simple, elegant app which breaks down long messages into a text image so that you can tweet something much, much longer than 140 characters.

·         Dexcom – Perhaps the most important app yet to be announced, this app will sync up with the sensors Dexcom already provide to diabetics which are inserted beneath the skin with the watch, making it actively monitor blood glucose levels and issue warnings when they climb too high or dip too low. It’s probably safe to assume it’ll be the first of a slew of state-of-the-art health apps.

·         Fitness Spades – One of the more out there fitness apps on the table, it challenges you to do specific exercise sets based on the turn of card, supposedly adding an extra element of interest to working out.

It’s difficult to predict just how successful these early apps will be, or just how well sales will continue after initial release, but considering that Apple have no real need to rely on new tech for support with the iPad still being the tablet to own and iPhone owners rarely, if ever moving on to anything different, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference. Personally, I’m not fussed about smart watches, I haven’t worn a regular watch in years and I’m not really feeling the strain of having to reach into my pocket to check for messages and updates yet, but I’m sure it’ll carry on gaining ground. If I was going to get any wearable tech though, I’d get one of these:

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Apple Watch – The Story So Far Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Rating: 5

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