The Apple Watch is launching for sale with retailers soon, and the reviews are coming in for Apple's first ever wearable. Big things are expected of the device, which should become the first smartwatch breakout success and will shift millions of units. However, according to early reviews, the Apple Watch falls into the same problems of other smartwatches, you simply do not need this product like you do a smartphone or a tablet.
The consensus is that the Apple Watch is a good products, but it is so reliant on the iPhone that it is hard to see it as a standalone item.
Bloomberg summed this up nicely, suggesting that the Apple Watch is merely an extension of the company's flagship handset.
Yes, all these new functions, notifications, and tapping do make the Apple Watch very distracting. In some ways, it can be more distracting than your iPhone, and checking it can feel more offensive to people around you than pulling out your phone. The watch wants and needs you now, as its insistent taps make painfully clear. And to see what the Apple Watch wants and needs, you must physically move it into view. If while you're talking to someone, you check your regular watch, it can feel as if you're sending a not-so-subtle "let?s wrap this up" message. With the Apple Watch, factoring in the animated wrist-whip and the length of some of the notifications you receive, it's downright rude.
Re/Code points out that this reliance on the iPhone will mean that the Apple Watch will no appeal to everyone, even if they are rocking the smartphone.
From a technology standpoint, it is an extension of the iPhone. And just like the smartphone, it starts to change your habits over time.
It's swiping through pictures of family on your wrist, seeing your heart rate spike when you're watching an exciting game, and getting a glimpse of a message when you're rushing between classes or meetings. It's trying really, really hard not to look at your wrist when you're in the middle of a meeting. In our new world of too-many-devices, it somehow becomes the second thing you reach for when you roll out of bed
The Verge followed the general trend, calling the Apple Watch the best smartwatch on the market, but used the review to point out that the wrist wearable is still nascent and in fact it is hard to see the real purpose of any smartwatch.
It is one of the most ambitious products I've ever seen; it wants to do and change so much about how we interact with technology. But that ambition robs it of focus: it can do tiny bits of everything, instead of a few things extraordinarily well. For all of its technological marvel, the Apple Watch is still a smartwatch, and it's not clear that anyone's yet figured out what smartwatches are actually for.
If you are willing to go along on that journey, then you'll enjoy the Apple Watch. It is a bauble, after all, and baubles delight simply by their presence. Apple will update the software, and developers will make apps, and Google and Samsung and Microsoft will release competitors, and the people who love technology will have something to buy and argue about, talismans that display tribal affiliations.
The New York Time also praised the product while saying the device has a steep learning curve, something that is not like Apple.
Unlike previous breakthrough Apple products, the Watch's software requires a learning curve that may deter some people. There's a good chance it will not work perfectly for most consumers right out of the box, because it is best after you fiddle with various software settings to personalize use. Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices. It is designed for people who are inundated with notifications coming in through their phones, and for those who care to think about, and want to try to manage, the way the digital world intrudes on their lives.