Four years behind the iPad and after much speculation about whether Apple had lost its ability to innovate, the tech giant on Tuesday unveiled a new product, the Watch.
It is rather late in the field of smart wristwatches. But like its previous products, will Apple be able to redefine that category?
Apple learned from the mistakes of rival companies before introducing it.
It gave it a good look and made it customizable. Fashion journalists praised the fact that it can be modified according to personal taste.
There will be numerous strap options – gold, leather, plastic – and three watch styles including a sporty and a classic version.
Precisely, the rough appearance of many of the smartwatches designed so far was one of the reasons why these devices did not achieve great success.
Another of the main technological innovations of the Apple Watch is its navigation system, dubbed «Digital Crown», with which the user can navigate the watch from the wheel or side crown.
And it is combined with a «force touch» screen, sensitive to different pressure levels.
But not everything has been flattery.
Here are the top three criticisms that experts have made of the Apple Watch.
1.- What makes a telephone unable to do?
Generally speaking, the Apple Watch doesn’t do anything that a smartphone can’t.
Many analysts comment that none of the technologies built into the watch is particularly revolutionary.
The heart rate reading offered by the Watch probably allows more accurate data, but there are already similar applications that can be used on the phone.
Similarly, the ability to use the new Apple Pay payment system replicates an advantage that many in Europe are already enjoying with their credit and debit cards.
On the other hand, the Watch is more uncomfortable than a phone when sending or reading text messages.
But for James McQuivey, an analyst at the digital research company Forrester, more than a watch, the Watch is a «facilitator of a digital lifestyle», which does not have to compete with smartphones or traditional watches.
2.- It can only be used with an iPhone5 or higher model
The simplest Watch model will cost $ 349. It’s a higher price than Samsung’s rival, the Galaxy Gear, at $ 272, or the $ 320 for Motorola’s Moto360.
But perhaps the biggest limitation is that in order to use it, the user must also have an iPhone 5 or later.
In this sense, the fastest adopters of this technology will probably pay the highest price.
«They pay the highest price and get the most rudimentary technology, when soon after a product arrives that is thinner, with a longer battery life and usually cheaper,» comments Tim Stevens, editor of the magazine Cnet.
Upcoming Watch models will likely improve on the downsides of the current watch, such as its reliance on an iPhone for GPS and app download functions.
3.- It will have to be recharged daily
Apple did not give details about the autonomy of its smartwatch, which some interpret as a bad sign.
Analysts agree that the Watch will probably have to be recharged on a daily basis, given the characteristics of the screen.
Apple said the battery should last all day, but other manufacturers made similar promises that were difficult to keep in practice.
The Watch also cannot be used while recharging, because it uses an induction system with magnets that are attached to the back of the watch.
And what is not yet known …
On the other hand, we know that it is waterproof but not submersible.
Some also wonder if there will be a left-handed version.
There are still many questions to be answered between now and its release on sale in 2015.
Meanwhile, Rory Cellan-Jones, a journalist for the BBC technology team, wonders what the Watch is really good for and if what he considers a key test would happen: would you turn around when you realize you forgot it at home? ?
«For most of us that is definitely the case with a smartphone. But having tried various smartwatches I would have no problem living without it for a day.»
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