So over the past summer, everyone has seen the announcement and release of Android Wear, and in a few weeks, the smartwatch which is expected to be the face of the smartwatch world, should be arriving. Of course, there are the rumors surrounding an Apple “iWatch” and more specs, and designs are getting leaked from other manufacturers other than just Motorola. Last summer, the craze was over the Pebble, the Qualcomm Toq, and the Omate TrueSmart. As far as I’m aware, the Pebble is the only one of those that is still making it’s rounds in terms of overall appeal.
A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a Jawbone UP24 to track not only my steps and exercise activities, but also to track my ridiculous sleep patterns. The UP24 was something that I was eyeing up for quite some time, and when I saw a price that I couldn’t pass up on Swappa, I had to pull the trigger. Sure I could’ve spent that money on a Pebble, or spend a few extra bucks on the Pebble Steel, but I decided against it, instead waiting to see if Apple had something up it’s sleeve. As time has progressed, and the wow factor of Android Wear has worn off, I began noticing something.
It’s probably just me and my pessimistic attitude (just ask Cliff), but I began to realize or feel that the smartwatch is just another gimmick in the Tech World. I’m not sure why I feel the way that I do, and it’s entirely possible that my opinion may actually change once I purchase an iPhone compatible smartwatch. However, for the time being, I see the smartwatch as nothing more than a way to help the lazy ones. Yes, I understand the perks of being able to be in a meeting, see a text message or email, and decide what to do accordingly, without having to take your phone out. I just don’t understand why ANYONE would want a camera on their wrist, or to reply to said text message/email from their wrist.
Your phone is less than a foot away from your hand at all times, (I was being modest), and it’s really not that difficult to reach in your pocket, see the message, and respond accordingly. I’ve had the first generation Galaxy Gear, and I sold it in a month. Partially because I wanted to go back to an iPhone and had just sold my Note 3, but also because the Gear served NO purpose for me. Sure it was cool to control my music from my wrist while driving, but other than that, it was nothing more than a glorified watch that had to be charged.
Back to the JawBone UP24. On my left wrist, I wear a Casio G-Shock that I received as a Christmas gift from my girlfriend, and now, on the my right wrist, sits the Up24. I still haven’t double checked how accurate the Up24 is in terms of my step counter, but I do know that it seems to track my sleep pretty well. On the days I feel exhausted, I check the sleep stats from the night before, and then can tell how well I slept the night before. I wait until I’m at least half-way through my day to check the stats, because I do suffer from the whole placebo effect sometimes, and I don’t want to see the stats and then have my mood changed because I think I’m supposed to be tired.
My ideal smartwatch would consist of a few things. Combine what the Up24 can do with what Android Wear does, in a package for iOS users. Make sure it has a round design, I want to feel like I still have a watch on my wrist, and not something out of the Jetsons. Make sure it’s touch-screen, I don’t want a bunch of buttons on the sides to help me navigate if I need to.
NO CAMERA. I still don’t understand the purpose of having a camera on a watch, unless you’re a creep or something to that effect. If you give me smartwatch that fulfills all of those requirements, I’ll pay just about whatever you want me to pay (within a reasonable range of the competition.) Oh, and one more thing, MAKE SURE IT WORKS. I hate hearing stories about Kickstarter projects with all the promise in the world, and then they get delayed for a year or more. (I’m looking at you Coin.)
My iPhone is not the only phone that I own, as I also own an HTC One M8, and am drooling over the LG G3, as well as the leaked specs for the Moto X+1. The problem that I have as someone who wants a smartwatch, but has an iPhone, is the limitations. I’m limited to one solid selection, and that’s from Pebble.
I know there are other smartwatches, such as the Martian, but I still think the field is FAR too limited and there just isn’t enough competition to warrant my purchasing of a Pebble. If Apple can come out next month, hit one out of the park, and not drain my pockets in the process, I’ll be in. All the way. If this is nothing more than another Apple TV rumor, and I mean the Apple Television, then I’ll just sit quietly, and wait my turn.
My hope is that next month, when Apple unveils the iPhone 6, that has been more publicized than the iPhone 4/Gizmodo/drunk guy in a bar fiasco, there will be one more thing, and I’ll be sold. If Apple comes out and leaves me scratching my head, then I’ll just hang out and watch all the Apple faithful fight it out with the Android faithful.
Do you own a smart watch? What do you think Apple will do come this time next month? Is the Moto 360 going to be the watch to rule them all? Leave your thoughts, comments, and questions in the comment section below, and let us know.