Ahead of the launch of the Apple Watch, finder.com.au tapped some of Australia’s leading tech experts on the shoulder to get their view on the future of the wearable smartwatch.
On Friday, April 24 2015, Apple’s long awaited foray into the wearable space will hit store shelves and we’ve got to admit, we’re quite excited. The smartwatch scene is an incredibly young one, but it’s awfully fertile. We’ve covered no less than 40 smartwatches on finder.com.au at the time of this writing (here is the full list), but few standout quite like the Apple Watch, with over three million of its smartwatches already sold.
It is, however, the first generation of something that will evolve over time. While two of five of our experts declared the Apple Watch offerings “adequate,” each also noted concerns that are consistent with our findings on most of the wearables entering the space. GPS functionality, water-proofing and battery life were recurring themes, which may put off some consumers not romanced by the opportunity to make a powerful fashion statement and enhance the experience of their iPhone through a second-screen app experiences.
We have a stack of resources available to those of you considering an Apple Watch purchase, and recommend the following links:
- Also Read: Complete list of Apple Watch Apps
- Also Read: Complete list of Apple Watch Gaming Apps
- Also Read: How to choose your Apple Watch
- Also Read: Smartwatch Comparison: Android Wear vs Apple Watch
The good news is, our experts were positive about the room for growth in the Apple Watch over the coming year, predicting a vast improvement for the Apple Watch 2. Mike Rundle, the owner of Flyosity, said he wanted to see the second generation of Apple Watch “work independently from the iPhone,” thoughts directly echoed by Jeremy Cabral, Head of Publishing and Editorial at finder.com.au. Rundle also hoped there would be better GPS capability, along with a “thinner and faster device with a brighter screen.”
Mike Bantick, Contributing Editor at iTWire.com, has called for a water-proof sport version, with GPS and headphone options, while Angus Kidman, the editor of Lifehacker Australia, called on Apple to “open the SDK [software development kit] so there are more apps.”
Chris Stead, tech editor for Maxim Australia and founder of Grab It Magazine added: “Better battery life is a given as Apple improves its tech efficiency. We can also expect more user interface/control options, and greater access to those options for developers. This will be required if app makers are going to be able to create bespoke experiences that maximise the Apple Watch, as currently a number of features are gated off, presumably to minimise quality assurance issues during the device’s launch.”
While waiting for these features to emerge in an Apple Watch 2 – which finder.com.au predicts will launch on March 18, 2016 – may be warranted for some consumers, the experts did note a number of upcoming changes to the Apple landscape that could improve the current Watch’s scope prior to any second generation device. The number one most impactful release flagged by the experts was the iPhone 7, closely followed by iOS 9 (the next-generation of the operating system) and Apple Pay (a means of making financial transactions through Near-Field Communication). Interestingly, an update to Siri was also revealed as a potential game changer given the strength of the voice command feature with the Apple Watch - it will no doubt be tied into iOS 9.
Whichever way you look at it, this is exciting times for the wearables space. The Apple Watch is a highly customisable, gorgeous looking device that is an attractive extension of the iPhone, even if it has plenty of room for growth. As always, before making any purchase decisions, research your options and compare what’s right for you.
Prediction for 2nd Version of the Apple Watch
|Angus Kidman; Editor at Lifehacker Australia|
|Chris Stead; Tech Editor at Maxim Australia|
|Jeremy Cabral; Head of Publishing & Editorial at finder.com.au|
|Mike Bantick; Contributing Editor at iTWire.com|
|Mike Rundle; Owner of Flyosity, LLC|