Apple Watch Durability 

Interesting article over at 9to5Mac:

First off, let’s get one thing straight: the fact that the steel Apple Watch can scratch is not a surprise or “scratchgate” scandal. Stainless steel is scratchable, and long-time Apple customers have plenty of experience with this: remember the backs of every full-sized iPod, up to and including the iPod classic? They were scratch magnets. So are other steel watches. Nearly every polished stainless steel watch made from 316L (commonly known as “surgical grade stainless”) or the 904L used on Rolex casings can be scratched, scuffed, and show normal signs of wear and tear.

There’s a simple solution. If your stainless steel watch gets scratched or scuffed, most of these issues can be fixed by just buffing out the scratches yourself — or take it to a jeweler or watch repair shop if you’re not comfortable with the DIY solution. All you need to do is pick up a $5 metal polish (
here’s what I use), buff it out with a hand towel, and wash your hands afterwards. Simple. In the video below, I polish several surface scratches out from my Apple Watch, showing how the metal polish removes them completely.

Interesting take on the durability of the Apple Watch. I dig Dom’s video – but, I also don’t personally think this issue is that big of a deal. 

I chose to get the Apple Watch over the Sport because I felt it would be more durable in the ways that count for me. While the Sport may have a harder (and lighter) aluminum material, it also will look noticeably worse (especially the space gray model which I listed for) to me than scratched stainless-steel. I expect scratches, as I have had a ton of stainless-steel jewelry (watches, bracelets, etc.) – but having seen naked aluminum iPhones that are beat up, I couldn’t imagine wearing an aluminum Sport watch on my wrist. I imagine that it would be chipped, dented and scratched beyond belief. While some like that patina look, it irks me. Not that there’s anything wrong with the sport – it’s a great value. I could be wrong too, of course, being that I have yet to test a Sport model out. However, I tend to be clumsy and I know I would likely demolish it. At least with the stainless-steel Watch, the only thing that I might be likely to do to it is scratch it (I hope at least). The sapphire display seems to be virtually scratch proof – the ion-x sport display seems pretty hard and scratch resistant too – for me, the display is the most critical part of the watch. I don’t mind scratches on on the casing. I need the screen to be flawless, especially at such a small size. For me, the stainless-steel is the perfect mix of style and durability. I ordered a Sport and a stainless-steel version of the Apple Watch and I’m looking forward to seeing how they both hold up. Either way, both models are a great value. 

Apple Watch and the test of time

Touching story on NPR by Laura Sydell:

After a few pleasantries, Cook asked, “Do you think the watch is feminine?”

I hesitated for a second. “No,” I said. Turlington Burns looked skeptically at me as if she disagreed.

I reached for my pocket. “This was my mother’s watch,” I said, pulling it out to explain how its smaller, more delicate shape made it feel more feminine to me.

But as I looked up at Cook, his brow wrinkled empathetically. He clearly understood that the watch I’d been wearing was an heirloom with value beyond its ability to keep time. In fact, my Cartier doesn’t keep very good time. It is jewelry infused with memory. Cook must know that his company’s carefully designed wrist-size computer could displace this tradition and the industry that has grown up around it.

She makes some great points. Will Apple Watch be something that is passed down from generation to generation? Doesn’t seem like it. This is a great product – but at its heart, that’s all it will be – just a great product. There’s not gonna be an heirloom factor, when it has a lifespan that doesn’t stand up to the sands of time. In ordering one, I look forward to using it and loving it. It’s indeed a personal product – one for me. And you. And anyone who wants it. But it doesn’t seem to be something that’ll last a life time. That’s not condemning it. It’s a watch as much as iPhone is a phone. It is really a new breed of technology. Call it a smart watch. Apple Watch. Watch. Whatever. It is a wearable computer fused with fashion elements. It will be replaced and obsoleted. It has to be. Just as with iPhone, previous versions will work fine. They just won’t have all of the new features and upgrades. With a battery estimated to last for 3 years, it might have a good lifespan for a computer. Love it or hate it, this is the future. That’s progress. Personally, I can’t wait to receive my Apple Watch (come on Tim, I am patiently waiting). I already have a nice watch for telling time. One that I can pass down. I want an Apple Watch for me. For keeping time, communication, health and fitness. Everything that Apple made it for and more. As with iPhone, users will decide how this device best serves them and empowers them. 

Credit to AppleInsider for finding this great piece. 

Apple releases 3 new Apple Watch TV ads

Apple has released 3 new ads for Apple Watch, now available to view on there site, entitled US, UP and RISE.  All of these ads are great. I dig how they highlight people using them for every day activities – and it all seems natural. It doesn’t look strange as with Google Glass.  It definitely feels like the future. Not an awkward glimpse, but a natural and organic glance. Apple Watch pun intended.

Apple Watch Apps

Apple recently opened up the Apple Watch Store with over 3,000 apps to start with. Accordingly, some are taking issue with the quality of these initial offerings. 

The Wall Street Journal has an article giving their take on the throng of apps released today:

To put it bluntly, there’s a surprising amount of junk, clustered into some predictable themes: calculators, dice rollers, coin flippers, tic-tac-toe boards and timers of every stripe. Seriously, do we need 23 dice options? No. The answer is no. But that’s what we’ve got on Day One—and that number will only grow.

This is both fair and somewhat dismissive of the context in which these apps were built – most developers did not have or live with Apple Watch. It’s a different device and a different experience. Not to mention, iPhone apps were not all worth their salt when the AppStore launched in 2008 either. Let’s not forget the multitude of fart apps. As with iPhone, developers need to understand usage behavior and actually live with Apple Watch – then and only then can they build the type of apps that are useful. 

Apple Watch user manual 

Apple has released the user manual for the soon to be available Apple Watch. The manual describes in detail how the watch works – software and hardware. 

Check it out here. Tap the icon in the upper left corner to select a “chapter”. Some cool details in it. Worth the time. Especially if you’re stuck waiting longer for your order to ship. 

Update [4/23/15] – Apple has also released it on iBooks for use on iOS and OS X devices. Get it here

Apple mulling updating iPod

AppleInsider reports:

Though the iPod lineup has not seen any significant changes since late 2012, Apple will revisit its media players this year with an anticipated update to at least one model, a source has told AppleInsider.

A source familiar with Apple’s future product plans indicated that Apple’s iPods — specifically the largest-screened model, the iPod touch — are expected to see an update later this year.

The source suggested that Apple could retain the same 4-inch screen size as the current iPod touch model, though they didn’t offer any certainty on that front.

Though the iPod lineup has been neglected for years, this year could be an opportune time for an update, as Apple works to further integrates Beats products into its ecosystem. The popular headphone maker was acquired
 for $3 billion last year.

I’ve been hearing the same for a while now. I think a refreshed iPod touch could be killer – if targeted to the right crowd. Most of us with iPhones probably won’t care less. However, allow it to run top of the line games, make payments via Apple Pay, have Touch ID support and some sort of interaction with Apple Watch (minus everything that constantly relies on cellular capability) and they could have a great product for young kids, who aren’t ready for a smartphone or its monthly cost, and folks who have an Android or Windows device and want in on Apple’s superior UX and ecosystem. Give it the ability to sync some data with Apple Watch and those who want the Watch and not the iPhone can still get the Watch and iPod. Focus it on health and entertainment and it could be a winner. All just musing of course. The A5 chip is fairly ancient now and if they don’t do some sort of update all of the iPod touches currently on sale will be nearing their end of life support fairly soon. A minimum upgrade is a given, if not a major update as I posited above. Still, a lot of potential here. Curious and interested to see what ends up happening.

Jony Ive And Marc Newson speak at Condé Nast

Jony Ive speaking at Condé Nast via Vogue:

“I think that we’re on a path that Apple was determined to be on since the Seventies, which was to try and make technology relevant and personal. If people struggle to use the technology then we have failed,” said Ive. “The consequences of that path? I don’t know. Sadly so much of our manufactured environment testifies to carelessness – something that was built to a price point or a schedule. The products that we have developed describe who made them. I hope that people will like the watch and find it a beautiful item.”

Interesting details here. Worth reading the whole article.