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Bill Bennett


Apple Watch: All fun and games until someone loses an eye

Apple Watch

Seen from afar Apple Watch looks better than any other attempt at creating a smart watch. It has a sharp design and a solid feature set.

If I wanted a smart watch this would be it.

But I don’t want a smart watch. At least not at the moment. That could change when I get to test the Apple Watch. I’m nothing but open-minded.

If anything my earlier, admittedly short, time with the Samsung Galaxy Gear convinced me a smart watch won’t make me any more productive. Nor will it make me smarter, faster-moving or happier.

On the other hand — perhaps I should say on the other wrist — a smart watch would suck up time and money that could be put to better use elsewhere.

That’s not so say an Apple Watch won’t help you. I’m a special case because I have an eye condition called macular degeneration. It’s treatable, but there are times when I have difficulty reading normal size text. Glasses don’t help. It’s easy to whack the size up on a computer or tablet. I can even magnify text to useful sizes on a smartphone. But not on a wrist-size screen.

Incidentally, my eye condition is one reason I’m excited about the newer, large screen iPhone 6.

I’ve always been supportive of assistive technology but until now any interest has been academic. The first crop of smart watches isn’t helpful to people with poor sight. Apple’s taptic engine has the potential to change that. It could be particularly useful for blind people once developers get working on new ways to exploit the technology.

So, I’ll set the alarm on buying an Apple Watch until I see what the world’s smartest app programmers come up with. For now, I’ll keep my Swatch.



4 thoughts on “Apple Watch: All fun and games until someone loses an eye

  1. Couldn’t agree more re text size and eyes that are no longer perfect. But the other black mark against any smart watch has to be battery life. Having to charge your watch at least once a day is ridiculous. I’m happy with the plebian Timex I’ve had for three years now with the same battery. If I need smart functions, my smartphone is always there in my pocket.

    You are right about the larger screen being much better visually. I started with a 3.8” Huawei, then was staggered at the improvement when I moved to a 4.65” Galaxy Nexus. That changed to a 4.7” Nexus 4. Then last month to a 5” Nexus 5.

    That last increase in screen size added a surprisingly big improvement in readability and useability. So much so, that if I were in the iPhone camp, I’d seriously consider leapfrogging to the 5.5” model. (I’d want to be sure it was comfortable in my pocket though.)

    1. I see the battery life issue as an indication there’s something fundamentally wrong with smart watches. Companies seem to be making thing “because we can”, not because they are useful. Hopefully this will change quickly as new generations of kit evolve.

      Perhaps we should go back to the days when it was wise to wait for version 3.1 of anything?

        1. I keep hearing stories from companies promising huge battery advances soon, but they never materialise in consumer electronics. I think the big action is with much larger batteries for things like cars.

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