LUST for APPLE WATCH drove me to crime, says alleged meth dealer

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Watch reviews: battery is disappointing and it’s very expensive — but will it matter?.

That was Apple chief executive Tim Cook this week, trying to sell his company’s latest gadget to the world. With the introduction of Apple’s new smartwatch earlier this week, many are speculating if we’ll soon be able to just glance at our wrist rather than keeping our phones on the table during every meeting.

Early reviews of the Apple Watch have been mixed with many critics citing complaints about battery life, a less slick than expected interface and price.Anyone paying attention to their social media channels during Monday’s keynote from Tim Cook that launched Apple’s latest products will have spotted Cupertino dominating the prime advertising positions on Twitter.

Forty-five percent of consumers are expected to strap a smartwatch to their wrists in the near future, digital marketing company Acquity Group reports. One of the problems often cited by reviewers is that the interface, which is different from that in the iPhone, is not as instinctive as that in other, similar watches. “On first use, the device felt a little confusing and clumsy,” wrote Stephen Pulvirent at Bloomberg. “Sometimes it seemed to do one thing; at other times, just the opposite. “The display doesn’t use the familiar pinch-to-zoom gesture used on the iPhone and it seems like the interplay between tapping, swiping, and turning the crown will take some getting used to.” Other reviewers were unsure where the watch will fit into their lives.

You could argue that this was Apple finally ‘getting’ social media advertising and using it to best effect, but there’s another view… Apple had no choice if it wanted to stop its rivals hijacking the event. If we were cyborgs programmed to make the most efficient use of new hardware, working with smartwatches would be like downloading a new piece of software to help make us more efficient. The watch is something like a watch, but also not, as Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times wrote. “Apple is doing something unusual here: It is trying to create an electronic device that matches the timeless appeal of a piece of jewelry,” wrote Manjoo. “I’m not quite sure Apple pulled that off in this version.” All of the first impressions come from Apple’s hands-on, which took place just after the event. According to some tech experts, “it’s not unreasonable to imagine a potential 90m Apple Watches on wrists globally by the end of 2016.” This is a message to those 90m people: don’t do it.

In essence, Apple looked at Twitter and thought ’buy the spots or somebody else will.’ With such an intense focus on the wrist-based wearable, diverting even a small percentage of eyes and thoughts could prove valuable to a smaller player. When you’re working in your highly focused zone and you glance at your watch as it alerts you to a new email, it might take you as long as 23 minutes to get back on task. “We can all attest to the current-day workplace, where whenever someone picks up their mobile device, it isn’t to check the company stock price,” says Tiffani Murray, HR technology and talent management strategist. “It’s to check texts from family, friends, that guy I went on a date with last Friday, and, let’s face it, to play Words With Friends.

But will that hyperproductive value outweigh the potential for playing Candy Crush on our new accessories? “When we’re trying to focus on a task, it probably doesn’t help to have our wrists lighting up with new messages and reminders every 15 minutes,” he writes. “There’s a reason some of us stow our phones away when we need to focus for prolonged periods of time.” But don’t curse Tim Cook when you can’t get anything done. I would argue that Pebble (which is likely the current smartwatch leader thanks to over one million sales of its Pebble watches) was already spoiling to be the counter-programming with the successful launch of its Kickstarter project for its next generation Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel.

Analyst Neil Cybart suggested that 50 million to 80 million people will be using the watches within the first 24 month, which would be roughly 10% of people with iPhones. Announced at Mobile World Congress, the Pebble Time has a colour e-paper screen and a built in microphone so you can respond to notifications in apps. She’s optimistic about this new gadget, but others are less so. “Who’s not getting work done because they aren’t getting notifications in time?” says Ravi Bhatt, CEO of software design company Branchfire. But the $17,000 price is important, because it signifies a betrayal of Apple’s previous commitment to producing high quality products at a mass-market level. The main advantage of the Pebble is that it’s compatible with both iOS and Android, so you aren’t stuck with one system due to your choice of smartwatch.

Task switching kills productivity, and having another device to interrupt you is hardly the answer.” Psychologist and frequent Fast Company contributor Art Markman agrees with Bhatt. If they’re used in the most obvious ways, wearables won’t make us better people—but perhaps a bit more honest, if the boss is tracking your tasks.

Their point is not be useful, but to show how much money their owner has, and, indeed, they are more effective at demonstrating wealth the less useful they are: only the very rich can afford to spend thousands of dollars on nothing at all. Even when our phones aren’t buzzing with new updates, there’s the temptation to check anyway — just to be sure we haven’t missed anything, or perhaps simply because we’re bored.

Apple’s two biggest selling points, and its likely response to its critics, can’t actually be spoken out loud — it doesn’t want to tell them that they’ll probably end up reducing their use of a phone that Apple has sold to them aggressively for the past eight years. Compatible with Android phones that work with Bluetooth 4.1, Sony’s watch had the distinction of being the first Android Wear device to have GPS built in. Two-thirds of Americans last year told the Pew Research Center that they “find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.” It’s the distractions now that are punctuated by periods of quiet, not the the other way around. With the high-tech wearable becoming more discreet—instead of, for example, on our faces in the form of glasses—companies that deal with sensitive information will need to establish a few new security policies around it. “These devices, which can be described as life-critical in many situations, will almost certainly contain extremely personal data, including sensitive health information,” says Ryan Faas, mobile strategist for MobileIron. “Clear privacy policies are paramount.” Alongside personal privacy, company data could be at risk when it’s bared for the world on a watch.

Its use is best currently described as “it can do all the things your smartphone does, but on your wrist, and on a smaller screen.” It can’t actually work without an iPhone; it is a $17,000 iPhone accessory. Company IT departments and the rest of the workforce will have to start a conversation, Faas says, about how they’ll use features as simple as email notifications up to in-development apps and services, as smartwatches start multiplying across an office. Out of the box, it looks more like a sportswatch than a regular timepiece, but you can swap out the straps and change the watch face to customise it to suit your own taste. While Tim Cook is not going to need that sort of suppression for some time, the continued back and forth in many areas of business and marketing will feel the same pressure every day, no matter the company or the product involved. And there are costs: Research shows that we waste as much as 10 minutes of productivity every time we drop everything for an e-mail, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That’s just a small example of the approach apps are taking toward smart wearables: to make your already daily grabs at your attention as frictionless as possible. Added to the social stigma associated with checking a watch, I can’t see this waving requirement endearing many Apple Watch users to those around them. It has an 18 hour battery life given a normal day’s use, so you’ll need to charge it every day (and the Apple page on battery life uses the phrase “actual results may vary” an awful lot). A device that functions as a gatekeeper for people who receive too much information on their iPhones will inevitably encourage more information to be sent. It’s not just with you, it’s on you.” This very intimacy is problematic: it represents a further intrusion of the busy world of notifications and ads into modern life.

It feels like one more data point, one more piece of evidence, one more battleground in the tired argument over how technology is — or isn’t — turning us into slavish addicts waiting for the next hit of notification-fueled endorphins. In 1995, Mark Weiser, the chief technology officer of Xerox PARC, wrote an essay on what he called “calm computing” — the notion that technology might be designed to live discreetly at the fringes of our attention, coming to the fore only when it is absolutely necessary. Last year, Google’s Eric Schmidt said he believes the Internet will soon “disappear” — which is another way of saying the Internet, by virtue of being embedded in tons of connected devices, will recede into the background.

Doing away with the screen would not only free up battery power for the accelerometer, heartbeat sensor, gyroscope and wireless chips; it would also counteract the watch’s propensity to slip into the forefront of your attention.

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