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Finally, it's Apple Watch time

Michael deAgonia | April 10, 2015
Pre-orders start Friday; sales (and deliveries) begin two weeks later.

It's almost time.

Apple Watch pre-orders begin at midnight tonight, Pacific time (that's 3 a.m. ET Friday), with the Watch arriving in stores and from the delivery man on April 24.

It also means that on Monday morning, April 27, a lot of early adopters -- having spent the weekend figuring out how their new wearable works -- will stroll into the office without waiting for approval from IT.

The good news: Given Apple's history and the fact that it kick-started the BYOD movement with the iPhone and iPad, embracing the Apple Watch shouldn't be a big deal. Sure, early reviewers complained this week that it can be confusing and sluggish -- even as they acknowledged that it represents a paradigm shift in how people relate to technology.

But that's how people relate to the Watch, not how it relates to the workplace. Though there's been some concern about yet another device walking into the workplace -- network issues, data privacy concerns -- there's nothing the Watch can do that an iPhone doesn't already do. Its raison d'etre is to streamline specific activities without requiring you to grab your phone. (Nervous IT support types should already be familiar with Apple security in iOS devices, which can be found here.)

As such, it's the apps that will be crucial to success. According to a company memo sent by Apple CEO Tim Cook, more than 1,000 Apple Watch-compatible apps were submitted in the first four days after Apple started accepting the apps. And, according to Cook, the "rate of submissions has only been climbing since then." Like the iPhone, there will be an app for nearly every need and every instance, and each Watch will be a personalized extension of its wearer.

There are already a few features and apps that will have a major affect on those that live on their mobile devices. For instance, customizable Watch faces will help play an important role in displaying relevant information at a glance, including upcoming meetings, events, weather info and other data. For people who constantly check their phones, the Watch will be a major win: It's much easier to glance at your wrist than pull a phone out of your pocket. I found this out first-hand after spending five months with the Microsoft Band, which offers phone notifications, but lacks the sophistication and details that can be shown on the Watch's much larger Retina display.

For businesses, there are already a variety of apps that deliver enterprise-worthy functionality: collaboration apps such as Slack and Redbooth will make it easier for groups to stay on top of things to do. Invoice2Go lets you track time spent on a site visit, using geofencing to start and stop the timeclock based on when you enter and leave the geofence. And if your company uses Salesforce, there a few apps on deck that should give you at-a-glance information on key metrics, alongside Salesforce Wear, an SDK that allows Salesforce customers to create their own watch-capable apps.

 

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