On April 24th, as many of my fellow geeks were up obscenely late (or obscenely early, depending on your time zone) to order their Apple Watches, I was sound asleep, my credit card tucked snugly in my wallet.
That's because from the beginning, I've been on the fence about the Apple Watch. It's not that I have an aversion to buying Apple's big new products out of the gate. After all, I bought the first versions of both the iPhone and iPad. But none of the reviews I'd read — or even Apple's own announcements — made me see the watch as a must-have device. To the relief of my bank account, I decided to wait a little and see what kind of reaction it got in the real world. Don't get me wrong: I was curious, just not $400 curious.
Since then I've heard about performance issues, dissatisfaction about the absence of native apps, features that were "dropped" from the shipping version of the watch and more. I've seen people complain about their watch, criticize their watch and even break up with their watch. (Although is it weird that the last one happened on the fashion page of the New York Times?)
So even though I'm filled with as much geek lust as the next person, I made up my mind to wait until version 2.
The funny thing is, I thought I meant hardware.
It's the software, stupid
Packed in amongst the two-and-a-half hours of announcements during the keynote at Apple's WWDC was the news that would pique my curiosity and lighten my wallet. Just six weeks or so after the Apple Watch started to ship, the company announced a major upgrade to its operating system that wiped out virtually all my complaints and concerns.
As it turned out, it wasn't a new watch I was looking for, just a new watchOS. Here are the new features that nudged me off the fence and convinced me it was time (sorry) to buy an Apple Watch:
Native apps. Up until now, third party apps actually ran on your iPhone and basically used the Apple Watch as little more than a specialized remote display. The ability to run apps directly on the watch should do wonders to correct the laggy performance issues associated with them. And even better, it should open the floodgates for cool new apps that use the watch's hardware features — including its sensors and taptic engine — in innovative new ways.
Time Travel. You can already scroll through your calendar with a swipe of your finger or a twist of the Digital Crown inside the Calendar app. But the new Time Travel feature will let you whip forward or back in time right from the watch face, and the complications (including your schedule, the weather, even your remaining battery life) will change before your eyes.
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