On Apple Time. The Innovative, ‘Tech Tock’ Clock.

Thu 19th March 2015

If you haven’t seen or heard about the latest Apple Smartwatch, I’m going to assume you simply haven’t had the time? There certainly won’t be any excuse for handling your time more efficiently and getting a literal grip on time management, once the hugely highlighted Apple Watch soon goes on sale. Apple has just announced the details on the release and shipping dates, UK pricing and what’s to be expected from the next millennial must-have.

We were first treated to a preview of Apple’s foray into wearable technology, at Apple’s September iPhone 6 Event. Now six months on, we are fast approaching the sale date of the Apple Watch, which will be Friday 24th April. The collection of smartwatches, which has a total of thirty eight models so far, will range in price from £299 to £13.5k, dependent on the metals they are made from, the variation of strap, one of two sizes, and content of apps.

“Apple’s pricing demonstrates the confidence it has in the new Apple Watch’s functionality, design and consumer appeal,” commented Ian Fogg from the consultants IHS.

The media attention on Apple’s Watch Event, on Monday 9th March, was nothing short of phenomenal. Twitter was a flurry with Apple-crazed hashtags – #AppleWatch #AppleEvent #AppleWatchEvent…I think we got the gist – and it was almost impossible to ignore the furore over the future timepieces, aka the “wristable”.

On stage, Apple stated that thousands of apps have already been developed for the watch ahead of its sale date. The social networks Facebook and Instagram, the car pick-up service Uber and the Chinese messaging app WeChat are among those confirmed to have developed software for the device. It offers unquestionably intelligent messaging and communication tools, allows you to share drawings with fellow wearers in real time, includes health monitoring tools inclusive of accelerometer and heart rate monitor, and will keep track of and encourage fitness goals.

Some of the most useful apps that have been promised are likely to those that are fittingly, timesaving!  The apps that will make real-life interactions simpler, such as showing your boarding pass – which you can now wave your wrist at TSA in place of routing around for the actual thing – and a W hotels app which allows you to unlock your hotel room door with a single tap, instead of keeping your key card safe and to hand. Similarly the watch will also allow for automatic opening of internet-connected garage doors – also up there on the power of this timepiece.  Apple has highlighted that the wrist-worn device can also be used to make touchless payments, will be able to receive phone calls and will have song recognition via the Shazam app.

Personally, I’m not entirely encouraged that these particular apps aren’t just gimmicky pulls, rather than honestly useful necessities. Especially given that these apps are seemingly aimed at a lazier culture more than a cultivated one. So far, it would seem that most developers haven’t done much beyond offloading the features already on your Smartphone, but I’ve no question that there will be much more to come to entice.

There were also plenty of non-watch announcements made that were equally as impressive, such as the MacBook. An addition to Apple’s laptop line-up and possibly the star of the show was Apple’s twelve inch, two pound, wafer thin, redesigned and retina display MacBook. Not to everyone’s approval or liking, this new MacBook has discarded almost all ports barring one, a USB Type-C for file transfers, video output and of course, for charging. There is also a headphone jack. It comprises a tiny logic board, a Core M processor that lacks vigour but has fan-less operation, and the battery allows up to ten hours between charges. The new MacBook will start shipping on the 10th of April; will be available in gold, silver and space grey, and prices start at around £870.

ResearchKit – a new open-source framework that aims to draw on data from Apple’s millions of users to further medical studies – was also a huge hit at Monday’s Apple event. Away from the trendy, tech’ lovers’ gadgets, but an immensely important advance in medical diagnosis! Essentially, the ResearchKit will enable apps to turn your iPhone into a medical diagnostic device, transferring your data to laboratories around the world. Wow. And whilst the concept of handing personal health information over can be an extremely daunting idea, the potential benefits of Research Scientists having such access and constant flow of readings are enormous. All data collection will be strictly ‘opt-in’ and Apple won’t be able to access any of your health details at any point. As of this week, ResearchKit will work with five apps inclusive of downloads, which will attempt to do everything from aiding breast cancer patients to recognising the early effects of Parkinson’s disease.

@FishHookCareers we want to know your thoughts on the new watch. Will Apple be able to drive and reinvent the wristwatch industry in the way it has redefined consumers’ music and computing decisions? Do you have an opinion on the new MacBook and its negative ‘one port’ publicity? Will the ResearchKit be the start of medical breakthroughs or is it a risky route for genuine health concerns?

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