Apple Watch Series 2 Pricing, Features, ISVs: Any Takers?
Most of the free world let out a collective “yawn” when Apple officially announced iPhone 7 details yesterday. The bigger surprise? To me, that involves the Apple Watch Series 2 announcements. I’ve never been much of an Apple Watch fanboy. But even I’m surprised by how little buzz the new smartwatch models are generating.
Why the thud? When IHS Technology analyzed the Apple Watch Series 2 announcement, the best the company could say about the new models was this:
Apple Watch Series 2, including a Nike-brand model:
- Now “swim proof”, water resistant to 50m
- Faster Apple-designed S2 chipset, with dual core application processor, claimed to be 50% faster, with x2 graphics
- Adds built-in GPS, open to app developers
- Same square display as the first generation
- And, Apple updated the original Apple Watch with the new chipset, but not the other features, called Apple Watch series 1, price from $269
Makes you want to run out and spend nearly $300 in the next two weeks. Or not.
I nearly made the “impulse” buy when Apple launched the original watch. But I ultimately sat on the sidelines. Frankly, I typically don’t wear watches and I didn’t see a killer application for the device. Sorry, “leaving my phone in my pocket to read convenient texts on my wrist” doesn’t justify a $300 spend.
Apple Watch Health Apps
To Apple’s credit, the company is trying to double down on health apps. The company says:
- “For swimmers, Apple developed all-new algorithms after hundreds of hours of research for two new workout options, pool and open water. Apple Watch Series 2 can count laps, track average lap pace and auto-detect stroke type to accurately measure active calorie burn.”
- “With built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 records precise distance, pace and speed for outdoor workouts such as walking, running or cycling, without needing to take an iPhone.”
Hmmm… Got anything for a middle-aged weightlifter who probably shouldn’t be lifting weights?
Take a closer look and you’ll notice the official Series 2 announcement doesn’t really mention any new, exciting third-party apps. (Did I miss something?)
But Where’s HealthKit?
The biggest surprise, at least to me, involves HealthKit — the APIs and software development tools for iOS and watchOS. Hyped more than a year ago, Apple didn’t mention HealthKit once in the latest smartwatch product launch statement. It’s as if the company wants to promote a handful of its own health applications to jumpstart the smartwatch market — without waiting for third-party ISVs to jump in and lend a hand.
Maybe Apple — and the rest of us — simply expected too much from such a small device with such little screen real estate. We all ridiculed Microsoft when that company tried to shrink the Start menu onto early cell phones. Perhaps we should have questions Apple — and ourselves — just as much when Apple Watch tried to shrink so many icons onto such a little screen.
So for now, I march forward with my Airbook and my iPhone 6. What time is it? Both devices can give me the answer instantly — saving me $300 in the process…