The Apple Watch was perfectly poised to sweep the industry. It had the goodness of the iPhone/Mac kitty, mainly the apps, the amazing product design and the indisputable quality of the Apple brand. Reasons which are enough for a device like the Apple Watch to own the industry which hadn’t seen much innovation in some time. Some of the early entrants to this arena were no match to the promise of experience and the technology which only Apple could deliver with its first wearable device. Sadly when it arrived it wasn’t the product we had anticipated, it wasn’t an ‘independent’ product. And let me explain.
The rich product basket of Apple including the iMac, the iPod, the iPad, and, the iPhone have existed as sovereign personalities with its own audience. The iPad, iPhone and iPod need the Mac/PC only for syncing content and are pretty much independent devices. Apple with its vast design experience curated an entire domain of great product design with hardware and software. Beginning with the unibody design and later with Yosemite by transforming the skeuomorphic UI with the flat design language. Other features such as HandOff and Continuity, and introduction of Maps, Notes, and Notifications on OSX which brought about a wonderful cohesion of OSX/iOS environments. All this and yet it did not take away the freedom of its users to work independently with these devices. Until the Watch came along. The graphic depicting the Apple devices isn’t honest to the Watch which can’t work without the iPhone.
The Watch as a wearable gadget with a small form factor meant that it would not naturally transition the rich cohesion of experience of the OSX/iOS devices. Although this does not make it an exceptional case when it comes to making it self-reliant within its functions and features. There are other watch devices today which do not need the phone support for offering a better user experience. And sure they may not tote a rich app ‘garden’ like the App Store. For now, let’s free the Watch from the clutches of the iPhone.
Apple’s product design cycle is unclear, if one is to understand that the earlier design iterations of the iPhone and iPad missed some essential features that were common to the devices of its kind. Considering this, the Watch isn’t freewheeling so soon until about a few more design iterations. Let’s hope the wait isn’t too long and painful.