4 Reasons Why The Apple Watch Might Be A Bit Shit
In fitness terms, Apple’s Watch – its first new product since the iPad – doesn’t look like a game-changer. Here’s why
1. The GPS Isn’t Really GPS, Not Reeeeally
Like rival smartwatches such as the Sony Smartwatch and Samsung Galaxy Gear, and fitness trackers such the FitBit Surge and Microsoft Band, the Apple Watch boasts GPS tracking – essential for runners, cyclists, hikers and strollers looking to clock exactly how far and fast they’ve travelled.
Exceeept… to save on processing power and battery life, the Apple Watch’s GPS tracking only works when you take an iPhone along with you. And if all you want your Apple Watch to do is track your travels, then your iPhone could do that anyway – at which point your Watch becomes the proverbial spare prick at a wedding.
2. It’s Not Waterproof
The Apple Watch is “water-resistant" – i.e. splash-proof – but if you go swimming with one on you’re likely to end up with a useless £300 bracelet. So swimmers, you are shit outta luck.
3. The Battery Is Crap
This isn’t Apple’s fault: until someone in a lab somewhere has a “Eureka!" moment, the development of battery technology has basically ground to a halt – batteries aren’t going to get any smaller or more powerful anytime soon.[related_articles]
For the Apple Watch, this means a maximum battery life of 18 hours, which drops down to three hours with heavy use. At which point, you’ll need to charge the device up for 2.5 hours until it’s fully zapped-up again.
So if you’ve been using your Apple Watch at work all day, you’ll have to charge it if you want to track your run or cycle home. And then you’ll probably have to charge it again when you get in. Except you won’t be able to, because your flippin’ charger’s at work. Aargh.
Plus, as anyone who's owned an iPhone for more than a year will tell you, that battery is only going to get weaker and weaker over time...
4. That Price, Though – ¡Ay Caramba!
Obviously, the Apple Watch will do far more than the average fitness tracker. But if fitness-tracking is all you really want – i.e. you’re not arsed about squinting at your emails on a 4cm screen – then you can pick up a device that’ll monitor your heart-rate, calories burned and distances travelled for about a third of the £300 asking price of the cheapest model of Apple Watch.
People will pay hundreds – or even thousands – of pounds for a watch designed to last decades and be passed down through generations. But if that watch is built around technology that’s guaranteed to become laughably obsolete within a couple of years (tops), you’ll want to weigh up whether a few bells and whistles are worth your hard-earned loot.
Of course, smart devices live or die on the quality of the apps produced for them, and it may be that amongst the “thousands" of apps that’ve been produced for the Apple Watch, there are some that turn fitness on its head.
It's also worth bearing in mind that Apple products often launch with a few wonky issues that get ironed out in later models.
Right now, though, we’re not planning to camp outside the Apple store at 2am on launch day.
We're sure Apple are arsed.