Sorry, folks, but it took me a year to figure this out, but it’s my own fault. When was the last time we had a killer app for anything? Way back in the day, Lotus 1-2-3 was the app that brought many people into personal computers. Microsoft’s Office helped to launch Windows as the de facto computing platform for planet earth.
What was or is the iPhone’s killer app? First, it was the interface. Point and touch? How cool was that? No complexity. Just point, touch, and figure it out. Second, the growth of the app store meant there would be no killer app for iPhone because everyone would use the device for a variety of functions; cell phone, browser, camera, email, text, games, and much more. Whatever you can think of there’s likely an app for that.
What about Apple Watch?
It’s more of the same, but with a smaller universe. Critics wonder what you can do with Watch yet seem to have no trouble figuring out a variety of functions for iPhone or iPad or Mac. So, what’s the problem? A lack of imagination by critics, market anal-ysts, and members of the technorati elite politburo seems to be the real issue.
Isn’t it obvious by now? The Watch killer app is convenience.
Alright, that’s not really an app, but it’s taken about a year for Apple’s customers (and, hopefully, Apple with some much needed interface changes due in watchOS 3.0 later this year) to figure out that Watch apps are passé– most of us don’t use them because, unlike the iPhone, apps are hard to find on the tiny Watch screen and those stupidly small icons are not self identifiable. Frankly, it’s difficult to tell what app is which because icons are merely icons. Even iPhone app icons have a name.
Without a bevy of use apps at the fingertip, convenience is the key to success with Watch. iPhone apps and Watch apps which have glance functions, complications functions, and, once setup, just work with little user intervention. Who wants to drag around those little app icons to figure out which one is which? Forget it. Apple needs to fix the user interface for apps.
Meanwhile, glance and complications to the rescue. That’s what most Watch users end up using. Of course, both are tied to notifications, alerts, alarms, oh my! And those combine to make Watch irresistibly useful, functional, if a bit utilitarian. And, as with iPhone apps, Watch utilities vary greatly in usage from user to user.
The future of Watch is good. How so?
For now, Watch is a convenience amplifier for iPhone; an expensive accessory by being tethered to iPhone and that’s without much in the way of HealthKit or HomeKit utilities which are just now entering the marketplace and destined to make Watch far more useful than a few notifications and alerts. Watch will open car doors, lock car doors, open and close trunks, set alarms at home, and unlock the front door. Watch of the future will have more health benefits, not only for tracking various health related items, but monitoring data and making it available to health professionals. Those two categories alone are gold mines and have barely been tapped.
So, back to the premise? What’s the Watch killer app? Just like iPhone which had the simple user interface and a million apps, the Watch has convenience, but that’s just the beginning. Next year’s Watch should be a standalone cellphone with Wi-Fi and no need to be tethered to iPhone.
Take that, nattering nabobs of negativism.