watch

Arguably, the main purpose of a smartwatch is to tell the time. While the watch faces the Moto 360 originally came with are all attractive, it was disappointing to see only seven. There are third party options but none — including the premium versions of Watchmaker and Facer — are great.

Motorola recently released an update that added another five that brings the total to 12, and all five new ones are fantastic. They are all customizable to a degree and best of all, seem designed specifically with ambient mode in mind. I.e., they look great on, and they still look great even when dimmed. Good job Motorola!

Companies often don’t get much coverage on product updates, so perversely don’t have much incentive to update. Let’s buck the trend: here are the five new watch faces for the Moto 360.

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The Withings Activite is an analog styled watch with fitness tracking capabilities. As GigaOm describes it:

The Activite can track calories, steps, running workouts, and sleep. It’s even waterproof, and Withings hopes to add a swimming workout mode soon.

The watch looks great. Gorgeous even. I like how there’s a secondary dial that shows you how close you are to your steps goal.

However, this would make a poor fitness tracker. Here’s why: first, a watch is fundamentally different from a fitness band; and second, data from the Activite will live in isolation from all your other health data.

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I got a Moto 360 a few weeks ago and have been using it daily since. See the watch review here, the Android Wear review here and a comparison between Google’s and Apple’s implementations here. And now, the final look of this mini-series: third party apps.

Here’s the bottom line — they’re not very good.

I downloaded a bunch but will only talk about three that I ended up keeping, sorta: OneNote, RunKeeper and Wear Mini Launcher.

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There is a future where instead of a computer in your pocket, it’s the one on your wrist that you use most. Instead of your finger, you use voice to control it.

It’s the device for keeping updated on your digital life. When someone messages you — text or photo — your first preference will be to read it on your watch and reply with your voice. When someone invites you to an event, you accept or decline from your wrist while your smartphone stays in your pocket.

The smartphone is only for when voice is inconvenient, for consuming content and for bigger tasks like taking and editing photos. For everything else, especially the frequent, small interactions we have with friends, the smartwatch is our gateway.

This is the potential future of the smartwatch. Or my interpretation of it anyway.

Enter the Moto 360, powered by Android Wear. How does it deliver on that vision?

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TechCrunch reported earlier that the Apple Watch’s Edition — made of 18K solid gold — might cost up to $1,200. That sounds reasonable.

Then respected Apple insider John Gruber of Daring Fireball predicted the following prices:

  • Sport (aluminum/glass): $350
  • Standard (stainless steel/sapphire): $1,000
  • Edition (18-karat gold/sapphire): $5,000

In fact, he thinks there’s a decent chance the Edition edition will retail for $10,000!

That’s just…frikkin crazy. Here’s why: 1) it doesn’t matter how much gold there is, people will view Apple Watch as a piece of electronics and not as haute horlogerie; 2) electronics depreciate fast; 3) it’s not even a good looking watch.

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This is the final post of a three part series on why the Apple Watch revealed earlier this week wouldn’t have been the one Steve Jobs made. Jobs would disapprove two buttons on the Apple Watch and he certainly would have made the software beautiful and cohesive.

Fortunately, it’s not all negative. Tim Cook and Jony Ive did do something right that Jobs probably wouldn’t have done: the seemingly endless amount of customization possible for the Apple Watch.

In this case, going against a Jobsian philosophy is a good thing.

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This is the second post in a three part series on what Steve Jobs would have done differently with the Apple Watch. Yesterday, we talked about why he wouldn’t have designed two buttons for it. The digital crown is smart, but Jobs would have eliminated the personal messaging button.

He would have more to disagree with Tim Cook and Jony Ive unfortunately. As I sat through the keynote and various demos for the Apple Watch, I found myself with an unfamiliar feeling regarding Apple’s mobile products: confusion.

I was confused by Apple Watch’s software, and I know why. There’s no consistent design language. Also, it’s kinda ugly.

This would’ve never happened under Steve’s watch.

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