Apple Watch Apps Booming, But Display Toughness Questioned - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
4/22/2015
12:07 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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Apple Watch Apps Booming, But Display Toughness Questioned

The Apple Watch will have no shortage of apps available out of the gate, but the most popular model is also the most susceptible to damage, according to tests.

10 Apple Watch Apps: Which Ones Will You Use?
10 Apple Watch Apps: Which Ones Will You Use?
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

The Apple Watch officially and finally arrives on Friday, at least for some people. Those lucky enough to place a preorder for an April 24 delivery should receive their wearable shortly, but many Watch orders won't ship until May or June.

Developers have been busy preparing apps, and the Apple Watch is primed to be a big hit. There's a concerning report about the glass, however, that may cause problems for Apple.

Apple has approved about 4,000 third-party applications for the Apple Watch so far, according to Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research. Stand-outs include Instagram, Uber, and Yo. Some 70% of developers are using Apple's new Swift programming language and they're going gaga for the Taptic Touch technology. Taptic Touch responds to specific increments of pressure, rather than just registering taps.

Believe it or not, Microsoft is among the many developers taking aim at Apple's wearable.

Owners of the Apple Watch will be able to tap into their OneDrive cloud storage from their wrist, as well as control PowerPoint presentations. The Watch will let presenters move through their slides, see the elapsed presentation time, and even check the total number of slides in any given deck. Microsoft continues to deliver good stuff to competing platforms.

There's a shadow lurking in the corner, though, and it may become a big headache for the watchmaker.

Remember Bend-gate, when videos of people bending their iPhone 6 Plus popped up all over YouTube? Prepare yourself for Scratch-gate. A new video from the same team that brought you bent iPhones reveals just how easy it is to scratch the glass of the Apple Watch Sport.

The Apple Watch comes in three models: Sport, Watch, and Watch Edition. The Sport has what Apple calls Ion-X Glass, while the Watch and Watch Edition have sapphire displays. Sapphire is incredibly resistant to scratching, so owners of the Watch and Watch Edition likely won't have anything to worry about.

The Sport? Well, that's another matter.

Unbox Therapy got its hands on the Ion-X display component for the Apple Watch. Unbox Therapy put the display through several scratch tests using a key, a knife, steel wool, and two different types of sandpaper. The Ion-X glass resisted the key, knife, and steel wool easily with no visible marks. The sandpaper, on the other hand, absolutely wrecked the Ion-X glass.

[Read about Apple and healthcare.]

It's fair to say the Apple Watch will rarely -- if ever -- come into contact with keys, knives, steel wool, and sandpaper. There are some everyday scenarios, however, that could replicate the damage done by sandpaper to the Ion-X glass. Consider how often you bang your watch into things as you walk around. Some of those things could have a rough texture akin to sandpaper, such as stucco walls.

We'll soon know just how resistant to scratches the Apple Watch Sport truly is. The Sport is the least expensive of the Apple Watch variants, and is therefore expected to be the most popular. Some estimates place preorders for the Sport model at 62% of the total.

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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
4/28/2015 | 7:09:57 PM
Re: Whats the point
@tzubair, Exactly. The tech part of I is what would appeal to hem most, rather that the look of it
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
4/28/2015 | 6:33:56 PM
Re: Yet one more device
"Will the watch still function with wear and tear scratches? I am sure their will be an aftermarket provider addressing these scratches asap."

@impactnow: I am not sure if the watch will have the ability to allow the surface to be cleaned from scratches or be replaced, but I'm sure the screen itself must be using technology that can protect the screen from getting the scratches in the first place. This would include materials such as Corning Gorilla Glass that prevents all kinds of scratches on the screen.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
4/28/2015 | 6:24:48 PM
Re: Whats the point
 

"I think the appearance of it is better suited for males, because it is not that feminine looking. The tech side of it will likely appal to all."

 

@Angelfuego: I think you'd be surprised to notice how many tech-savvy women would order these. To them the appearance has little to do. It's the whole functionality and the pride they feel while wearing it that will make them want to buy it.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
4/27/2015 | 7:02:01 PM
Re: Whats the point
@impactnow, I agree. It's definitely not an elegance piece of jewelry, but may pass off as a sporty or tendy accessory. I think the appearance of it is better suited for males, because it is not that feminine looking. The tech side of it will likely appeal to all.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
4/27/2015 | 12:05:24 PM
Re: Whats the point

 

I think in many ways watch is a misnomer for what Apple is trying to accomplish. They are really looking for a wearable version of an iPhone whether this is it I am not sure. This may be an item that looks good but ends up in a drawer very quickly.

Watches in the traditional sense were timepieces and really a piece of jewelry. This is definitely not that!

Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
4/25/2015 | 2:08:59 PM
Re: Whats the point
I am glad that the screen is almost fully scratch-proof. It should be for the price of the watch! I wonder what the "life of the watch" will be. I noticed most Apple products are pretty good for only about 3 or 4 years at best.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
4/25/2015 | 2:06:04 PM
Re: Whats the point
It still doesn't appeal to me. I have a smart phone and I've been wearing the same watch for 10 years. I don't plan on getting a new watch anytime soon. My watch is white gold, has a small face, contains diamonds and is unique. Before my current watch, I had another watch that I wore just about everyday since I was a teenager. It was a gift to me from my mother. My father gave the watch to her when they were really young. I still have it in my drawer. The band kept breaking, so I stopped wearing it. I guess watches are more sentimental to me than it being an electronically device that requires charging it and being replaced every few years.
BillB031
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BillB031,
User Rank: Moderator
4/25/2015 | 9:02:04 AM
Whats the point
I guess I don't see the point in wearing one of these.  Since I bought my first smartphone, I haven't worn a watch in a few years.  I don't wear a watch as a fashion statement and have no interest in squinting my eyes to see if my plane is on time.

 As for the scratching problem, yes, stucco is like sand paper.  Stucco is a concrete, ie.. portland cement, lime, sand & water.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
4/25/2015 | 7:37:56 AM
Re: Yet one more device
Yes, but a normal watch costs 50 bucks tops...and that's for a nice one. That 50$ watch also does about the same as the überexpensive iWatch. If I'd spend that much money I want it to look the same after a tractor trailer rolled over it ten times....in mud and snow.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 10:59:30 PM
Re: Yet one more device
@impactnow. I really hope Apple has improved their usability test. All their devices take a beaten that they weren't meant to receive.  I wouldn't be surprise people breaking their iwatch on their first week after using it.  I think after the next iwatch iteration Apple would have release more durable iwatches.
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