According to the latest rumors, the Apple Watch 2 or whatever it ends up being called is due out this fall. Earlier reports indicated March, but I’m actually hoping it’s pushed back to fall or winter. Why? Because I think Apple needs all the time it can get to improve it.
I rely on Apple products. My iPhone has been on the fritz lately with a weird battery issue and I’m freaking out hoping nothing happens to it because I’m lost without it. If I left it at home, I’d turn around to get it and risk being late for work. I’d do this without hesitation and repeatedly as necessary.
I wear my Apple Watch every day, and for the most part I enjoy having it. It hasn’t happened yet, but if I were to forget my Apple Watch at home, I would not turn around to get it. I might think about it for a second, but that’s where it would stop.
And that’s saying something for a lifelong Apple fan. In fact, I can’t believe I’m admitting that, but it’s true. The Apple Watch is fine. It’s good. But it’s not amazing. I’m happy I bought it and I wouldn’t change anything if I could go back in time. But the Apple Watch is as 1.0 as a product gets. Buying the first of anything comes with that risk and I was happy to take it. But now after not quite a year with the device on my arm, I’m ready for version 2.0. And I’m ready for something better.
Here’s what I think Apple Watch needs — and what I hope it gets.
Less reliance on iPhone
Right now, there’s very little the Apple Watch can do when it’s not near a charged iPhone. That makes it more of an accessory than a device. While I’m never far away from my iPhone (see above) that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t mature a bit and be its own thing. I understand why Apple wants to sell them as a pair, thinking someone who has an iPhone will be lost without an Apple Watch, but since that’s not happening and isn’t like to happen, it makes sense for Apple to loosen the grip.
Choice of design
I like the square shape, but round is a pretty popular watch style. And if you want to sell more watches, offer people the chance to decide for themselves.
Better battery life
It’s not as bad as all rumors made it out to be, but there’s always room for improvement. And remember: better battery life means you could wear it to bed for sleep tracking.
Apple Watch needs its own GPS
Sure, battery life would take a hit, but Apple can counter that. Create a toggle to turn off GPS or have the toggle read “use GPS from iPhone.” Best of both worlds. For a sport model, it’s not very sporty at all, except for a plastic band. Sport = working out and working out = GPS. At least in 2016 and beyond.
An always-on option
Again, your mileage is going to vary with your battery life. If you choose watch GPS and always on face, you’ll get less than other people, but that should be something we get to decide for ourselves.
The technology exists, and Apple needs something that makes the Apple Watch stand out. Right now, there really isn’t anything.
There’s so much Apple can do with the band. This could allow for flashing when receiving notifications or light shows to music or lighting when achieving fitness goals. There’s a lot of room for creativity here.
Less sensitive accelerometer
Sometimes Apple’s much ballyhooed flick of the wrist isn’t enough to get Apple Watch to respond. That’s annoying. However, I’m very pleased that I was able to finally use the word ballyhooed in a blog post.
More customization for workouts
Maybe my stand goal isn’t 12 hours and maybe I think I can do more than 30 minutes of exercise. The move goal can be modified, so why not everything else? Let me decide how to close those rings.
I was on the fence as to whether to include this, but hear me out. A traditional camera for still photography is unnecessary on an Apple Watch, although that didn’t stop Apple from adding it to the iPad – which is equally unnecessary. But for a video call, even if the screen is small, well there’s something very personal about talking to someone as you gaze at them on your wrist. I think.
Remember: This is what I think it will take for Apple Watch 2.0 to be better. I won’t go so far as to call it a hit, just better.
Right now, that’s plenty.