Oh dear. Although yesterday's "Spring Forward" Apple Watch event garnered plenty of fawning, über-positive press from the usual suspects, there's also a strong undercurrent of negative sentiment. Unusually strong, in fact.
From concerns over pricing, through shock at the short battery life, to worries that it has no real-world utility, a large chunk of the world is off-message. And we're not talking about a few fandroids in their moms' basements, either.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers voice their concerns.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment (updated 11.06am PDT).
John Paczkowski pokes fun at the idea:
Apple Watch is not a watch. ... “Watch” is a misnomer, a branding sleight of hand...in the same way that the iPhone was not a phone.
Apple Watch is an honest-to-god iPhone on your wrist. But...it’s an iPhone...that requires another iPhone in your pocket.
Apple told consumers [it's] your phone...your boarding pass...your credit card...your keys...garage door opener...“a coach on your wrist,”...an easy way to get answers to simple questions or to set reminders...an automation solution for the...internet of things. And it’s an authentication solution. [But] it’s largely pointless to buy an Apple Watch if you don’t already own an iPhone. MORE
And Mark Sigal thinks the launch event was "weird":
Precision coexisting with fuzzy purpose. ... The product this time may actually be ahead of the message.
Jony Ive's voice was a star of the event. ... If they ever remake 2001: A Space Odyssey, I am totally voting for Ive as the voice of HAL. Yet [he] felt strangely absent.
iPhone was a "you know you've been wanting something like this, but didn't know it was possible" type of device. ... By contrast, Apple Watch is a schizophrenic beast [which] makes it some kind of Other. ... Will it take off like iPhone did? ... Or will it reach a certain baseline and plateau, as iPad has? MORE
So Brian P. Rubin reminds us that Apple has stiff competition this time:
[Does] Apple Watch do anything that other smartwatches don’t? ... Yes—but not much.
The Apple Watch does offer...the ability to take calls right from your wrist [which] puts it in competition with the likes of the Tizen [and] an upcoming new smartwatch from LG...among others. ... Unlike those rivals, however, the Apple Watch [can] make or take calls without requiring its own SIM card. [But] there's a high risk factor for looking like a jerk...from the future—similar to the way Bluetooth headsets can make people look instantly uncool.
[It] will require daily charging...with a [life] of up to 18 hours [which is] mediocre compared to the competition [especially the] Pebble Time, whose e-paper screen allows for 5 to 7 days.
Apple Watch prices will cost you an arm and a leg, and maybe a few internal organs. MORE
What's it like to use? Nilay Patel's brief hands-on experience was mixed:
It turns out it's actually pretty complicated...it is really confusing to have both the Digital Crown and the communications button next to each other. ... Coming from the traditional iOS paradigm of a single home button that always takes you home...it's just two buttons that aren't particularly well differentiated.
That feeling of not knowing exactly where you are or what's going to happen is pretty disorienting for an Apple product. [It's] complicated...not immediately intuitive.
I'm...not sure why you'd want to put this thing on your wrist all the time...it still feels like an awful lot of interesting ideas without a unifying theme. MORE
But Bobby Bobertson blurts bad vibes:
Looks like a Chiclet on a band. Complete with huge bezel area around the screen. Apple used to be way behind the curve, but at least released something that was...polished as the supply chain got perfected.
They apparently [didn't] try hard enough on this one. The competitors are already making watches that look better. ... The only thing this has going for it is it'll work with iOS. MORE
Meanwhile, Matt Mullen murmurs and mithers: [You're fired -Ed.]
I have a iPhone 6, why do I need the watch? ... This just seems to me to be a useless product. ... Ridiculously poor battery life. ... No one cares that you can use Apple Pay...or that you could one day maybe open hotel room doors.
Apple should have spent their time making a product people actually have wanted. ... The watch is just disappointing. MORE
Finally, Craig Patchett sums up his thoughts:
Lets see, battery life that won’t allow me to wear the watch all day without charging and a $1000 price tag for the stainless steel version.
Update: Anna Kendrick doesn't mince words:
We should be thanking Apple for launching...the new gold standard in douchebag detection. MORE
You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.