iOS 8 is nearly proof that Apple will build a smartwatch and it is a good estimation to think it will release this year. Many companies have a smartwatch currently on the market with many more amazing models on the way such as the Moto360 and the Kairos watch we previewed last week. The smartwatch everyone is waiting for is one the company that will make it has not even announced yet. Here’s why we should expect an announcement soon.
iOS 8 is coming
Apple featured iOS 8 at the Apple WWDC 2014 developer conference and the features provide substantial evidence there will be a smartwatch in Apple’s near future. The groundwork has been laid for iWatch integration and it seems inevitable at this point that there will be an iWatch this year. Although there has been no developer information publicly released we can guess that a few developers are getting early access to the iWatch’s design specifics in order to create apps. iOS 8 is the proof everyone else needs in order to get excited. From the iOS features like new wireless protocols to a new headphone design the future is looking bright for the iWatch. iOS 8 will be released later this fall most likely in conjunction with new hardware like an iPhone 6 and a smartwatch or other wearable device.
Late to the party is OK when you’re the star
Apple has been the star of the show for a while when it comes to tech gear. Their precisely crafted devices and mostly stable operating systems have captured the attention of the tech industry with each release. In many cases, the iPod, iPhone, iPad, lineup is the standard to which other devices are judged. A phone is either better or not as good as the iPhone. An mp3 player is either as good or worse than the iPod. Tablets are on par or can’t match up with the iPad. It is inevitable that the smartwatches of today and tomorrow will all be judged in the same way against whatever Apple releases, whenever they release it, whatever they name it. Apple is the star of the tech party and everyone will put down their drink and compare themselves when they dance into the room late. The features they will compare need to be high quality and captivating to win the market though.
Apple’s smartwatch needs to have a little bit of Google Glass
The new spotlight search in iOS 8 is exactly what Apple needs to integrate into a smartwatch. Siri is getting better but it’s slow and sometimes useless. Spotlight search on the new iOS platform looks promising though and if Siri integrates into this spotlight search, as it should, then Apple may be onto something great. The next step is to make this new spotlight search accessible by the default for a wearable device. Every tech geek out there wants their own personal Jarvis (from Iron Man), at least I do. The ability to speak to your watch and retrieve information will be a nice step in that direction. It’s no Google Glass but it’s on the right track. In addition to great search, the Apple smartwatch will need to be able to provide the wearer with pertinent information at the right time. Notifications are great but what they really need is an engine that tells the user when something important is about to happen. Meeting times get changed, your flight has been delayed, friends are nearby, roadwork will slow your commute, and other real life notifications will be important on the Apple smartwatch in order for it to stand above the rest in a sea of wearables.
Competitors are already selling amazing products
Apple is used to this fact by now I’m sure but it needs to be said: Apple is not going to be the only company with a smartwatch and the competitor models that are going to be available at the time of release are awesome. The Moto 360 is set for a summer release. The Motorola watch integrates Google Now to include the card system for notifications like I mentioned above. Not to mention, the Moto 360 is a beautiful watch. The Kairos smartwatch is another example of a strong competitor to the Apple smartwatch. The Kairos watch is stunning and Apple will have to work overtime to come up with a better look for a watch. One great feature of the Kairos is that it uses a swing motion to charge the watch battery (the screen is powered by a rechargeable). If Apple takes that technology and creates a watch that never needs to be charged they will be a step ahead of the game.
Overall, to have a successful smartwatch Apple needs to really push the limits of design, software, and creativity. Just get it right Apple, the world will wait for you and be glad you came to the tech party when you get there.
feature image courtesy techoftomorrow