AP­PLE’S BIG RACE

Ap­ple Watch is no good for fit­ness, says Techradar’s Run­ning Man. But that will change: Ap­ple’s stuff tends to get great by about ver­sion 3…

Australian T3 - - OPINION -

If there’s one thing Ap­ple wants to as­so­ci­ate its brand with right now, it’s fit­ness. It pa­raded Christy Turling­ton Burns as one of the faces of Watch, show­ing her com­plet­ing half marathons whilst wear­ing one.

That’s odd, be­cause right now Watch is re­ally is no more than a gad­gety fash­ion ac­ces­sory strapped to her wrist.

There’s no GPS, it can’t struc­ture train­ing plans to get you fit­ter, and the bat­tery life is more of a sprint than a marathon. It’s not in the same league as ded­i­cated run­ning watches. The other smart­watches to date are no bet­ter.

And yet I’m con­vinced Ap­ple is go­ing to make the big­gest run­ning watch of all time. Even­tu­ally. It’s no good for run­ning now? Well the first iPhone was no good for pho­tog­ra­phy, but the iPhone has been the most pop­u­lar cam­era in the world for years now.

Just as “The best cam­era is the one you have with you,” soon the best run­ning watch will be the one you hap­pen to have strapped to your wrist any­way, and Ap­ple will lever­age this.

The bat­tery will im­prove, the sen­sors will minia­turise to the point where we’ll have not just GPS but ca­dence, speed and el­e­va­tion, and most im­por­tantly, de­vel­op­ers will get their claws into the plat­form, mak­ing great apps that out­strip what’s avail­able on phones.

Soon, the ex­pe­ri­ence cur­rently only avail­able on ex­pen­sive run­ning watches will be on do-it-all smart ones. Ap­ple will, Tro­jan-like, put a pow­er­ful run­ning watch on the wrists of mil­lions who bought it be­cause it was a cool Ap­ple thing.

Should run­ners buy an Ap­ple Watch this year? No way. For the same price you can get some­thing more use­ful from Garmin, Po­lar, Adi­das et al. But don’t be sur­prised if you start see­ing an Ap­ple Watch 2 or 3 on the arms of com­peti­tors by 2017… Or even on your own.

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