One more thing

Ap­ple opin­ion

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - Gary Mar­shall said he didn’t want, didn’t need and couldn’t af­ford an Ap­ple Watch. What hap­pened next prob­a­bly won’t sur­prise you.

Like tod­dlers, our iPhones can eas­ily be­come tiny tyrants, in­ter­rupt­ing events and stomp­ing their feet

Kurt Von­negut wrote that many peo­ple “need des­per­ately” to re­ceive a mes­sage: “I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most peo­ple do not care about them. You are not alone.”

It isn’t al­ways easy to get that mes­sage across, or to re­ceive it. Our de­vices are in­creas­ingly tod­dler­ish, de­mand­ing all of our at­ten­tion RIGHT NOW at the top of their lungs. A junk text from your phone provider has the same pri­or­ity as an iMes­sage from a loved one, an im­por­tant email the same weight as end­less of­fers from firms you bought some­thing from years ago, the news that some­body’s tagged you in a Face­book photo ar­riv­ing with the ur­gency of news that might ac­tu­ally mat­ter.

Like tod­dlers, our iPhones can eas­ily be­come tiny tyrants, in­ter­rupt­ing events, stomp­ing their feet and shunt­ing your train of thought down dead-end tracks. It’s said that the best way to sim­u­late hav­ing kids is to have some­body yell at you ev­ery 17 sec­onds. Most iPhones do that by de­fault. The Ap­ple Watch could change that. I say “could” rather than “will”, be­cause right now it doesn’t. Like iOS there’s an aw­ful lot of mess­ing about to be done if you want to dif­fer­en­ti­ate mes­sages from dif­fer­ent sources, to en­sure that the no­ti­fi­ca­tions you re­ceive are only about things you ac­tu­ally care about, to pre­vent a bone-headed mar­ket­ing mes­sage wak­ing you up at 3am. Early re­views are unan­i­mous: the Ap­ple Watch is far from friendly and takes a lot of fid­dling. But in the long term, it could tame the tiny iPhone tyrant, keep­ing it quiet in purse or pocket.

I’m fas­ci­nated by the Ap­ple Watch’s hap­tic feed­back, the heart­beats and pulses and gen­tle taps it de­liv­ers. Of all the Watch’s many won­ders, I think that might just be the most won­drous of all. Imag­ine a gen­tle squeeze from a proud par­ent as you en­ter an exam room, your loved one’s heart­beat when you’re far away, a think­ing-of-you touch when you’re go­ing through hard times.

If you see the Watch as a small iPhone, a com­puter on your wrist, then you’re go­ing to be dis­ap­pointed – but if you see it as a way to sep­a­rate out what mat­ters, to share a sim­ple touch over dis­tances great or small, then I think you’ll be as ex­cited by the pos­si­bil­i­ties as I am. Von­negut again, this time quot­ing his son Mark: “We’re here to help get each other through this thing, what­ever it is.” With the Ap­ple Watch, there could be an app for that.

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