HAPPY COUPLE Apple iWatch Sport 38mm R5 899 from takealot.com Whatever animosity existed between the iWatch and me disappeared (for the moment) when Siri, Apple’s charming “intelligent assistant”, translated my voice recording perfectly into a text for the first time.
Our moment came when I was driving to an interview and I needed to let the person I was meeting know I would be late. I quickly called out for Siri in a panic, as though she was sitting next to me in the passenger seat.
“Siri, I’d like to send a message.” She beeped faithfully a second later from my wrist – signalling she was ready. Like a spy, I spoke towards the watch, clutching the steering wheel while trying to navigate through Newtown traffic.
“I’m going to be late. Don’t panic,” I said. Then the wearable device took my words and sent them from my wrist to my interviewee. The person replied with a thumbs up emoji, which I could see from the steering wheel and so, relieved, I slowed down and drove like a human being again.
I had also been using the new iPhone 6s that week and, together, they’re a match made in gadget heaven. The bigger screen, better front and rear cameras, faster processing speed and incredibly sensitive “3-D touch” improvements make it a better device than its predecessor.
But by far the most useful upgrade is the improvements made to the fingerprint ID, which I just fobbed off as a novelty after a bad experience with a competing brand. I do have to explain, however, that my bliss came to an end when the iWatch died on me for the first time. I was running without a worry in the world and looking forward to getting back to my phone and seeing just how many calories I had burnt and how far I had run using the simple Activity app. But without warning, the watch just went dead. The battery was flat. I couldn’t even use it to tell the time.
Suddenly, the thing was heavy on my wrist, a dead weight during my already exhausting run. I hadn’t planned for the 13-hour life span of the battery the day before and now my iWatch was just another device limited to the amount of time you charged it for. My connection between the device and mobility had been severed, taking with it its use to me.
It brought back a story I had read about the history of the perpetual calendar in watchmaking – one of the most useful and romantic complications in horology developed by Louis Breguet, the Steve Jobs of the 1700s.
It’s incredibly complicated, but in short it allows any watch with the mechanism to tell the date automatically, including during leap years. Some of them, like the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, can continue doing this with only one turn of the watch crown every 500 years.
It makes the paltry 13-hour life span of the iWatch feel more like a step back in time than the future of time-telling.
The Apple iPhone 6s (above) and Apple iWatch