We’re about an hour away from learning about Apple’s upcoming iPhone(s) and its first wearable device, which many are calling the iWatch.
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, who is known for his expert commentary and accurate predictions surrounding Apple products, has shared his thoughts on why the iWatch will be different than most of the smartwatches we’ve seen so far.
Most smartwatches seem to be focused on displaying notifications from your phone, monitoring your heart rate, and almost functioning as a miniature phone on your wrist. Gruber expects Apple to take an entirely different approach. He writes:
I’ll be very disappointed if this is just a device that shows a fake analogue watch face, displays notifications from a tethered iPhone, and tracks your footsteps and heart rate.
Gruber notes that Apple’s wearable may do something “less but deeper.” By this, Gruber likely means that the iWatch may not come with as many features as other wearables, but will offer functionality that’s simple and more useful than say, answering a phone call on your wrist.
Watches based on Google’s Android Wear operating system, for example, are designed to do a lot of things. They show incoming calls and texts from your phone, show you the weather, provide updates on your favourite sports teams, and more. Essentially, they present all the notifications you would normally whip out your phone to keep track of directly on your wrist.
This isn’t at all what the iWatch will be like at all, says Gruber. It probably won’t do as much as Android Wear watches, but will offer some other type of benefit that goes beyond its sheer number of features. This will probably cause some to criticise the iWatch when comparing it to other more feature-rich wearable devices, according to Gruber. Here’s what he wrote:
But there will be something, or several somethings, that will cause it to be misunderstood by those who are only able to frame new creations in the context of what came before them. Apple’s watch won’t fit in an existing mould. It won’t be a phone on your wrist.
On a more technical note, Gruber also predicts the iWatch will come with a square display with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels.
If Apple does unveil its first wearable device today, it will be a crucial moment for CEO Tim Cook. It will be the first time he’s tasked with unveiling an Apple product in an entirely new product category. The last time Apple broke into a new category was in 2010 when Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPad. Before the iPad, tablets existed but weren’t part of the mainstream consumer technology market. With its iWatch, people will be expecting Apple to do the same with wearables.
Apple’s event starts today at 10 am PT/ 1 pm ET. We’ll be on hand at the Flint Center to live blog the event.