The Apple Watch has spurred an enormous amount of press coverage with a wide range of sentiments surrounding what could be deemed the first ‘consumer wearable’. But how does the average consumer really feel about Apple Watch? As an average consumer myself, I wanted to investigate how the Apple Watch might enhance my day-to-day life. I’m already quite fond of my iPhone, so I knew the Watch would need some serious selling points to win me over. When thinking about why I love my iPhone too so much, I identified its three main functions: Communication (email, text messages, calls), Tools (alarm clock, calendar, banking), and Content (social media, web browsing, news).
The Apple Watch has some appealing capabilities to help streamline communication with subdued notifications of emails, texts, or incoming calls. Besides the obvious tool functionality as a watch, it also allows for a quick look at your calendar and is built with Apple Pay. But it was the last function, Content, that I became most interested in while exploring what the Apple Watch could do for me. I consider myself a bona fide news junkie, so around-the-clock access to my favorite publishers is a top priority. With 15 news publication apps currently on my iPhone and push notifications set up for at least half of them, there’s no question that access to breaking news and updates is a key part of my iPhone addiction.
So my question became –
Can the Apple Watch fulfill my need for news in a superior fashion?
After reviewing the technology, design, and prospective third party apps, I have no doubt in my mind that news junkies will fall in love with the Apple Watch. It may take some time to become widely used by the average Janes & Joes of the world, but it’s clear that the Apple Watch has exciting potential as a news publishing platform. Here’s why…
1. Retina Display
If you’ve ever compared Apple’s retina display with their standard display, you’ll understand why I drool over the sleek, compact retina screen of the Apple Watch. The Watch’s face is visually stimulating with vibrant color and precise clarity, making it rather difficult to pull your eyes away from. It has an incredibly high pixel density that makes reading numbers and text effortless, even when in motion. The small but mighty screen promises bold news updates that could easily be served up with impressive graphics and images.
The ability to get news updates in virtually real-time has no doubt enabled my news fixation. The immediacy of news means expecting to receive breaking news and developments at the drop of a pin. The Apple Watch takes it a step further. News notifications will get personal with the Watch’s haptic feedback feature. Using a taptic engine, the Watch alerts its wearer of notifications with a gentle, nudge, vibration, or tick. Haptic feedback feels almost like an extension of your body, making possible the “intimacy of news”. As stories break and continue to develop, the Apple Watch will not only provide immediate updates, you’ll actually feel these immediate updates.
4. Your favorite publishers wrapped around your finger, err wrist
There are already several top publishers with apps available on the Apple Watch, and surely more to follow. Publishers include ESPN, the New York Times, NPR One, MLB.com, and CNN. Bringing these top publishers together and wrapping them around your wrist means even easier access to top news sources. As more publishers jump in the game, we’ll have more options to pick and choose our favorites. In addition to wearing your favorite news sources, you’ll also be able to personalize them. Each of the publishers have developed personalization capabilities into their apps, so users can choose favorite news categories, create reading lists, or follow specific games and teams.
5. “Nibble News”
News junkies are familiar with the term “bite-sized news”. The Apple Watch is now introducing what I’ll call “nibble news”, it’s like bite-sized news but smaller. Publishers will be using one-sentence stories, emojis, headlines, or images to convey their stories in crumb-sized portions. This will be supported by the Watch’s ‘Glances’ feature, scannable summaries of the information you seek out most frequently. With a quick glance and a few swipes, you’ll be fed the time, plus savory stories ranging from political upheavals to shutout sports games. Since we all know a nibble of anything is almost never enough, several publishers’ apps will let you pass off a story from the Watch to continue reading on your iPhone. Second servings anyone?
I may not have an Apple Watch yet, but I will admit it’s won me over. The day will come when I sport my very own (I’m hopeful for the rose gold Edition version), and then I’ll really take my news obsession to the next level. The Apple Watch has been met with mixed reviews, but for the distinct purpose of quick news content it’s a winner. Publishers are just now beginning their relationship with the Apple Watch, and as more publications join the party we can expect continued ingenuity within the field. We may see news as we’ve never seen it before…and as a news junkie, I’m hooked!