April 13, 2015

Apple’s newly introduced MacBook includes a Force Touch trackpad which not only detects a click, but can tell how much force you put into that click.

Here’s a link to Apple’s official MacBook page, with their take on Force Touch:

With the new MacBook comes a whole new way to experience a trackpad. The Force Touch trackpad is engineered to deliver a responsive, uniform click no matter where you press the surface. And underneath, force sensors detect how much pressure you’re applying and give you new ways to interact with your Mac. You can now use a Force click to enable new capabilities, like quickly looking up the definition of a word or previewing a file just by clicking and continuing to press on the trackpad.

The demos I’ve seen so far have done a fine job of showing off the basics of Force Touch, but there’s so much more to this technology. How about building a simple analog meter, with a super sensitive needle that tracks the Force you are applying to the Force Touch trackpad?

The ForceGuage would be easy to build and really give a sense of how much force you are applying at any given moment. It would also give a sense of how little latency is involved, how quickly the trackpad responds to changes in Force. As a side benefit, it might make for an excellent chunk of sample code for developers who want to add Force Touch to their own projects.

The Force Touch trackpad also includes haptic feedback:

You’ll also experience haptic feedback — a tactile vibration from the trackpad that adds the sense of touch to what you see on the screen.

The meter could include thresholds (moving from the black to the red in the linked video, for example). The trackpad could offer haptic feedback when you press hard enough to pass from one threshold to the next.

I think we’ve barely scratched the surface of what Force Touch can bring. Our existing world is binary: The track pad is clicked or not. The Force Touch trackpad is continuous, with a value based on how hard you press. This is like moving from 2D to 3D, opening up a world of possibility.

It’s not hard to imagine Force Touch coming to a future generation of iOS device. What a unifying moment that would be, bringing all Apple devices together under the Force Touch umbrella.

April 12, 2015

Monday Note:

As the first wave of Apple Watch reviews shows, waiting for impressions to settle down isn’t part of the Product Review genre. The psychoactive toxicity of Apple product launches that I made fun of two weeks ago is in full display as reviewers climb to the rooftops in a race for income-producing pageviews.

There’s no doubt that “page view journalism” has taken its toll on, at the very least, reviews of Apple’s products.

I love the Rob Lowe ads. I think they are satirical, funny without being truly mean. They capture the spirit of the Mac vs PC ads of a generation ago.

Following a Comcast (CMCSA) complaint, the Better Business Bureau this week recommended that DirecTV (DTV) discontinue its hilarious ad campaign featuring actor Rob Lowe, because the satellite TV company couldn’t substantiate many of the claims made in the commercials.

DirecTV clams in the spots that its service gets 99% signal reliability, up to 1080p HD programming, better picture and sound quality than cable, more sports programming than its rivals and shorter customer service wait times than its cable competitors. It also said it was rated No. 1 in customer satisfaction.

The Better Business Bureau has no real teeth here. But they do have pull. So their opinion does matter. Ultimately, it’d be up to the FTC to force DirecTV’s hand.

As to Rob Lowe, he tweeted this:

Recent events have underlined my belief that for something to be truly original, funny and subversive, there must also be fallout. #Life

You know the drill. You pull out your headphones and you spend five minutes untangling them. Something magical happens when you put a carefully folded pair of headphones in your pocket. And not the good kind of magic.

One product born of this problem is the Cordskinz earbuds wrap. Rather than wrap around a set of folded cords, the Cordskinz are tubes that you slide around the wires between the headphone neck and the yoke (the point where two wires become one).

I’ve been using Cordskinz for a couple of weeks now and they do indeed solve the problem. I rarely spend more than a second or two to get from the pocket bundle to completely unwrapped and ready to go. The secret is the stiffness of the tubes. They tend to keep the headphone wires in position in your pocket. As you reach in your pocket for other things, you don’t tend to slide the headphones to new positions, a prime reason for tangles.

So how do you get the Cordskinz onto your headphones? In a nutshell, you take one of the tubes in the kit, cut it to size (you’ll cut it into two lengths if your earbuds have a mic, one between the mic and your ear, one between the mic and the yoke), then use the provided doohickey (technical term) to slide the tube into place.

It really is ingenious. Watch the video to get a sense of how this works.

April 11, 2015

Macworld:

Popcorn Time for iOS tries to offer a version of sideloading, but there are far too many pieces of its process to worry about. Further, it’s not likely to be reliably available.

It’s unimaginable that Apple would ever allow something like Popcorn Time in the App Store. It’s also inadvisable by any standard to install software like it through the method the developers provide.

Leaving aside the legality of this app, the process you have to go through in order to install it makes it a non-starter for me.

iMore:

Photo editing app Snapseed gets its first major update since 2013 with version 2.0, adding a number of new editing tools to help you get the most out of your photos.

Snapseed is my favourite iOS editing app and it’s free. The interface has changed significantly but it’s not awful. If you’ve used previous versions, you’ll get the hang of this new UI fairly quickly. If you’ve never used it, you really should. It’s easy to figure out. Every photo I take on my iPhone gets passed through Snapseed.

April 10, 2015

I spent some time today talking to TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington about Apple Watch and the 12-inch MacBook.

Samsung talking about Apple releasing the Apple Watch:

“It’s with great delight that Apple has followed us into that market.”

It’s like that company doesn’t know when to shut the hell up.

Great seeing you again, Tim. Much respect.

Steven Levy:

A few weeks ago I was crossing the street. It was cold — late February in the Winter From Hell here on the east coast — and I was wearing a heavy coat with an inside pocket for my iPhone. The device buzzed and vibrated. My heart quickened. I ran the remaining few yards to the curb. I pulled off my gloves, fumbled to open the buttons of the coat, and almost dropped my bag in the process. Finally I managed to pull out the phone. On the screen was the following message:

“Braves OF B.J. Upton has changed his name to Melvin”

This was delivered to me in the standard message format, no different than a New York Times alert informing me a building two blocks from my apartment has exploded, or an iChat message that my sister is desperately trying to reach me. Please note that I am not a blood relative of B.J. — sorry, Melvin — Upton, nor am I even a fan of the Atlanta Braves. In other words…this could have waited.

I reflexively deny permission to 99% of the apps that ask to notify me of every stupid little thing so I have less of an issue with this but I do understand where Levy is coming from. One of the things that jumps out at me from some of the Apple Watch reviews is the idea that, if you set it up right, only those notifications that are truly important will be sent on to your wrist. But that’s the way I have my iPhone set up already.

San Jose Mercury News:

Apple has opened the door for construction workers with recent felonies on their records to help build its new campus.

The tech giant has lifted a requirement that people who had been convicted of felonies within the past seven years could not work on the massive Cupertino construction project, Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock told this newspaper Thursday. After the policy came to light this week, Apple came under fire from union leaders and advocates, who say construction jobs are a key source of work for felons trying to transition back into society.

I’m glad they did this. Now I can apply for a job on the Apple Campus 2 construction crew.

MY thanks to Yamaha for sponsoring The Loop this week. Perfect for webcasting, podcasting, gaming and music production, the AG03 and AG06 hybrid mixing consoles/USB interfaces have unique features that make your computer-based audio tasks easier and better. The AG Series offers high-resolution (24-bit/192kHz) audio recording and playback, iOS compatibility and battery operation.

The intuitive “TO PC” switch allows users to route selected inputs back to a desktop or iOS device. The “Dry CH 1-2” allows computer or iOS recording of inputs 1 and 2, while the “INPUT MIX” switch routes all inputs to the computer or iOS device via USB for music production applications. The “LOOPBACK” switch routes all inputs to the stereo USB output along with the USB input from the computer — perfect for podcasters.

Gamers will appreciate the headset/mic interface and direct hardware control of game and voice level, perfect for adding professional audio to videos or TwitchTV broadcasts.

The AG series “1-TOUCH” effects utilize programmable digital signal processing like Reverb, Compression, EQ and even Amp Simulation, adding the final professional stroke to your music productions.

This video purports to show an Apple Watch screen being put through a torture test. Not sure if it is real, and not sure how they got hold of the screen if it is real, but interesting nonetheless. That is one impressive screen.

[via 9to5mac]

Want to take a personal look at the Apple Watch Edition? Go to this site, then, in the upper left “Sales” pane, enter your location and select Watch Edition from the popup menu.

Abdel Ibrahim, writing for WatchAware, on the Apple Watch Taptic engine:

With the Watch, Apple has introduced its Taptic engine, whose goal is to help alert you to various items through various taps on your wrist. These taps are not audible and can’t even be detected by the person next to you. The idea is clearly to take advantage of your body’s ability to “feel,” and Apple is putting this to good use by taking advantage of the new paradigm as it benefits a variety of tasks.

One example, as explained by Apple, is the Watch’s ability to tap you when you need to make a turn along some GPS-plotted course. The fact that you can be tapped and told in silence “Hey, get ready to take a right turn!” is a far different — and by my expectations, a far better — experience than having some semi-robotic voice tell you that it’s time to hang a quick right.

That’s an interesting use case, though I am not sure a tap alone would be enough to add value to the Apple Watch as direction-giver. With a single tap, for example, there’s no way to distinguish between left and right [Dave: apparently there is a way - cool!], or left and get in your right lane. Siri and Apple Maps excel at direction-giving, even without access to the screen.

That said, I can certainly see a number of cases where a tap at the right time could make all the difference. Anytime where you can hear yourself saying “and…now” to get the timing of something just right is a candidate for the Apple Watch. Of course, a tap to tell you when the pasta is done is an easy example.

But if you are doing something that requires delicate and precise timing, a tap at the right moment could be a tremendous help. Purely to help illustrate the point, consider serving a tennis ball. You throw the ball up in the air, then go through a series of precise timed movements to make sure your racket arrives at the right moment to meet the ball. I’m not suggesting that the Apple Watch is the right solution here, just making the point that a tap at the right moment can help you develop muscle memory when precise timing is required.

Steven Aquino, writing for iMore:

Ever since Apple unveiled the Watch last September, I’ve heard from many in the accessibility community who have expressed trepidation in their enthusiasm for the watch. The common refrain is that the usability story of it for, say, a blind person is unknown. As I said, we with special needs need reasonable assurance that Apple Watch will be usable, particularly in light of the introduction of the digital crown and Taptic Engine.

I met with Apple for a hands-on briefing of the watch and its accessibility features. My aim with this article is to run down what’s available on Apple Watch, accessibility-wise, as well as share a few observations I have on their potential impact on watch wearers.

This is a first look at a brand new product. I suspect the accessibility aspects of Apple Watch will evolve over time and, certainly, the app community will help supplement Apple’s built-in offerings.

MacBook: Details and shipping dates

The new MacBook is available for your ordering pleasure. There are two configurations, and three colors for each.

At the low end:

  • 256GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
  • 1.1GHz dual-core
  • Intel Core M processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 2.4GHz
  • 8GB memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 5300
  • $1,299.00

And at the high end:

  • 512GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage
  • 1.2GHz dual-core
  • Intel Core M processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz
  • 8GB memory
  • Intel HD Graphics 5300
  • $1,599.00

The Silver and Space Gray models (in both configurations) show a US ship date of 1-3 days. The Gold model (in both configurations) shows a ship date of 3-4 weeks.

Apple Watch: Shipping dates, max of 2 per customer

Earlier this morning, the Apple Watch Sport showed a US shipping date of 4-6 weeks. That’d be a shipping date ranging from May 8th to May 22nd.

A few hours later and that shipping date is now June. Not a date in June, just June. That’s the same shipping date for every other watch I checked, except for the rose gold Apple Watch Edition, which shows a ship date of July.

Interestingly, when I add a third Apple Watch to my shopping cart, I get this message:

A maximum of 2 watches can be purchased per customer. Please adjust the total quantity of watches in your order before checking out.

Obviously, this is an easy enough work around if you had the need for more than two, but this is a clear sign that Apple is doing their best to spread demand.

April 9, 2015

Review: 12-inch MacBook

There are a lot of things to consider with the new MacBook—a Retina display, a new sized screen, weight, redesigned batteries, a newly designed keyboard and trackpad, and the fact the laptop only has one port—USB-C. Of course, one of the biggest things, for me anyway, is whether the MacBook fits into my workflow. Any one of these new features could be a deal breaker for many people, or this could simply be one of the smartest moves Apple has made in its laptop business in years.

Keyboard

I’ve been using the MacBook for a little while now, and it easily fit it into my daily routine of writing, checking email, surfing the Web and basically getting all of my work done. One of the things I was most interested to see and feel was the new keyboard.

I was happy to hear that Apple went with a full size keyboard on its new MacBook, but they did make some major changes to a part of the computer that hasn’t changed for years. It will take a little getting used, but it won’t take you long.

Apple redesigned the key mechanism, going from a scissor design found on other computers, to a butterfly design. The end result of the change is that the keys are pressed more easily and precisely, and they don’t go down as far as the old mechanism did. In fact, they go down about half as far as the old keyboard.

When you first start using the keyboard, you may get the feeling that you didn’t actually hit the key, but you really did. This is what will take some getting used to—I am typing very quickly with the MacBook now, but it took a day or two in order for my mind to trust my fingers were hitting all the keys.

The arrow keys took the most time to get used to. Surprising, I know. However, I use the up and down arrow keys a lot to navigate email messages and RSS feeds and those keys are quite close together—in fact, they are the only two keys on the keyboard that are so close together. It’s like the person that designed the keyboard doesn’t use those two keys and put them together like that because it looked better. At any rate, those keys are just taking a bit longer for me to use without error. I hope for a change in the future.

arrow

The other keyboard oddity I noticed was with the Escape key. This isn’t a functional complaint, but rather an observation. It looks like they ran out of ideas for keys in the “F” row and ended up with some extra space, so they extended the Escape to make up for it.

escape

All told, I love the new keyboard. It feels good when typing and the light under each key is brilliant in low-light conditions.

Force Touch trackpad

The Force Touch trackpad is another newly designed feature from Apple. The trackpad itself won’t take any getting used to, but some of the new functionality may.

From Apple’s Web site:

The Force Touch trackpad is engineered to deliver a responsive, uniform click no matter where you press the surface. And underneath, force sensors detect how much pressure you’re applying and give you new ways to interact with your Mac.

With other trackpads, I always felt like when I clicked on a corner or edge, it was on a teeter totter. Instead of the click going straight down, it would angle a bit—it was a bit weird, but that’s what we were all used to. The Force Touch trackpad is definitely much better in that respect, allowing you to click anywhere very comfortably and evenly.

As a writer, one of the features I use a lot is the dictionary and thesaurus. With Force Touch, I can click on a word and then just keep pushing down, adding more pressure on the trackpad. The dictionary pops-up for the word I was clicking on. The cool thing is how responsive it is—watch the video and notice how the dictionary pop-up reacts as I vary the amount of pressure I put on the trackpad.

The trackpad also has haptic feedback, a tactile type feedback for what you see on the screen. It also supports all of the multitouch gestures it did in the past.

Retina display

I don’t know what else to say about the Retina display besides, it’s absolutely beautiful. I’ve been using an 11-inch MacBook Air and a 15-inch MacBook Pro for the last year or so. I’d switch back and forth, with the majority of the changes coming because of the Retina display.

It’s easy to say that you really wouldn’t notice a difference, but I do, every single time I look at the screen. And I love it.

If I know I’m traveling, I’ll switch to the 11-inch MacBook Air, because it’s much easier and lighter to take on the road. I typically don’t do any intensive computing while I’m away, so portability and weight are my main concerns. I’m certainly willing to trade the 15-inch Retina for portability when I’m on the road.

When I get home, having the Retina display tops my list of must-have features.

The 12-inch MacBook gives me something in-between that could very well satisfy all of my requirements. A screen that is a bit larger and a Retina display so I’m getting the best quality.

Weight

If you don’t travel, the weight of your laptop is probably not an important feature. However, I have run through airports from Germany to San Francisco and I can tell you, having a laptop that weighs a lot adds to the drama of trying to catch your flight.

At 2 pounds, carrying the 12-inch MacBook feels more like you’re touting around a magazine than a computer.

Battery

One of the biggest changes with the MacBook is the layered battery design Apple came up with. It really is quite incredible—the change means that every part of the MacBook, except where the CPU is located, is reserved for batteries.

The result is a long time between needing to charge the battery.

I’m not testing the battery in a lab, so I didn’t put on a movie and see how long it would play or anything like that—I simple did my normal days work. I think that’s how most people would test battery life for their own uses.

Each MacBook comes with a bit of a charge, so I completely drained it a couple of times before seeing how long it would last under normal use. By normal use, I mean using MarsEdit, Mail, Reeder, Safari, Chrome, Mail, Fantastical, Twitter, and iTunes. I had Bluetooth turned off, Wi-Fi on, and most of the other settings, including Energy Saver, were left at the factory defaults.

I unplugged the MacBook at 2:00 pm and carried on my day’s work, writing and posting to The Loop. Some reading of upcoming stories for The Loop Magazine, emails and other assorted tasks rounded out my work for the day. I didn’t really check to see where the battery level was throughout my time using it, but by about 8:00 pm, I still had 40 percent battery remaining.

It’s important to note that this was not straight usage. I took breaks to get a beverage, stroll outside, take phone calls, etc. During that time, the computer fell asleep to whatever settings Apple had set by default.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to sleep that night, so at 1:00 am I found myself back at the computer. The battery was now at 38 percent. I did some more work, watched some concert videos, planned out some coverage on the Web site, etc. Nothing too major, although I’m sure the videos took their toll on the battery.

By about 3:30 am the battery was at 4 percent, and I was tired. I woke up at 8:00 am and the battery had died sometime between the time I went to bed and when I woke up.

Considering everything I did the day before and throughout the night, I was quite pleased with the way the battery performed. I honestly don’t think I could ask for much more from a battery than that.

This type of battery performance has been consistent for me on a daily basis.

USB-C

I saved the most contentious issue for last—the MacBook only has one port.

The new USB-C port allowed Apple to make the MacBook much thinner and smaller, but it did take away the Thunderbolt and USB ports. This, to some people is an absolute deal breaker for buying the new laptop. For me, it’s brilliant.

With a computer like the MacBook, you go into it knowing you are making a compromise—one port. You can get a dongle that allows you to connect a USB device, like your iPhone, to charge and that’s enough for me.

People who buy the MacBook aren’t buying it for its expandability, but rather for its other features, namely the size. I don’t have a lot of devices I need to connect to the MacBook, so I’d rather have a smaller laptop with a dongle than carry around a heavier laptop with ports I’m not using 90 percent of the time.

If you know going into the purchase that you are going to connect a bunch of things to your computer, perhaps the MacBook isn’t for you. There’s nothing wrong with that, but for a lot of people, like me, not having the ports isn’t a big deal.

The decision between portability and ports is a pretty easy one for me—I’ll take portability 9 out of 10 times. That’s what a laptop is for.

Bottom Line

The new MacBook is a gorgeous computer that expertly fills a niche that many need. It’s powerful enough to do all of the regular work you’ll need to get done at home, the office, or on the road. The model I’m using is Space Gray, has 8GB of RAM and a 1.1 GHz Intel Core M processor.

The MacBook runs completely silent and fits perfectly into my workflow. I haven’t touched either of my other two computers since I started using this one, and I’m very happy. This is my workflow now.

The good news is that if you need more ports or more power, Apple has two other MacBook product lines that may suit your needs. For me, I’m sticking with MacBook.

MacBook will go on sale online at 12:00 am PT/3:00 am ET on Friday, April 10.

From this morning’s Apple Press Release:

Apple Watch™, Apple’s most personal device yet, will be available for preview and pre-order on Friday, April 10. Customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US can try on and experience Apple Watch at their local Apple Store® or at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo, Selfridges in London, and select Apple Authorized Resellers in Japan and China. Customers can pre-order their Apple Watch through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com) beginning April 10 at 12:01 a.m. PDT for delivery beginning April 24.

“We are excited to welcome customers tomorrow and introduce them to Apple Watch, our most personal device yet. Based on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, as well as the number of customers who have gone to the Apple Online Store to mark their favorite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and Online Stores. “To provide the best experience and selection to as many customers as we can, we will be taking orders for Apple Watch exclusively online during the initial launch period.”

Apple is making it clear that they are driving all Apple Watch sales on line. To me, this sounds like a strategy to reduce traffic at the stores tomorrow or, at the very least, to improve efficiency by taking the ordering process out of the loop at the stores, let the staff focus specifically on previewing the Apple Watch.

That said, if you go into an Apple Store and try one on, my guess is that there will be some way for you to place a pre-order. I can’t imagine Apple will want to allow a single potential sale to go unclosed.

Starting Friday, customers can try on Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport or Apple Watch Edition* to find the model with the size, finish and band to best fit their personal preference and style. Everyone visiting an Apple Store will be able to view all three collections and get hands on with Apple Watch Demo to browse and edit different watch faces, and learn about Apple Watch’s health and fitness features, Digital Touch, Siri®, Apple Pay™** and more. Pre-orders begin April 10 at 12:01 a.m. PDT through the Apple Online Store, the Apple Store app for iPhone® and iPad®, and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China and Japan. Customers who pre-order their Apple Watch can have it shipped for delivery beginning April 24. All Apple Watch customers will be offered Personal Setup, online or in-store, to pair their Apple Watch with their iPhone. New owners will also learn how to personalize Apple Watch by selecting a watch face, deciding which notifications to receive, setting up the Activity app, and receive an introduction to Apple Pay** and the Apple Watch App Store™.

Beginning April 24, Apple Watch will also be available at boutiques in major cities including colette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Maxfield in Los Angeles and The Corner in Berlin, and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China and Japan.

Tomorrow is a big day for Apple.

Some things are just magic to me. iTranslate 3.0 just shipped, and it truly is magic. And fun.

You launch the app, configure a language for each side, then tap one of the buttons to speak. Your spoken voice is parsed and translated into another language. Crazy. It’s like living in the future.

I do speak a little Russian, and even with my terrible accent, iTranslate still got everything exactly right. Not only did it translate my broken Russian into English, but it spelled out my spoken Russian in Cyrillic, the Russian alphabet.

iTranslate supports 42 languages. Here’s a link to the list.

The app also includes an AirTranslate mechanism that let’s two devices talk to each other.

As with all such voice-to-text and text translation technology, there’s subtlety in the process. The key is to get good enough at using iTranslate to convey your intended meaning. Personally, I found that very doable. This is an impressive step toward the Babel fish.

Here’s a video showing iTranslate and AirTranslate in action.

Big steps for Apple on emoji and diversity

Buried among the new features in the release of iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 was a big change to Apple’s emoji library. Chief among these changes was the ability to select skin tones for appropriate emoji.

For example, here’s what you see when you tap the thumbs up emoji:

emoji

A secondary popup appears that lets you select a skin color. This works on both your iOS device and your Mac. Having the same emoji set be the same on all Apple devices is another step forward.

One final note: The emoji mechanism is still divided into pages, but now rather than make you tap on each page to try to find your emoji, the entire set is one solid, rapidly scrolling page. This is a big improvement.

April 8, 2015

If you need to chill out after reading all those Apple Watch reviews, let me show you this wonderful new, tiny and always-be-melting Apple Computer.

Om Malik finds some of the most wonderful things.

This is a really comprehensive guide from Rene Ritchie and his crew. If you have any questions, this is the best place to start.

OS X 10.10.3 released

You can download the release by opening the Mac App Store on your computer and check for updates. Of note in this release is Photos, Apple’s new photo management application.

iOS 8.3 released

Go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device to download it.

Apple Watch’s Chances Of Success

”If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”—Jim Rohn

Success is a very unusual term. One person’s success is almost certainly considered by another to be a failure. There are few ways to measure success that everyone would agree on, even when you are talking about Apple products.

While it would be hard to argue the monumental success of the iPod in the early 2000s and the iPhone later in the decade, there are many that would say the iPad has been less than successful. I don’t agree with that assessment.

The problem—if there is one—of having two blockbuster products, back-to-back, is that everyone thinks your next release should be on that same level. The chances of that happening is almost nil.

watchside

Even though the iPad sold almost 25 million units in the last fiscal quarter, it’s not up to the 75 million that the iPhone sold. For a lot of people that’s the measure of success, without taking into account that they are completely different products, serving different markets.

So, how will we measure the success of Apple Watch? Will it be pre-order sales? Perhaps, first weekend sales? Number of overall units? How about total quarterly profit? The number of magazine covers it’s on?

The measurement of success will be different for almost everyone. But I don’t believe that any of those are as important as one measure of success that will be a bit more difficult to track: are people still using Apple Watch after three months.

That to me will be the true measure of success for Apple Watch. I have no doubt the initial reviews will be outstanding; I have no doubt pre-order sales will be through the roof; and I have no doubt that Apple will take a significant percentage of the nascent smartwatch market.

watchcal

What we don’t know is how long people will use Apple Watch.

There will be a percentage of people that will take to the Internet and declare Apple Watch a failure because it was a novelty item. I accept that. While I think many of those people will be missing the big picture, I don’t think Apple Watch is for everyone.

With a $349 starting price tag, Apple Watch will be an attractive purchase for a lot of people outside the tech market. It’s those people that are important to the future of Apple Watch.

Remember back to the iPod and iPhone—it’s when they passed by the tech crowd and into mass market adoption that they truly became iconic products. That’s what Apple Watch has to do, and I think it can.

watch

There will be growing pains with Apple Watch, as there are with any new technology. I don’t expect the watch to be flawless—no product ever is, but it’s up to Apple to make sure the value proposition is there for normal, everyday users.

From what I’ve seen so far of the Apple Watch and iPhone combination, Apple, with help from its developers can do it.

The more people you see wearing Apple Watch one, three, six months after purchasing the device, the more successful it will be. That is a measure of success that will take time, but it’s very important.

Editor’s Note: This story was first published in The Loop Magazine. You can download the magazine free for iPhone and iPad.

I can’t verify how accurate some of the more brutal comments are in the Apple Watch reviews posted today, but here’s a roundup of some of their harshest comments.

Of all the people that posted reviews today, Gruber is the only one I really trust. If you’re going to read a review, make it this one.

Duncan Robson makes YouTube supercut videos and is taking to Patreon to seek funding to keep making them. What’s a supercut video? Watch.

[via Daring Fireball]