"When “No” is your default, the things that fight their way to “Yes” have a deeper value and meaning. They not only have to earn their place, they have to maintain their worth to keep it. “Yes” is important. “Yes” means that something really matters to me. But, this is only the case — and I would argue only can be the case — when “Yes” is not easy and “No” is the default."Patrick Rhone » Random Notes and Recent Thoughts #3
Banca is very minimal and straightforward, with just one goal: the simplest possible conversion from any, to any, currency. We often find ourselves needing conversion from Dollars to Pounds, or Euros or, as I encountered recently, Yen — and vice versa all around. Well, with Banca, Conversion happens as you type, to multiple currencies at the same time. And the exchange rates are automatically refreshed on each app start. Banca even uses your location to automatically include the currency for the country you are in. Certainly the most clever and fastest currency conversion app I’ve seen.
Unitica is equally as clever and well thought out when it comes to unit conversions. The truth is, for converting units we generally are converting the same unit types (inches to feet, meters to miles) over and over again. This is why Unitica allows you set any number of pairs of units as a favorites, regardless of its category and have them all available from the same screen. This saves a ton of time and allows you to quickly get to the things you most often need to convert.
For a limited time, these apps are being sold as a bundle called Convertica for 30% off the price of the two alone. Sure, you could get them separately for a fair price. But, both are so useful and well designed why not get them both and save a bit of time in the process?
In case you missed seeing it during the Apple Event this week.
I’m one of those guys who feels naked without a watch. I wear one everyday from the time I get up, until the time I go to sleep. In fact, I used to collect them. And, as a watch guy, I have very specific, and highly personal, criteria surrounding the watches I wear. Most people, who are watch people, are like this. They have specific needs a watch must fill and specific ideas about how a watch should fill those needs. After all, this is something that is attached to me at the wrist and I will interact with it more than any other device in my day — more than my iPhone or my Mac.
In 2012, I wrote that what set the iPhone apart for me was just how personal the iPhone had become. That the term Personal Computer was fulfilled like none before it. This is an angle that I don’t feel has been written about enough regarding Apple. One of the biggest things that sets them apart is that they understand that a device like this — one that is always with you and is an integral part of your interactions and communications — to be successful, needs to be deeply personal. And, if you take a close look at what they have done with the Apple Watch, they get that more than any other company. Tim Cook, describing the Apple Watch, even said it was “The most personal device we’ve ever created.”
Apple understands that this is the sort of device that, by its very nature, will be more personal than the iPhone. It’s not just in your pocket, separated and tucked away when not in use. A wrist based device is on you and out there all the time for everyone to see. Not only that, but you are being asked to allow this device to know more about you than your doctor. To let it pay for things for you. To help you communicate with your friends and loved ones in potentially more meaningful ways. And, to interact with it potentially more than you currently do with your iPhone. Apple understands this will be the most personal computer you will own.
They also understand us watch people. They know that those of us with the cash or care typically don’t just have one watch. We have two or three. A sporty one, a casual one, and a fancy dress up one. Some might be OK with wearing a $50 watch with a $500 suit, and I’m sure Apple will be happy to sell them only one band. For many though, Apple gets that the watch itself needs to blend into any environment the user could be in. So, make the the band easy to switch and offer just about any style one could ask for. But, at the same time, make the watch case look good with any of them. And, in allowing this level of customization it becomes more personal still. I suspect this is the reason why fashion editors were courted so heavily by Apple for this event. Apple knows that this will be a new premium “must have” with the fashionistas. An official Coach Apple Watch strap to match your bag, ma’am? Sir, I have just the Apple Watch strap to compliment those shoes…
Would I buy one? Sure. Would those who have not worn a watch since the age of the cell phone? I’m betting yes. Sure, there are many unanswered questions. Battery life was conspicuously not mentioned. Some have guessed that it is because they are still working on it. I think it is because they want to manage expectations and there is too much about real world use they don’t yet know and have not been able to widely test due to the secrecy surrounding it. It was mentioned that it charges overnight and that could be a “tell” (i.e. The battery lasts at least a day in normal use). Obviously, what third-party apps developers are able to come up with will help to define its value as well. I imagine part of announcing it so early (not due to ship until early next year) was so some of those folks would have plenty of time to dig into that. Also, how much functionality, exactly, requires the iPhone? What do you get when no iPhone is present. That might be an important consideration for many. Especially the many I know who have Android devices but might want an Apple Watch — for the fitness and health features, for example. Heck, it is cheaper than many fitness watches on the market (cheaper than my Garmin running watch was with the heart monitor strap and step tracking foot pod) and provides far better functionality without having the extra required stuff. I’d be compelled to purchase for that reason alone. But, all of these are details. I feel none of these alone or together will keep Apple from selling millions of these.
The piece that so many other smart watches have failed thus far is the personal aspect of such a device. It’s not just that they have failed to understand fashion or even interface design. It’s not just that they thought it being a computer on your wrist was enough. They failed to understand that such a device has to be an even more of a personal computer than what has existed before. It has to have a more personal purpose and meaning to the wearer.
To do that means it has to be an even more personal computer than what has existed before. It has to not only look good but serve the wearer in important ways. It has to have a great answer to the question, “What problem does this solve?”" That is a hard nut to crack. But, on the face of it, it sure looks like they have an answer for many.