Why Jen is annoyed she can't enjoy comfort gaming.
Why Jen is annoyed she can't enjoy comfort gaming.
If you’ve bothered to look at my profile on here, first of all, why are you that interested? Second of all, you’ll note that I stated that Final Fantasy VII (and Goldeneye) were ‘life-changing’ for me. Ok, so there’s a certain amount of hyperbole there, but those two games ensured I went from "Hey, games are quite fun when I've got nothing better to do" to "I love everything about them and they’re very important to me." That’s a double-edged sword to one’s productivity levels, but hey, look what I’m doing right now.
As a big mobile gaming fan and a big Final Fantasy VII fan, I should be excited about it coming to iOS, right? Well, not so much.
Yesterday’s WWDC was full of all sorts of interesting announcements for all sorts of Apple-related operating systems. A lot of really impressive stuff is in the works, but the most significant change for the Apple Watch has got to be allowing for native apps (i.e. apps that are installed directly on the watch rather than piggybacking over from the iPhone).
If you’re like me, you’re a little hooked on knowing what’s going on in the world. I’ve been on nights out and still slightly drunkenly gazed at the TV in the bar because I’ve wanted to see what the breaking news was. Yeah, I know. It turns out that the Apple Watch might be the ideal device for news hounds such as me. While it’s yet to provide a perfect news reading experience, there are a few great ways of gaining some insight on your wrist.
A couple of months ago I ruminated on what the Apple Watch could and couldn’t do (as indicated by Apple’s own descriptions, since the watch itself wasn’t out yet). I also ruminated on what it seemed to be doing right and what it was doing wrong. Now that I’ve actually had one for a bit and have been using it daily, some of my thoughts have changed. Some for the better, and some for the worse.
So it’s time to take a look back at what I got right (ha-ha!) and what I got wrong (boo!).
As someone keen on wearable technology encouraging me to get fit, it felt a little too easy to be cynical about the Apple Watch before getting my hands on one. The battery life sounded poor, it looked kind of bulky, and the lack of built-in GPS made me wonder why I’d want one to go alongside my iPhone. Those issues aren’t miraculously solved, but it turns out the Apple Watch has grown on me a lot already in my short time with it. There are a few good reasons for that, partly due to stock apps and partly due to some of my old favorites.
’Tis the season for movies with obscenely large budgets, and often obscenely larger explosions. There are a lot of big films that have just come out, are coming out, or will be out soon - to the point where it can be difficult to keep up. But don’t fret! 148Apps has got you covered with our list of nine apps to make your moviegoing experiences easier.
Innovations at Apple are great, of course, but how does the Apple Watch perform as an actual watch? It’s something that few of us have probably given much thought because we were too busy wondering if this would be the next big thing for Apple in terms of gaming and app design.
Turns out it works much better than you’d expect.
It’s not here yet but there’s that developing sneaky feeling that the Apple Watch, despite its price tag and low battery life, might yet change quite a lot about how we conduct our lives. While I don’t think it’s going to be an overnight transformation, I can see it being a slow but steady process. One such area where the Apple Watch could make all the difference is when it comes to convenience while traveling. Here are a few ways in which it could simplify our traveling life.
I’ve had an iPhone since they first launched back in 2008. When the original first came out, it had a ton of potential but very little had been realised at that point. Heck, it didn’t even have the App Store! So excuse me while I mutter about how the Apple Watch will be great one day, but probably not until its second hardware revision has been released. Following that logic, here are a few ideas of exactly what we’d love to see the second time around.
The end of this month will see the release of the Apple Watch, a product that was officially announced late last year that has many people speculating about how having an extension to your phone that you actually wear will change how we operate. As someone that tries to withhold judgement about products until we know what they are - rather than what they promise to be - I have held off on figuring out how the Apple Watch could or should fit into my lifestyle.
Recently though, early reviews of the watch have come out and - upon reading them - I've been pretty disappointed. As a runner that enjoys the outdoors, I was hoping the Apple Watch would incorporate all of the things I would need to abandon all of my current running tech (namely an iPod and Garmin GPS watch) but the Apple Watch's current form just doesn't seem up to the task. Here's why.
We all shop, right? Heck, even those of us who adamantly declare all we need is online shopping tend to end up in a store at some point in our lives. It’s kind of fun to browse around, and sometimes it’s more straightforward to seek something out by looking around. The Apple Watch has a ton of potential for changing how we shop. Some developers and retailers have already leapt upon this idea, such as Woolworths in Australia launching an app soon and Retale announcing a similar app. What else do you want, though? We take a look at some neat potential ideas.
RedLaser is a great app for the avid shopper, allowing you to search for plenty of products, coupons, and deals near you. Expand that to the Apple Watch and things could get even simpler. Glances and Notifications could mean you could easily see what deals are available at a store while you’re nearby. You could quickly use Siri to look up a review, saving you from getting your phone out and generally looking way cooler. It’s going to need some backup from your iPhone, but it’ll save you plenty of time and effort.
Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but there’s got to be an Amazon Apple Watch app coming, right? Being able to search quickly would be great, plus there's the potential from its 1-Click ordering system. I remember one stressful Christmas shopping trip last year where I stood in a mall and used my iPhone to buy the stuff I couldn’t find in a store. An Apple Watch method of doing this would be so much smoother and it just makes sense.
So many deals! Groupon is bordering on overwhelming these days with the offers it provides - from cheap gadgets to massages. Having these all accessible and scannable from your wrist would be a real time saver. Tied into your iPhone, it could have great location-aware capabilities for when you’re near somewhere with a great deal on.
I wander around grocery stores with my iPhone out, looking through what I need to get. It’s cumbersome, and once I dropped my iPhone on the ground and got a nasty dent in it. That sucks. Having my shopping list on my wrist would be far better in this instance. As anyone who’s used a stock app can tell you, there are far better grocery list specific apps out there. Something like Grocery iQ on your wrist would be convenient, and you could easily tap on an item to say you’ve gotten it and so forth. Being able to keep regular lists would be great for when you’re buying the same thing often, too.
I know I’ve already theorized on how the Apple Watch could change mobile, but this time I’d like to talk about how it could affect our day-to-day lives. And make no mistake, there’s a good chance it’s going to change a few things around here.
One of the biggest changes we’re going to see because of the Apple Watch is company policies for retailers, restaurants, and pretty much any other place that caters to the public. Most places already prohibit their employees from bringing phones onto the floor since, for example, it usually doesn’t look good if a cashier is fiddling with their iPhone when they should be ringing people out. Now that people are going to start wearing the Apple Watch, you can bet a lot of places are going to ask workers to keep their timepieces in their lockers or otherwise off the floor. I don’t imagine having a theater usher ceaselessly messing around with their watch would go over much better than if it were a phone, do you?
By extension, the Apple Watch could end up affecting employee productivity to the point where businesses that don’t directly interact with the public might still have to institute some kind of limit. Granted I imagine most offices discourage using one’s iPhone while on the clock, but it’s going to be a lot easier to sneak a peek at your wrist and jump back to work once the boss shows up than it is to hastily tuck a phone back into your pocket or desk drawer. Conversely, the potential functionality of the Apple Watch could end up becoming such a boon that some offices encourage their use or even issue one to their employees. It really depends on the business.
Reminders will also be far more useful, since it’s much easier to accidentally (or purposely) miss a notification if your phone is silenced or in another room. When your watch is tied into your itinerary it’s going to be a lot harder to ignore the blaring alarms coming off your wrist. Whether or not this leads to an era of never forgetting to pick up milk on the way home ever again remains to be seen, since it still relies on people making the effort to set up reminders in the first place, but the potential is definitely there.
I also touched upon the unfortunate side of things last time when I contemplated the idea of thievery a bit, and despite it being a depressing topic I think the Apple Watch will affect things here as well. For better and for worse. What I mean by “worse” is that you can’t really hide an Apple Watch like you can an iPhone. Telltale earbuds aside, if you’ve got an iPhone in your pocket it won’t really be attracting the attention of potential thieves. An Apple Watch though, that’s going to be on your wrist for all to see. Of course it is more difficult to remove a watch than it is to yank a phone out of someone’s hand. On the “better” side of things, the near-constant health monitoring could be used to automatically call for help if you’re in trouble (medically or otherwise), as I’ve mentioned before.
Then there’s the issue of how we physically move through a space. Yeah, I know, it’s weird to think about but anyone who’s ever worn a wristwatch can tell you that you’ll need to start paying attention to where you swing your arm. Banging your watch against things is an extremely common occurrence even if you’re used to wearing one, and people are going to want to be extra careful not to whack their Apple Watch against the corner of a desk or something. It’s not going to lead to a country-wide baby-proofing (padded table edges, etc) or anything like that, but Apple Watch owners are going to want to be a lot more conscious of their movements once they’ve strapped their wrist-phone-thing on. And they’ll want to make sure not to forget to take it off when they take a shower or otherwise have to douse their hands in liquids.
So, the Apple Watch launch is very nearly upon us, presumably changing our lives in ways that we can only imagine, much like the iPhone before it. Failing that, hopefully it’ll be a cool and useful watch to own. We thought we’d take a look at four of the games we’d love to see make their way to the device, bearing in mind the limitations that its size might offer.
The Apple Watch is still a ways out, but my previous musings on the wearable’s various features got me thinking: what might it be like a year after launch? Two years? Five years? What if it becomes a symbiotic part of the iOS framework to the point that it practically comes packaged with the iPhone?
Of course it’s going to be a while until we know for sure whether Apple’s latest piece of hardware will be considered a hit or a miss, but for argument’s sake let’s fast-forward a few years and pretend the Apple Watch was a resounding success. This is how I think it could permanently change the way we mobile.
For starters, I expect that we’ll see a big divide between the types of software available for the Apple Watch versus just the iPhone. The Apple Watch, due to its small screen and the fact that it’s pretty much designed to be interacted with in short busts, will probably have far more apps and far fewer games - I’m thinking weather, message alerts, maps and GPS functions, and all sorts of stuff nobody’s thought of yet. I’m sure there will still be games for it, but apps will serve a much more significant purpose.