According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple may not be providing all of the features we were promised at the reveal of the Apple Watch back in September 2014.
When Apple gave us a glimpse of their wearable device they boasted a lot of exciting features, calling the Apple Watch, "the most personal device [they've] ever created", setting the bar high once again.
With the April 2015 release fast approaching, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that Apple Watch will not include the fitness features that were mentioned back in the Fall of last year. These features that "measure blood pressure, heart activity and stress levels, among other things" have proven to be a "black hole" of resources according to the Apple team and the issues will not be resolved in time for the release. The health monitoring technology proved to be inconsistent and in some instances Apple needed FDA approval to move forward, so it was cut to refocus their energy on other aspects of the device.
Mobile Syrup has an extensive breakdown of what we learned from the initial reveal, but here is recap of the features mentioned:
- An appealing and rounded-square shape
- A side-placed dial or "digital crown" for ease of use
- A new but intuitive and familiar home screen comprised of a flexible OLED panel
- 6 choices of straps (easily replaceable)
- 2 size options
- Option of Apple Watch (stainless steel), Watch Sport (athlete-focused), or Watch Edition (18-karat gold)
- Apple Pay
- Voice & Text Messages
- All iPhone notifications with be mirrored on the Apple Watch
- Remote control for Apple TV
- Remote shutter for the iPhone's camera
- Infrared sensors (track & share heart rate)
- Two built-in fitness apps - Fitness & Workout
- Inductive charging with a magnetic connector
- Battery that lasts all day
- Voice capabilities - replies and commands available for many actions
- Sharing with other Apple Watch users through gestures
- "Digital Touch" - users can draw & send images to other users
- "Glances" (similar to iOS's Control Panel)
- "Quick Words" for analyzing and determining quick responses to incoming messages
An iPhone will be required to use Apple Watch, going back to the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s. "Using a connected iPhone, the Apple Watch uses WiFi or GPS to take better and more accurate readings for a variety of functions, from exercise to sharing location with friends and family." -- from Mobile Syrup
This quote mentioned in the Wall Street Journal makes a solid point:
"This whole notion that there needs to be a killer app in an Apple product just isn’t true,” said J.P. Gownder, an analyst at Forrester Research. "For different people, different things will pop.”
There are other fitness trackers out there for much cheaper, if that's what you're looking for. The reality is that the Apple Watch has a whole lot more to offer than fitness tracking and the company knows it. It is an arguably much more attractive design than any other wearable on the market and with Apple, you know you're getting quality and innovation.
Also, with the 6 million units Apple has already ordered for the launch, it appears they have no doubt that the fitness feature issue is no game changer.