Smartwatches suck. They're crap. Shite. Excrement. Doo-doo. Pretty much universally, the wrist-worn devices we've seen so far are too big, too clunky, and overall a massive disappointment. That could change on Tuesday, when Apple will have a captive audience for one of its most important events in years.
But right now... smartwatches still suck.
The reviews for the Moto 360 -- you know, the watch that the crowd at Google I/O gushed about -- are now in. This was the watch that was supposedly going to help kick the smartwatch market into high gear. I'll let the reviews speak for themselves:
"Round is hard, though, and not just for Motorola. Google may technically support round displays with Android Wear, but the 360 provides constant confirmation that this operating system was designed with rectangles in mind. Scrolling through a list will often cut off titles and images; sometimes list items get kicked way down to the bottom of the screen for no apparent reason." - The Verge
"It almost looks like I grabbed a clock off the wall and strapped it to my arm." - Wall Street Journal
"The watch comes with a 320mAh battery which can be recharged wirelessly using a supplied charging cradle but, and this is a very big BUT, the Moto 360 only has a one-day battery life. While the 2-3 day battery lives of other smartwatches are nothing write home about, one day is just ridiculous." - IBTimes
The Moto 360 is too big, Android Wear is too clunky, and -- according to multiple reviewers -- the battery will last you for 12 hours, if you're lucky. This is not the smartwatch you're looking for.
The iWatch rumor mill has been churning out both believable and not-so-believable tidbits about an Apple smartwatch for the better part of two years now. We know next to nothing about it, aside from the theory that it will tie in closely with the company's new focus on health tech. If current smartwatch tech is anything to go on, that's a pretty safe assumption.
Right now, Apple has a tremendous opportunity on its hands. It's sat back and watched Samsung, LG, and now Motorola fumble their attempts at creating a revolutionary device, in much the same way early smartphone manufacturers had a lot of good ideas but almost universally blundered when it came to executing them. It's 2007 all over again.
The folks in Cupertino have never been shy about stealing great ideas and making them their own, but what they do equally well is avoid pitfalls thanks to the missteps of other companies. Make no mistake: Apple learns from the mistakes of others in a way that no other company can match.
You can bet that if and when Apple unveils the iWatch -- or whatever it'll be called -- it will have a battery that lasts more than half a day, the software won't be half-baked, and the screen won't have a massive slice taken out of it because the design team figured it was "good enough." There is no "good enough" for Apple these days, and on September 9th, they're going to have a great opportunity to prove it once again.
[Photo credit (concept): Philipp Zumtobel]