For about a month now, I’ve been wearing the above on my wrist. While it looks like an Apple watch, it is actually the new 6th-gen iPod Nano strapped to a third-party wristband called the iWatchz Q. This came about partly thanks to the Apple iPod 1st-generation recall program, which started replacing 1st-gen nano’s that were send in with the latest 6th-gen nano instead due to (we can assume) supply shortages of the original 1st-gen product. Back in late December, I jumped on this and was send a nice new nano that I had no use for at all, so I started to think about things to do with it and found the iWatchz site. An idea was born and the band promptly ordered from the Apple store.
So, since the end of February, I’ve been wearing a fancy iPod watch on my wrist and charging it every couple of days. So, what’s my opinion? Well, here’s my one sentence review:
Kind of Pointless, but with so much Potential
Let’s be honest, in the end, the main reason you wear this watch is to let your geek flag fly free. You hope that people will notice it and comment on it, or recognise you for an Apple fan of the highest order. Practically, there isn’t much point in this watch. Apart from the fact that you need to press the button EVERY time you want to check the time, what else can it actually do that a normal watch can’t? Here’s what I’ve come up with:
- Photos: You can sync iPhoto and show photos on the screen
- Fitness: It can track your steps and your workouts (if you’re so inclined) from the watch itself and sync back to iTunes
- Radio, Music & Podcasts: You can listen to the radio, but note that you’ll need to have a headphone cord running up your wrist
- Time: You can set a stopwatch, set timers and even check the time!
So, not a bad list. Problem is, I can do ALL of these things (with the exception of radio maybe) with my iPhone. Plus, the iPhone has bluetooth, so I can use my wireless headphones if I don’t want a cord running up my arm. It’s nice to have it on your wrist, but is it really that arduous to reach into your pocket for your phone? So far in my last month, I’ve never though to use my watch for any of these items and have always used my iPhone instead.
Problem is, it just has so much potential. If Apple had included the ability to download apps to this thing and a way for it to sync wirelessly with your phone and network, it could be amazing. Imagine having your watch light up when a call comes into your phone, or automatically syncing your fitness data to the cloud when you get home. Imagine being able to select a contact on your watch to call and your phone dials it automatically and sends the audio to your bluetooth wireless headset without ever leaving your pocket. The possibilities are endless, but without a wireless connection and the ability to enhance the functionality, the watch feels a bit crippled.
For ages I’ve fantasized about using Apple devices to build my own Personal Area Network (PAN; look it up!). I can see so much potential in the Nano, but the lack of bluetooth just kills it. It’s such a shame, but at least Apple knows what to include in the next model.
So, I can hear you asking, am I going to keep wearing it? Well, for me the answer is YES, even though it’s pointless. Because even though it lacks bluetooth, I am an Apple fanboy and more than happy to let my geek flag fly while I wait for the next version of the nano to come out! :)