It’s been the most highly anticipated piece of equipment from Apple since the news of the iPhone 6 hitting the shelves took the media by storm in September. Now, some seven months later, the Apple Watch, or the iWatch as it was formerly known, became available to order from 10th April and will be landing in our laps around June time.
Despite being marketed as primarily a fitness device, rather than its portable music and gaming predecessors, the Apple Watch has been surprisingly popular, selling 957,000 units in North America alone on its first day. So what is it that is so appealing about the new device?
The Apple Watch comes in three basic models – the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport and, for those who want to fork out an incredible $10,000, the Apple Watch Edition, which has a sophisticated gold coating. So far, so impressive, as far as the style stakes are concerned, but what else can it offer?
Many have praised the Apple Watch for its ability to prevent us from becoming ‘smartphone addicts.’ In fact, users have said they stopped checking their phones altogether when they were using the phone – why? Simply because, not only is it a health and fitness device; it is also a notification centre that reminds its wearers of any important meetings, alarms or reminders.
This is great news for those who are trying to prise themselves away from Facebook or Instagram, but what does it mean for gamers? Unfortunately, the Apple Watch’s ability to sync up with any other Apple devices is also its downfall, and for some applications, it almost becomes reliant on a phone or tablet in order to make the most of its features.
In an age in which mobile gaming is on the up, this seems a controversial move from Apple. According to Newzoo, the mobile games market will double in size and be worth $23.9 billion by 2016, and this is largely thanks to the amount of mobile devices available today which support online gaming. Slotocash Casino, established in 2007, is just one of many examples which has capitalised on being able to offer its users games on platforms such as the iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPod Touch 5th Generation. So where exactly does the Apple Watch fit into all this?
Indeed, it would be ambitious to expect the same kind of Angry Birds-esque entertainment from a 42mm screen, but gamers should not be entirely disheartened. The watch can link up with one’s iPhone or iPad to update scores on games such as Letterpad, and it’s also been rumoured that a new fantasy RPG game will soon be released specifically for the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch may have little to offer in terms of innovation, but it’s certainly a funky device for those who want to move away from the bulkier ‘phablet’ devices of 2015. Will it be worth the wait until June? Only time will tell.