iWatching Apple: The Biggest Upgrade to Telling Time of All Time
Leave it to Apple to take a dying object, shrouded in pointlessness, and transform it into a deeply meaningful must-have.
People of Earth, get ready—it's time for the biggest upgrade to the way we tell time of all time. Today, we all iWatched as Apple debuted what was by far its most important slate of consumer electronics products to hit the shelves in at least six years, maybe ever, maybe three months.
To put it simply, Apple has done it again, with two separate new devices that will make your fingertips tingle: the iPhone 6, which is clearly numerically superior to the 5, and the long-awaited, often-imitated but never-duplicated Apple Watch. Let me—the nation's top consumer electronics man—be your guide to this veritable glut of futurosity.
For the occasion, Apple rounded up the best and the brightest of Silicon Valley—the innovators and the aggregators, the power users and the cheerleaders, the prophets and the argonauts—and gathered them inside a giant sleek white tent in Cupertino. There could be no mistake, this was metacommentary 2.0 of the highest order: We are all are living inside Apple's proverbial larger-than-life gadget, we, the users, are the machinery that makes it tick.
In other words, this is Apple's world, and we are all just living in it—but that world is also truly dependent on us to stay humming. We are Apple's truly killer app. Literally. At least I am.
I've submitted over 400 different apps to Apple's App store, one of which was cleverly titled AppKill.er—the killer app for killing apps to save battery power on your iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple claimed that my marketing materials were, I quote, "too aggressive" and that the avatar in the app icon, a tasteful, winking depiction of Steve Jobs' corpse, was "obscene."
Guess it's all fun and games until you have to confront the fact that your founder is mortal, just like everyone else, and maybe not such a visionary after all, otherwise maybe he wouldn't be dead.
But I have to hand it to CEO Tim Cook. The man knows how to erect a temporary structure. To describe it, I coined the term 'iWearhouse'—the house where Apple's first wearable tech would be unveiled. Clearly, other journalists were as intrigued as I was— the Verge dispatched its top reporters to walk around the building, and photograph it, even from the back, where less intrepid journos dared not tread.
(I myself would have attended the event, but Apple's security is notoriously as lax for its events as it is for its iCloud, and I have a baker's dozen of top secret apps loaded up and locked down on my iMac which can't have being traded around like celeb nude pics, not with the kind of angel investment seed money I have pouring in right now, and I never leave home without my iMac, so.) I kept tabs at home, scanning the armada of live-blogs, each of which was doing more important and useful work than the last—this is the Future unfolding before our eyes, after all, let us not take it lightly. The most comprehensive had to be Engadget's Apple's iPhone and Wearables Event Liveblog!, sponsored by Verizon.
It was so comprehensive it was virtually indistinguishable from Apple's livestream—that's dedication.
But I digress. There's a new iPhone!!!! And it's as disruptive, innovative, and game-changing as you'd expect.
"Today we are launching the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone," Apple CEO Tim Cook said. "And I couldn't be more excited and more proud to show it to you now."
Neither could I. Here it is:
How do they make them so thin? So big? So sleek? These are the questions that only Apple can answer, and that's what makes Apple Apple. Somehow, after dropping that megabomb, the tech titan decided to step up the mystery and intrigue. The livestream upon which I was viewing the presentation cut out—Access Denied!
This was simply too hot for the world to see—whatever product they unveiled then was top secret, and I applaud the stream-scrambling move—what a way to build buzz. That's how you get to the top, folks. You may think I'm joking—but you don't get to be bigger than Exxon without a couple media blackouts.
When the stream kicked back in, there was someone speaking Chinese, echoing commentary after each of Tim Cook's remarks—likely providing the specifications on how each product would have to be built for the show's simulcast in Shenzen, where factory workers were no doubt as excited to learn how to make the gadgets by hand as we were to get our hands on them.
And here's the genius part—Apple has innovated a new way for us to do that, too: ApplePay.
"ApplePay will forever change the way all of us buy things," Tim Cook said, demonstrating how iPhones would now become giant credit cards, too. Gone are the hassle-ridden days of carting around a bulky, near-weightless plastic rectangle wherever we go—now all of our financial data will conveniently be stored on Apple's system, ready for whomever wants to use it. Convenience. Compensatory. Crushed. Apple has officially disrupted the wallet.
putting my life on hold today for the apple broadcast #AppleLive
— Chelsea Hodgeman (@chel_shea) September 9, 2014
And it has officially rerupted the watch. For every object Apple conveniently renders obsolete, it even more conveniently renders another obligatory. Leave it to Apple to take a dying, antiquated object, shrouded in pointlessness, and transform it into a deeply meaningful must-have.
I haven't worn a watch since eighth grade, when Samantha told me she'd go out on a date with me if I lent her my Casio, but then I did and she just dipped it into a glass of pink lemonade while her friends laughed and high-fived and laughed. But I will now. With its magnet-studded leather, sleek round interface, and magnet-studded leather, the Apple Watch is unlike any wrist-mounted object ever fastened onto someone's arm in the history of fastening objects onto people's arms.
Until now, the only problem with iPhones were that they were too big, and there was no easy way to keep them squarely in your view at all times as you moved around. Pockets? Can't see the screen. In your hand? A little cumbersome. With the Watch, you never have to miss a status update or new email or text message or Pin or Instragram ever again. This, ultimately, is the supreme benefit of the Watch, and why it will likely change the way we tell time and wrist-mount objects forever.
In this new world, this great frontier of interconnectedness, you have to be ready for every major disruption and every prospective connection. Things can and do happen all the time, at any time. And that's the thing about Time; whether we see it as our Father or scattered in the sands, time creates a web around all of us, a waterfall of potential, just waiting to be hacked into.
That's why I'll be snatching up an Apple Watch, and wrapping the future of time around my wrist.
Send your questions to ConsumerElectronicsMan@gmail.com. Gmail is still the best email provider, at least in terms of product service integration, if not storage, as Google's maintenance team claims the email record detailing patent applications for BookOFaces.com was either permanently deleted or never existed.