The Verge has a nice summary of 11 ways the Apple Watch works and what developers may be able to do with it. I am getting an Apple Watch. It is a foregone conclusion. I upgraded my iPhone 4S to a 6 Plus because the 4S will not work with the Apple Watch. (I also wanted the bigger screen for my old man eyes.) But, I’m not getting the Watch because I’m an Apple fanboy per se. I don’t own a Mac and I love my Microsoft Surface Pro 2. It’s because I’ll be able to answer the damn phone with the Watch. If any of the Android watches or the Pebble Smartwatch had let me just answer the phone, I’d have switched back to Android last year.
I have Cerebral Palsy and holding any phone to my ear is possible but I have a good 30% chance of dropping the phone if I fail my Dex check. There’s a 45% chance I’ll accidentally cancel an incoming call as I grab my phone and 55% chance I’ll simply not get the phone wrangled in time to catch the call. Happens all the time. (No, I can’t show you the stats that produce the percentage chances above. Your brain would melt.)
For years, I have tried various straps and contraptions to attach a phone to my wrist. I’ve done it with flip phones and smart phones. It looked dorky, but it worked. However, the straps were invariably difficult for me to put on and they were uncomfortable. And, with a smart phone, I have to unstrap it to pick it up to take photos. With the Apple Watch, I’ll be able to answer the phone without fear of dropping the phone and the iPhone itself remains physical free for photos, etc.
There’s another benefit, although this one could be attained with one of the other smart watches on the market for Android or the Pebble. When I drive my modified van, my phone is not just my phone, as with most people and smartphones, it’s also my media center via bluetooth stereo playing music, feeding my podcast addiction, or one of dozens of audio books I’ve listened to on commutes over the years. But, I have to hold onto the phone as I transfer into my rotating powered driver’s seat from my scooter. While doing the transfer, I have to be careful so I do not drop the iPhone. I then place it in something secure to hold it. (I do not talk or text while driving. It’s dumb for everyone. Plus, I use hand controls.) Did I mention how often I fail my Dex checks? A phone connected to a wrist device means I can leave the phone in my scooter but still have it available for running my entertainment (while stopped at traffic lights/stop signs). If I can make calls from the Watch, then I have my phone on me in case of vehicle trouble.
Apple leads in mobile device accessibility to users with vision impairments and other issues. For example, Apple’s Voice Over screen reader blows Android’s Talkback away. I know they may not have intended it, but by making the Apple Watch able to answer the iPhone, Apple solved one of my personal accessibility hurdles I’ve been wanting to fix for almost a decade. Thanks, Apple.
And, I want to be this guy: