Last night, as Australia slept, Apple unveiled their latest and (they hope) greatest smartphones, a new Apple TV and the Apple Watch Series 3.
At the start of the year I had a prolonged tryst with the Series 2 Edition, and the functionality and utility were pretty compelling. The most surprising takeaway for me was how the Apple Watch, rather than adding another screen to my life, went a long way to freeing me from my at times intense love-hate relationship with screens. In particular, I noticed that my iPhone stayed in my pocket more and was no longer a fixture on the bedside table.
And while there’s quite the bevy of technical upgrades on the Series 3, the really crucial one is cellular connectivity. This is huge. You are no longer tethered to your phone. I can easily imagine (like this guy), a world where my phone is optional. I’ve currently got 115 apps installed on my phone – I would use 10 per cent of those with any regularity. My first iPhone was mostly for phone calls(!), messaging and Doodle Jump. These day’s it’s a hugely powerful work tool that is, sometimes, too much work. Work that’s always in my pocket. Amazing but intrusive.
To my mind, the latest Apple Watch offers an opportunity to prune the digital deadwood. Do you use your phone mostly for work? Why not leave it at the desk when you clock off? Is your phone your entertainment lifeline? Maybe leave it at home and boost your productivity. If you’ve ever, like me, harkened back to the simpler, pre-smart era of the Nokia 3310, Apple’s Series 3 offers a viable way to have your cake and eat it too. All the processing power and app-smartness you’re used to, but in a device that’s focused on the essentials.
I’m not saying that this little chunk of steel, sapphire and silicone is a panacea for all that ails society, or indeed a replacement for larger screens, but I do think the potential of the Series 3 extends a long way beyond lightening the load when you’re working out. Far more than adding yet another device to the roster, the Series 3 could go a long way to freeing us from the tyranny of the screen.
But you still have to charge it.
Apple Watch Series 3 Australian pricing and availability
The Apple Watch Series 3 will be available from September 22, with Telstra and Optus connectivity, with the cellular model starting at $559.