Smart Watch, Dumb Phone?

So, it seems Apple is finally ready to launch the iWatch – I am probably in the market for one, if for no other reason than the geek factor of it, though I can’t help but think that these things keep doing it ass-backwards.

How is it a “Smart” watch if it is nothing but a dumb accessory to the “Smart” phone. For it to be “Smart” it has to be the other way around. The watch has to be the phone, and the phone has to be the accessory, otherwise it’s just one more gadget I need to remember.

Done right, the Smart Watch is a communication hub with just enough functionality for me to be able to leave the increasingly large, clumsy, battery eating brick of a phone at home.

It should:

  1. Tell the time (wee 🙂 )
  2. Do phone calls
  3. Play music
  4. Check/browse e-mail
  5. Follow twitter and other social media updates
  6. Show my calendar
  7. Maybe even basic GPS / location tracking
  8. Possibly simple home automation
  9. (Oh, and the health thing, for those who find that useful 🙂 )

It does not require a massive CPU or GPU or a big screen but it has to have 3G and WiFi. When I want to play a game, browse the internet, write emails and need the screen real-estate, horsepower, or a semi-proper keyboard, I can turn my watch into a hotspot and connect my (3G-less) “phone” to it.

In fact, I’d probably just connect my laptop or my iPad to the watch and ditch the phone entirely. I don’t really need the phone – it’s a silly device – too small to be useful and too big to drag around all the time.

hipKey No.1 in AppleStore


The hipKey made a quick dash to the #1 spot in “app-enabled” accessories in the US Apple on-line store the other day.

Well done 🙂

On the downside, it seems a few customers are having stability issues which are almost certainly due to incomplete BT pairing – if initial pairing is not completed properly, iOS ends up in some weird limbo state where it will only stay connected for a few seconds at a time. Un-pairing and pairing again usually fixes it.

Another reported issue has been lack of iPad mini support, but an update which fixes this is due as soon as Apple approves it, so hang in there :). We were caught a bit off guard by the mini: Since there was no non-retina BLE enabled iOS devices before it came along, we only ever tested the app on retina devices, assuming it would just work on the mini. It didn’t.