A total letup: The Apple Watch Series 4


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It’s almost a full week after Apple’s event and the Macalope still hasn’t dug out from the pile of goofball predictions made before it.

Writing for Inverse, Mike Brown said the “Apple Watch Series 4 Leaks Indicate That a Messy Letdown Is in Store.” (Tip o’ the antlers 5cat.)

Yeah that whole freaking electrocardiogram in a smartwatch was such a letdown, wasn’t it?

What was it that tipped Brown off to the letdownening that most certainly happened?

…a leaked product shot has already indicated that Apple still isn’t sure what to do when giving a user extra screen space on their wrist.

More information? Who wants that?

Rather than make tough choices about what to do with the (admittedly small) amount of real estate, the company seems to have thrown in everything but the kitchen sink.

You, a stupid: The new Watch has more screen space so they should add some more information to it.

Me, a superbrain: No, they should remove information from it.

Uh, yeah. OK.

Despite some skepticism at the outset, the humble smartwatch has gradually secured its position as a core Apple product.

Despite everyone screaming that wearables were the new big thing and that Apple was desperately behind and needed to ship one immediately and then claiming the Apple Watch was a flop and then it going on to become the best selling watch period. Despite that, yes.

The Apple Watch has offered information on its screen since day one.

Checks out.

Of course, you could say that about any watch since… you know… the first one.

This new watch face is an avalanche of information, flinging absolutely everything possible at the screen in a bid to create something useful.

Brown isn’t the only one who seems to dislike the watch face that Apple is adding to the Series 4. But a lot of people also really seem to like it. There is no accounting for taste.

The image seems to contain a staggering nine complications…

Apple says it’s eight but if eight or nine is too many for you then you probably don’t want this mechanical watch which was not made by the Heinz company but still has a whopping 57 complications. Apple didn’t exactly invent putting a lot of complications on a watch.

The new design is overwhelmingly dense with details.

Eight pieces of information?! Who am I, Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan?! Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Data?! Some other pop culture brainy character reference?!

Worst of all, especially for a wrist-worn accessory, it’s ugly.

Again, agree to disagree. As someone who prefers the Modular face, The Macalope loves it. If the color scheme is too garish, Apple showed in the keynote that it can be customized to tone it down, just like the Modular face can.

The problem is that the new face, while likely optional, seems to solve the wrong questions about the watch.

They’re all optional. There was no way Apple was going to make a particular watch face mandatory on the Series 4.

It’s already easy enough to slide through different watch faces from the edge of the screen, meaning users could set up multiple faces with alternative complications if they wanted to quickly access information.

Oh, you mean instead of just raising your wrist you could raise your wrist and then swipe for more information?! That sounds so much better than just raising your wrist.

The main question is why someone would wear the watch and commit themselves to charging an extra gadget every night…

Yes, the very onerous five second task you have to do once a day. Why would anyone do that? Like charging a smartphone. Who needs that crap? Best to rely on tried-and-tested rotary dial.

…and adding more information doesn’t solve that problem.

More information never solved any problems.

Except, perhaps, just maybe, when it’s health information. The Macalope will agree that Apple either hadn’t yet figured out the Watch story or wasn’t yet ready to reveal it when the device launched. But the killer feature for the Watch is clearly health. When Apple called it “its most personal device ever,” maybe it wasn’t talking about sending your heartbeat to a loved one (a feature, The Macalope imagines, no one uses), maybe it was more about sending it to a doctor. Apple added ECG and may add blood sugar level in an upcoming Watch. Pretty soon this device will be providing all kinds of information that could either save your life or improve the quality of it.

…few will argue that holdouts will be lured in by a watch that seems to offer a mess of confusing features.

Anyone who watched the keynote and came away with that needs a watch complication that will examine their head. The very obvious mistake Brown made was assuming that this watch face was all Apple was going to announce, when instead it was a brief addition to an amazing update. For this furry observer, the Watch part of Apple’s September announcements was the most significant. So much for the letdown.

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