Wearables Right or Wrong? Android Wear has an app problem

PCWorld | Jul 17, 2014

In Episode 9 of his weekly video show, Jon Phillips take on the dearth of solid Android Wear apps, Wall Street's iWatch reaction, and the likelihood of smartwatches killing activity trackers.

Wearables Right or Wrong? Android Wear has an app problem.
That’s right.

So, sure, Android Wear is still a very young platform, but these smartwatches need better apps, and less crapware, as quickly as possible. If you browse the curated apps on Google Play, you won’t see must-have downloads like Twitter or Facebook, or anything that really sinks its teeth into location awareness like, say, a walking tour app.

Meanwhile, if you run a search for Android Wear in the Play store, it brings up a ton of apps that are literally crap. There’s also a bunch of calculator apps, which completely miss the point. You don’t need a calculator because Android Wear can solve math problems with voice commands!

OK, I know better apps are coming. But they need to arrive quickly to prove out the bigger, greater, totally metaphysical Android Wear promise.

Wearables Right or Wrong? It’s premature for Morgan Stanley to project Apple will sell more than 30 million iWatches in the first year.
That’s wrong.

So Morgan Stanley, the big financial firm, just issued a memo that included the iWatch in its projections for Apple’s stock price. In a nutshell, they created a model that says 30 million iWatches sold at 300 bucks a piece will generate 9 billion dollars in extra revenue.

Now this is exactly the kind of news that infuriates Apple nerds because they don’t like anyone talking about Apple products that haven’t actually been announced. But here’s the deal: There’s serious mounting evidence that an Apple wearable is coming, and the craven, capitalist market watchers who care about this kind of thing want to know what Wall Street thinks about it.

The bottom line is that Morgan Stanley is just doing its job. Apple nerds should be less concerned that Wall Street is daring to believe in the iWatch, and more concerned about Morgan Stanley’s vested interests in Apple’s stock price.

Wearables Right or Wrong? Smartwatches will get so popular, they’ll kill activity trackers once and for all
That’s wrong.

Hey, I’m beginning to finally like smartwatches. I like the two Android Wear models, but I am not compelled to give up activity trackers any time soon.

This mostly comes down to sleep tracking. Smartwatches are bulky and have bad battery life, so you really aren’t expected to wear them to bed at night. The Android Wear watches don’t even come with sleep tracking software, so that immediately keeps me interested in the Jawbone UP, because sleep tracking is my favorite feature.

Also, I’ve found most smartwatches generate inaccurate step counts. They treat activity tracking as an afterthought, and that’s bad news if you obsessively quantify your self. So, no, smartwatches won’t kill activity trackers. But activity trackers, like all wearables, need to make a much more compelling case to people who don’t care jack about bio data.