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Is This The Apple Watch Killer App?

The Apple Watch is different from other wrist watches and it’s best described as an extension of an iPhone. If nothing else, just being a remote viewer of iPhone generated activity is a remarkable feat. When you add that it keeps you from reaching into your pocket or purse countless times per day, then its usefulness factor starts to rise.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 8.06.37 AM

Photo: Apple

Granted, whether you opt for the 42mm or 38mm model, it’s a small screen, but like other Apple products, it just works and the information displayed on the screen is basic, but in most cases, well thought out and useful. The setup process is fairly painless and takes around half an hour. Understanding that in real life it’s not unusual to hold a watch closer to your eyes than an iPhone the small screen is clear is not that difficult to see even the smallest displayed items.


Glances are a big thing with this product and like an analog watch with multiple complications, in most cases the Apple Watch operating system allows to you quickly view various tidbits of data. Depending on how you choose to layout the watch face, the information may be already on the watch face (home screen) or a simple tap or slide or two away.

Add to the standard features a microphone, voice recognition and control (Siri) and there’s a lot of potential in this first generation product and because it’s Apple, surely more useful and fun features are just around the corner.

But like any new technology, there needs to be a killer app to motivate potential buyers to take the leap of faith in purchasing this product. Because the user has some level of control of the data displayed on the watch face, surely this is one of those products where the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and the killer app will be different depending on who’s wearing it. Back in the 90’s when users were considering the purchase of a first computer, killer apps that motivated purchases were programs that simplified tasks such as word processing, balancing your checkbook or using online services and entering the world of email. For this watch to be successful the killer app needs to add something special to our already complicated tech lives.

I’ll step out on a limb and say that for the Apple Watch the killer app is Apple Pay. I say this as in this day and age of credit card and identity theft, Apple Pay appears to be the safest and simplest method available of conducting credit card transactions.

Apple Pay Stores

Photo: Wired

However, I’ve only had the opportunity to try Apple Pay a few times as while there’s a long list of well known retailers and restaurants who have committed to this service, it seems that implementing Apple Pay at the point of sale will take some time. When I had the opportunity to use Apple Pay, the clerks behind the counter seems to be ill trained when asked a basic question such as, “how do I do this?”

Here’s how Apple’s website describes the process:

Pay with your Apple Watch:

  1. Double-click the side button.
  2. You’ll see your default card. To change cards, swipe left or right. 
  3. Hold the face of your Apple Watch within a few centimeters of the contactless reader.
  4. Make sure that you hold your Apple Watch near the reader until you feel a gentle pulse and hear a tone. That’s how you know that your payment information was sent.

While you can use Apple Pay with a newer iPhone, it’s much more convenient to do it with an Apple Watch. Why? Because there’s no reaching in a pocket or a purse as the device is already on your wrist. Because the Apple Pay system utilizes single-use transaction numbers and not your actual credit card number, even if the transaction is somehow compromised, since your credit card number is not revealed, it’s the best way I’ve found yet to conduct a secure transaction.

Yeah, it’s time we think differently.



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