back to article watchOS 5 hints at new Apple wearables and life beyond the Watch

Features introduced in the latest version of Apple's wearable OS suggest Apple wants to produce more sophisticated small computing devices and avoid getting embroiled a straight fight with fitness trackers. That's a reasonable strategy, for the killer features of the Apple Watch so far have turned out to be not apps, not …

  1. lee harvey osmond

    "yes, they still make Teasmades"

    Go for the retro or vintage look, as the 'modern' one with the LCD analogue clockface has a blue backlight that is a b*stard if the unit is next to your bed (a pretty obvious deployment site for a teasmade, I'd say) and you're trying to sleep.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "yes, they still make Teasmades"

      Sticking blue LED lights on stuff just to make it look 'modern' is a prime example of shit product design. The base level of annoyance is further raised by the evident lack of consideration in its design. I'm not going to lay all the blame at the designers - they need time and respect from management in order to do a good job. Whilst Diester Rams is a very good designer ('Form Engineer' in his own words) he would have been able to operate without the culture his boss Mr Braun instilled in the company.

      Unfortunately the economics are such that spending time on thoughtful design can't always give a return. If you've owned a well designed Sony radio you might buy another - but this only works because there is a recognisable brand to associate with the quality, and a wide availablity of Sony stockists so you can actually buy one.

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Re: "yes, they still make Teasmades"

        I want one but can any kind soul tell me if the tea is any good?

        1. Ralph the Wonder Llama

          Re: "yes, they still make Teasmades"

          Machines cannot make tea properly, as the late, lamented DNA so eloquently described.

          1. Chris Miller

            Re: "yes, they still make Teasmades"

            Tea from 'coffee machines' is almost always ghastly, because they use ghastly 'leaf' with water that isn't boiling. But the operation of a Teasmade produces steam before the boiling water, which acts to warm the pot (good), so the quality of the tea is largely determined by the quality of the leaf being used.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: "yes, they still make Teasmades"

              Dissolved oxygen in the water is crucial for tea - that's why it's recommended to pour cold water into a kettle and then boil it. I suspect it's why tea tastes better from a pot than directly from a mug.

              Occasionally I'll brew tea in one mug and then pour it into another mug before adding milk and sugar. As a bonus, I then don't have to wait as long before drinking it.

              1. Paw Bokenfohr

                Re: "yes, they still make Teasmades"

                "Dissolved oxygen in the water is crucial for tea - that's why it's recommended to pour cold water into a kettle and then boil it"

                This isn't true. It's a well known and believed idea, and yes, there is less DO (dissolved oxygen) in *boiling* water (or water at any higher temperature than another sample of water) but the moment the temperature of the water starts to drop, the amount of DO increases.

                So water at (for example) 21° from a tap contains the same amount of DO as water that was boiled and has cooled to 21°. Yes, water at 5° has more DO than water at 21°, but as you boil that 5° water, its temperature goes up and the DO goes down so as it gets to 21°, it has the same DO as the once-boiled water at 21° has.

                In short, a myth - no matter how you slice, it, any like-for-like sample of water at a particular temperature has the same DO whether it started cold, warm, or has been boiled 5 times already.

        2. lee harvey osmond

          Re: "yes, they still make Teasmades"

          Technical issues.

          As per a fellow commentard's remarks, the water in the input tank won't be freshly drawn, it'll have been standing there for several hours. The tea or teabags in the teapot waiting for the arrival of boiling water will have been out of one's airtight tea caddy for a similar number of hours.

          In my experience, one has to either pour+strain (or remove teabags) as soon as boiling water delivery ends.

          Worst of all: milk. If one's aim is to have a machine make tea for you at your bedside, your choices are to do without milk, or to have a fridge next to the bed (impractical: tiny fridges are known for noise and appalling electrical efficiency), or to have individual pots of UHT, or ... to get out of bed and go to the kitchen fridge.

          The technology can be repurposed as it is essentially a self-puring kettle fused to an alarm clock. Load the teapot with instant coffee granules, fruit tea or what have you.

          My overall assessment is: overalls not required to operate your teasmade. The tea is more palatable than 'better than nothing', it is at least 'adequate', though not 'good'.

          1. PhilipN Silver badge

            Re: "yes, they still make Teasmades"

            Guess I’ll stick to the good old Brown Betty then.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cheapest option wins

    There's not really 20 watches though are there... there's one... which comes in two sizes (38/42mm), and with a case made of Aluminium, Steel or Ceramic, and then for any of those a range of strap options.

    Sure, if you multiple out the possibilities, and call that the watch, there's a lot, but the reality is it's one watch with a few options.

    My view is less about apple attracting people about wanting a sport watch, but two other factors. Firstly the high price, regardless of which materials you choose, it's expensive, and second by pricing differently per strap choice, making the cost of the strap almost entirely transparent.

    So for example when I bought my V2, I saw that a steel strap costs £150... I figured I didn't want to spend a) that much in total and b) certainly not £150 for a steel strap... and so bought the cheapest option, the sports band.

    As such I expect many buying the "sport" options are doing so as they're the cheapest.

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: cheapest option wins

      There are LOTS of third party straps out there at a fraction of the Apple prices, and you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference.

      You can even get adapters to convert a normal strap (the ones with the spring pins) into an Apple fit.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: cheapest option wins

      In the late 1960s, an Omega Chronostop was £19 with a convention steel bracelet, and £23 for the same watch with a steel mesh bracelet. Roughly, let's say that 20% extra, and say an equivilent watch would now be nearly a grand... it's in the same ballpark. That said, watch brand Skagen charge around £150 for a quartz watch with a mesh bracelet. Nice simple designs, shame they are unnecessarily large.

      In any case, I'm sure there's some forum online discussing the quality of 3rd party metal straps for Apple watch.

      1. Dexter

        Re: cheapest option wins

        Skagen large? They are very thin and light.

        I have a titanium one on now, and it's great to wear a watch you can hardly feel.

        Not a smart watch though, but I've never felt the need for one of those.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: cheapest option wins

          Skagen are thin and light, but they are still around today's near ubiquitous diameter of 42mm. Watches used to be around 38mm, which is all you need if the display is clear and uncluttered ( which Skagen are). Examples of 38mm watches include the afore mentioned Omega, Dieter Ram's watches for Braun, the similar looking quartz Seiko worn by Steve Jobs in the 80s and many a Timex.

          I like what Skagen do, which is why I'm frustrated they just go with the herd regarding watch size. I'm not anti big watches, I'm for variety.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: cheapest option wins

      And the steel version cost is obfuscated slightly by the fact it’s only sold in the Cellular form which is useless for non-EE users - amusingly the Apple store refers to a “growing” list of companies that has only ever contained EE.

      I‘ve been considering an upgrade from my 1st gen steel one - namely due to my wife owning the aluminium variety and the scratches on the case are far more obvious. Less talked about is the screen material “Ion-X” vs Sapphire crystal which again makes a difference.

  3. phil_4

    cheapest option wins

    There's not really 20 watches though are there... there's one... which comes in two sizes (38/42mm), and with a case made of Aluminium, Steel or Ceramic, and then for any of those a range of strap options.

    Sure, if you multiple out the possibilities, and call that the watch, there's a lot, but the reality is it's one watch with a few options.

    My view is less about apple attracting people about wanting a sport watch, but two other factors. Firstly the high price, regardless of which materials you choose, it's expensive, and second by pricing differently per strap choice, making the cost of the strap almost entirely transparent.

    So for example when I bought my V2, I saw that a steel strap costs £150... I figured I didn't want to spend a) that much in total and b) certainly not £150 for a steel strap... and so bought the cheapest option, the sports band.

    As such I expect many buying the "sport" options are doing so as they're the cheapest.

  4. Waseem Alkurdi

    HTML Support means that ....

    ... El Reg comments are going to render properly! ::rolleyes::

  5. applebyJedi

    Typical Apple

    Apple, as per usual, have removed much functionality from the Apple watch, many of the apps that used to run from the phone have been removed so that Apple can flog you a watch that works WITHOUT the phone. Many app developers have stopped developing for that reason.

    Here in blighty, you can only use this service on EE and it requires yet ANOTHER data subscription!

    I have the original apple watch and watchOS5 isn't supported on it.

    Sodding apple...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Typical Apple

      Don't blame Apple for most of those missing apps.

      You need to point the finger at the likes of Facebook etc who have decided that 'wearables' are a thing of the past and therefore not worth bothering with.

      However there is a niche market for wearables and Apple seem to have gotten most of it.

      Where this market goes next is anyones guess.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        @ Steve Davies 3 Re: Typical Apple

        I hardly think Apple have anything approaching 'most' of the wearables niche. With Garmin and FitBit belting them out like there's no tomorrow, and any number of manufacturers supporting Android and even (say it's not so) Tizen still chugging along, I think Apple's market share is likely to be on a par with its share of the phone market - tiny but very vocal.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: original apple watch

      my original apple watch face just fell off, dangled at the end of a tiny ribbon cable about 2 inches long!

      I could see a lot of empty space inside and a non swollen battery, as far as I could tell.

      After fighting a way through the support.apple.com/watch website, which was obviously designed to keep customers away, it eventually wanted about £150 upfront in repair security before they would post me an envelope and consider my claim.

      I instead booked at the nearest apple expert bar, went there happily and when they started to mention only two years warranty pay us about £150 upfront in repair security and we'll see what we can do - I countered with unmerchantable quality yada yada and the manager was called and agreed to a free investigation, then perhaps a free or perhaps a paid repair. The watch went to Breda in Holland, seemingly the only place that knows how to dissolve[*] the little glue strips that hold Series 0 and Series One together. (The waterproof Series Two & above use much better waterproof adhesive)

      two days later, the nice Dutch confirmed what I had said, and I was invited back for a replacement Series One watch, as the Zero's have all gone. I now have an original apple watch updated to a Series One, and I suppose I'll be able to run WatchOS5?

      [*] I supppose the first thing that Breda did was to check all the water indicators to prove/disprove that I didnt sweat or use in a swimming pool, as I kept it mostly dry - it was simply a failed adhesive.

      At no point was I ever asked my opinion as to why the face fell off, perhaps it is random - or perhaps it was casually related to me testing a pulsed four kilowatt array of CREE 72 volt CXB3590 CoB Light Emitting Diodes for the week before the facefell off. I was wearing PPE sunglasses of course, but the > 4 suns at contact, enormous buckets of photons from the massive light emitting surfaces might not have had any effect on my upgrade? they never asked!

  6. trevorde

    Killer app

    Killer app *has* to be pr0n (obviously on the other wrist)

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