Will the Apple Watch eliminate iPhone distractions?

In today's Apple roundup: Is the Apple Watch more or less of a nuisance than the iPhone? Plus: Final Cut Pro X and the world record for skinny dipping. And will the next iPhone be called the iPhone 7?

The Apple Watch as a cure for iPhone distractions

Apple's iPhone has changed people's behavior over the years, and not necessarily in good ways. The iPhone has spawned some truly atrocious social behavior, with many people rudely using their phones constantly in social situations. Now Apple hopes that the Apple Watch will offer a more polite alternative to the iPhone.

David Pierce at Wired considers the Apple Watch as an iPhone killer in a detailed history of the watch's development:

Questions started coalescing around the idea of a watch: What could it add to people’s lives? What new things could you do with a device that you wear? Around this time, Ive began a deep investigation of horology, studying how reading the position of the sun evolved into clocks, which evolved into watches. Horology became an obsession. That obsession became a product.

Along the way, the Apple team landed upon the Watch’s raison d’être. It came down to this: Your phone is ruining your life. Like the rest of us, Ive, Lynch, Dye, and everyone at Apple are subject to the tyranny of the buzz—the constant checking, the long list of nagging notifications.

Our phones have become invasive. But what if you could engineer a reverse state of being? What if you could make a device that you wouldn’t—couldn’t—use for hours at a time? What if you could create a device that could filter out all the bullshit and instead only serve you truly important information? You could change modern life. And so after three-plus decades of building devices that grab and hold our attention—the longer the better—Apple has decided that the way forward is to fight back.

The business implications are important to Apple, of course, but the problem the Watch aims to solve is legitimately important outside of Cupertino. If the Watch is successful, it could impact our relationship with our devices. Technology distracts us from the things we should pay the most attention to—our friends, moments of awe, a smile from across the room. But maybe a technology can give those moments back. Whether Apple is the company to make that technology is the three-quarters-of-a-trillion-dollar-market-cap question.

More at Wired

Wired's article spawned a large discussion over on the Apple subreddit, and some redditors felt that they now understood what the Apple Watch is all about:

MasterOfEconomics: "This was a great read. Before reading this, I knew I wanted the watch, but wasn't sure what kind of role it would play in my life. This clears all of that up, and it makes complete sense."

Kiggsworthy: "This is simply the best article that has been written about Apple Watch, full stop. Read it immediately. Read it if you're already excited about the Watch. Especially read it if you're in the "but my phone already does that" camp...this article completely eliminated any fears/reservations I had about this product. Apple's design goals are so perfectly in sync with my desires for a quality wearable it makes me giddy."

Wheeze_the_juice: "People are so consumed with their devices throughout their entire day, even during important social interactions (dinners, meetings, social gatherings). The hunched posture with the glowing white faces need to stop. I have been in too many situations where a person I am meeting with would glue their face to their phone in the most inappropriate settings; I'd lose so much respect for them. Apparently people are so damn consumed with their social media that they simply do not know how to ignore a simple notification and be involved with the task at hand (whether it be work or play). I truly hope the Watch alleviates what I see as an epidemic."

Smackfu: "I doubt people will be any better about ignoring a simple notification if it's on their wrist."

Hot4_TeaCha: "I think the issue is more that the notification makes them pull out the phone, and then once the phone is out they get sucked into all the other stuff going on with it. I've been largely isolated from this, but it's mostly because I've put a lot of work into screening out things I'm not interested in. I delete apps that push too often, even if I find them useful."

Kiggsworthy: "You're so completely missing the point, lol. I ignore notifications on my phone already and I ignore them all the time. The problem is, the problem Apple Watch is going to solve, is that ignoring notifications on my phone takes effort! I have to go over to the table across the room I left my phone on and see what it was! I have to fish it out of my pocket! Etc. We are already all about ignoring notifications, the Watch simply makes the act of 'consume notification and ignore' effortless and a fraction of the time."

More at Reddit

Not everybody is jazzed up about the Apple Watch as a cure for distractions. Back in March the Cult of Mac site had an article that considered the Apple Watch to be a bigger distraction than the iPhone while driving:

One of the biggest selling points of the Apple Watch might be that it will free you from the attention-sucking clutches of your iPhone. A new study by the Transport Research Laboratory in Wokingham, UK, found that using your Apple Watch while driving is significantly more distracting that your iPhone 6.

Drivers with a smart watch took 2.52 seconds to react to an emergency maneuver, whereas someone talking to a passenger would react within 0.9 seconds. Smartphones reaction times averaged around 1.85 seconds.

To keep drivers less distracted, Apple Watch does come with an Airplane mode, but unless a driver starts flashing his heart beat at cop, it’ll be practically impossible to catch distracted Apple Watch drivers in the act.

More at Cult of Mac

Final Cut Pro X and the world record for skinny dipping

Apple's products have always been on the cutting edge, but a story about Final Cut Pro X takes it to...er...a whole new level. Matt Holder used Final Cut Pro X to cover the Skinny Dip World Record in Australia.

The FCP site has the story with details on how the event was covered:

Did we ever think that we would write a headline that included naked swimming and Final Cut Pro X? No we didn't, but this story from Matt Holder gave us the ideal opportunity to do exactly that. Essential reading if you shoot and edit quick turnaround edits for social media. An FCPX user story au naturel!

"I shoot and edit a lot of live events. Music festivals, surfing, windsurfing, stand up paddle events and adventure races. Usually they are for fast 48 hour turnaround edits to social media. These are a lot of fun to cover as the good vibes and excitement are usually infectious."

"I thought I would share with you some shooting and editing tips that help create all the building blocks for an engaging edit to leverage the client’s event. This February (2015) I covered the successful Skinny Dip World Record in Australia. I had covered the attempt last year which fell short by 60 skinny dippers so I had a pretty good idea what to expect."

"FCPX being the magical software that it is, makes the import and organisation process a doddle. Not having to build image sequences with my GH4 timelapses saves a lot of time. The GoPro time lapses need a little bit of love. I usually build and animate them in Motion as you can just point Motion at a file of folders and it will interpret them as a single image sequence."

"It goes without saying that Apple’s FCPX “synergising” with my iMac 27 inch makes the edit experience flow like butter allowing me to experiment with edits and be creative in a very organic fashion. Clunky timeline performance kills creative flow, but I am so stoked with my production pipeline from start to finish. Of course a Thunderbolt connected GRAID kills all hard drive speed excuses and allows me to work fast and turn around projects very quickly."

More at FCP

You can see Matt's final product in this YouTube video:

Force Touch and the iPhone 7

The possible addition of Force Touch to the next iteration of the iPhone may result in it being called the iPhone 7 instead of the iPhone 6S, according to a report by AppleInsider.

Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider:

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities issued a research note on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, in which he reaffirmed that Apple's next-generation iPhone will indeed feature Force Touch input. Currently available on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, the technology will also be featured in the 12-inch MacBook and Apple Watch.

According to Kuo, Force Touch on the iPhone will represent "the most significant change" to date in the iPhone user interface. In fact, the change will be so substantial that he believes Apple may decide to call the handset the "iPhone 7," rather than an "iPhone 6s."

He believes Apple will implement Force Touch on the next iPhone by using capacitive technology, and placing the sensor under the in-cell touch panel's backlight. Doing so will save space within the device, and will make it more easily transparent for use on an LCD, he said.

More at Apple Insider

Apple Insider readers expressed skepticism that Apple would leapfrog the iPhone 6s label and go right to iPhone 7:

Sog35: "No way they are calling a phone with the same shell as the iPhone 6 an iPhone 7.

Ascii: "He's usually right about hardware features. This could indeed be revolutionary depending on the level of imagination applied. And it seems likely to catch the competition off guard in the same way 64-bit did."

Gluben: "Why don't they just skip ahead to the proper generation number and call it the iPhone 9? It'll have an A9 chip after all..."

DamonF: "So does that mean then that the next phone is worthy to be called "iPhone 7" merely because of Force Touch? No. Why should it? Apple didn't call the iPhone 5s the "iPhone 6" just because they added TouchID to the home button (another UI change). Why should they skip the "6s" and go straight to 7 just for Force Touch?"

Suddenly Newton: "If Apple were shrewd, it would put ForceTouch into their Safari JavaScript interpreter, allowing websites to read Force Touch. That tail could wag the HTML5 dog in the future. Then Android and Windows will be forced to incorporate something similar in the future. Best case: Apple has a unique UX feature that no one else has. Worst case: Apple introduces a widely copied new UX concept that cements their lead and innovation reputation. So win-win for Apple."

More at AppleInsider Forum

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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