VodkaPundit

Give in to Temptation

APPLE WATCH

I had to laugh when I read this 9to5Mac headline:

Opinion: Does watchOS 2 make it time for ‘first-generation refuseniks’ to jump on board?

Because I knew the answer before I read the headline.

Like a lot of gadget freaks, I watched Apple’s WWDC Keynote on Monday, and came away with four takeaways. Here are the first three:

• Concentrating the OS X “El Capitan” upgrade on performance and stability will make this for me the most welcome upgrade since Snow Leopard. Operating systems collect cruft and idiosyncrasies over time, and spending the occasional upgrade cycle fixing those is a smart move. There will still be new features, but this won’t be another massive “Mavericks” or “Tiger” release — and that’s a good thing.

• iOS 9 is easily Apple’s most open mobile OS yet, although it remains to be seen if that’s wise or not. A device small enough to fit in your pocket has to “just work” all the time, no exceptions. I love poking under the hood of my desktop workstation in exactly the way I never want to have to poke under the hood of my iPhone. iOS 8 opened things up a bit — and so far, so good.

• Apple Music looks like the streaming service which Cupertino should have introduced three years ago. Apple really got caught with its pants down by the shift from downloads to streaming, and it’s impossible to predict if it’s too late for them to catch up. That said, it’s exciting to see them put “the human element” back in charge of playlist programing. Computers took most of the joy out of listening to the radio (which is why I quit listening) and took all of the joy out of being a disc jockey (which is why I left the business). If nothing else, let’s hope Apple wins on that front and forces an industry-wide change back to people.

My fourth takeaway was taken away right out of my wallet.

The WWDC preview of watchOS 2 due this fall removed any doubts I had about the first-generation’s usefulness. Developers get to write native apps which don’t rely on a paired iPhone, and the also get access to the watch’s many sensors and its deepest functions. That move indicates that watchOS 2 has many of the same power-saving functions as iOS 9, which was undoubtedly the primary concern behind the previous restrictions on where apps could run and how much they could do. Like any digital device, the first-gen has a lot of compromises — but now they’re compromises I can live with.

By the end of the keynote I’d launched the Apple Store and put in an order for the smaller version of the stainless steel model. If I’m wrong about the battery life, I can always exchange it for the bigger Watch with its bigger battery.

Originally scheduled to arrive late next week, Apple bumped the delivery to this afternoon. Give me a week to put it through its paces and I’ll do a full writeup.

But yeah, now I’m “that guy.” Again.

If you were a “refusenik” like me, the new features and shortened delivery times might make this the right time to buy.

EXIT QUESTION: Who had the under on “middle of June?”