Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on August 9th, 2015

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Why as a VP of Business Development for a software development firm I chose to jump on the Apple Watch bandwagon.

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Apple Watch. Yep, I caved. And only a little over a month after I said here that I thought the watch was geared towards men and a bit masculine. Yes, I switched gears pretty quickly. Let's discuss why shall we?

Well, I admit Dave was interested first, and being the fanboy that he is, as well as an Apple Developer, he got on the bandwagon first. I was skeptical at first and was pleased with my fashion watch and current sports fitness wearable, the Fitbit Charge HR. Admittedly, being Apple Developers, and having clients inquire about Watch development, I needed to get a better feel and understanding of the watch in order to do my job and promote our development services. Relying on Dave's usage and reviews were not enough. I needed to wear it, experience it, have it readily available for client meetings and presentations, I had to put my mind behind it to see where SYDCON could take Watch app development.

So, after whining and being wishy-washy on what Watch style suited my personality and needs as well as my role as VP of Business Development & Marketing I went with the middle of the road "Watch" and chose what Apple calls "Pink Modern Buckle".  Looking at it online I was conflicted. Finding a feminine watch that I could wear to meetings and functions was not easy viewing them online. And mind you I have no issues shopping online. But this was a item I need to see to appreciate. Now, I went with Dave when he got his, but at the time was not interested so I didn't really look past what he was considering. When we entered the Apple Store and I saw the two styles I was considering in person and actually put it on, I immediately changed my stance that it was geared towards men. Yep, you heard me I was wrong, I am back-tracking, removing foot from mouth.  When I put on the 38mm Pink Modern Buckle I was hooked. It was sleek, and feminine and just the right size for my very small wrist and a big plus it DOES NOT look pink! It was light weight as well.  Now, I explained being a sucker for the fashion of it, let's take a look at my needs and usage, shall we?

1. App development and SYDCON services. Being Apple Developers (as of last week on of our apps was a Top Paid iPad App), we are always tinkering in the new beta's Apple makes available to familiarize ourselves with the latest and greatest to offer our clients current, cutting edge development services.  Having first hand knowledge of functionality allows us to better consult our clients on pros and cons of developing something on the platform. I believe the Apple Watch has enormous potential on many levels, health, fitness, productivity and more. My role is to figure out how we can develop more options for our clients, as well as for SYDCON.

2. Fitness tracking. I started out with a Polar FT4 a few years ago. While it served its purpose I grew tired of the chest strap. So, I moved onto a Fitbit Charge HR. At first I was pleased until I started noticing it was flakey.  Between monitoring the app and the device itself I noticed that it was missing a lot of my steps and for tracking runs it was way off in the distance when compared to using apps like Nike + Running or Map My Run. In the week I have had the Apple Watch I can say that the GPS is on target with Nike +. I also enjoy the daily goals. I do need to be reminded at times to stand up from my desk. So far, I have hit all of my goals 5 out of 7 days. For the record, the Modern Buckle band is not intended for fitness use, so I did get an accompanying sports band.

3.Device management. Being a busy owner and a Mom means that I have to multi-task and that I do have to monitor my devices in case my kids need me. Often times my iPhone 6 Plus is stowed in my bag because being a woman, I rarely am sporting an outfit that has pockets large enough for it to fit in (and I knew that when I chose it). In meetings, I keep it on the table, sound off just in case. Well, now I can stow it and quickly check my wrist if a notification comes in.  I can answer office concerns or kids issues in a few swipes of my finger without being disruptive. I have not yet set specific notifications for the kids or office/clients. But it is on my list this week. This way I know if I need to check or not.

4. Research. I am currently actively exploring app development ideas for the SYDCON brand. While also considering how the device can benefit our clients. Is a watch app something they should consider? Having clients in varying industries it depends on their needs. As I mentioned I see health care and productivity being an area where the device will take off. We have clients in health care and any of our clients and our office as well can always benefit from productivity enhancements. I tend to see things differently than the programmers here. I see apps from a user standpoint as well as a sales standpoint. Would someone buy it and why? Would the app serve a purpose?

5. Office health motivation. Here at SYDCON, we recently started a Fitbit Challenge. Our office is filled with programmers who stereotypically spend a lot of time sitting at their desk during the day and often times on computers at home. We wanted to encourage them to be more active and fit. We have a monthly step challenge. Any employee who logs 250,000 steps a month gets entered into a drawing for a gift card. Now, Dave and I cannot win, but we can certainly participate in motivation and friendly competition. Now, I realize I switched from Fitbit to Apple Watch (so did Dave), but we are utilizing the Fitbit mobile to keep track of our steps so our employees can also see our progress. In doing this, we are seeing that it appears the Apple Watch is far superior to the Fitbit. Stay tuned as Dave plans to do an experiment comparing the devices soon (yeah is odd that way, it's the programmer in him he has to see which is right). Don't worry, I plan to follow him around and document it for a blog....perhaps even with some video so you can see how he plans to tackle this!

On a whole, the device so far is a companion to my iPhone, just as I anticipated it to be. I love that it frees my hands from my phone. I feel as though I can be more present in events and meetings. I do not have to rely on my phone to be connected, I can do so by a quick flick of my wrist. Watch OS2 is promising more interaction for 3rd party developers. Soon we will have access directly to the accelerometer, microphone, and speaker. Once developers have access to developing apps that run directly on the Watch versus on the phone and sent via Bluetooth to the device it will open up many doors for enhanced development ideas and I think available apps will surge and we will start to see a glimmer of what the Apple Watch potential is. I am for one am interested to see where it takes us. Do you have a Apple Watch? What do you use it for, what are you favorite apps? What is your hope for its potential advancement?