Windows Phone smartwatch, what does the future hold?
Some will argue that the one device missing from the Windows Phone ecosystem is a smartwatch. There are plenty alternatives out there but nothing that lends itself to the Modern UI of the Windows family.
Windows Phone Central member taymur has started this discussion in the WPCentral Forums suggesting we may see an announcement of a smartwatch from Nokia sooner than later. His hunch is based on the upcoming press conference from Nokia and the presser’s announcement graphics. The event tagged as “More” has a rotating set of symbols for the ‘O’ in More that includes a clock face.
We still expect to see the Nokia Lumia 630 and Lumia 930 announced at the press event, but our sources say no smartwatch will be on the table for Wednesday's event. Instead, look for something more towards September after Windows Phone 8.1 gets its first update. But what does the future hold for a Windows Phone smartwatch?
We do think a Windows Phone or Windows-based smartwatch is being researched by Microsoft and Nokia, but it's probably several months away from getting off the drawing table. The press event’s graphic could be a suggestion that Nokia is considering some app announcements, such as Fitbit or even Pebble. We know that such official apps are in the works as we speak, and Nokia may be finally revealing those come Wednesday.
While it would be nice to see a Windows Phone smartwatch later this year, does the Windows Phone eco-system need a smartwatch to be more successful? Personally, I wouldn’t mind a companion watch that would alert me of incoming calls, pending appointments and new emails.
Gather your thoughts and head on over to this WPCentral forums discussion and share your thoughts on the possibility of a Nokia or maybe even a Microsoft smartwatch becoming available. Want to follow more about smartwatches and the latest gossip on this growing new area of tech? Make sure you visit our sister site dedicated to the cause: Smartwatch Fans.
Photo credit: thegioididong.com
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.
By Jez Corden
Loosen the collar up a bit, dude..
Some of us like to be in a suite.
Serious concept NIST.. Just resist the urge please.
Haven't been wearing a watch for the past 20 years, is there anyone still using it. It's just so 1980... :P
Doesn't necessarily bad though. There might be a lot's of people who want this.
Not to say you need it, its just to say there are things that are unique to a smart watch that a phone can't replicate.
Sales are temporary but brand is permanent
As for Nokia, it's likely that the smartwatches they're producing will run Android Wear instead, since they're apparently being prepared by a team within the R&D division, division that will remain with Nokia and therefore have no obligation towards Microsoft anymore. And Android Wear will allow them to reach a wider market.
We'll have to wait and see. I don't like wearing watches so I have no intention of buying any smartwatch. Unless Nokia makes one. In which case I'd buy it though I'd probably not use it often.
Actual smartphone manufacturers see no need to develop such a thing. No one wants to rely just on a watch to make calls, reply to texts and browse the internet. The small I terrace is too limiting.
Does it need the watch to be relevant? Absolutely yes.
Yes I'd also like it to work like a Fitbit as well.
The joy of having a smartphone is that it is perfectly small enough to fit in a pocket, while being large enough to do a lot of different things with a minimal need for accessories. The smart phone itself has replaced many things including watches, GPS units, MP3 players, portable game systems, radios, and in some cases computers and laptops. In the last 3 years I have paired down from over a dozen electronics devices, each with their own batteries, power cords, and data cables, down to just having a phone, a PC, and a rarely used netbook. And I am not alone in this transition. The trend in general is to have the least number of items that can do everything that you need to do.
The idea of adding yet another device to my ecosystem right now is ridiculous. And what am I going to really use it for? Just about every time my phone makes a noise I need to interact with my phone. Sure I can see the message on a watch, but I cannot respond to it. Sure I can see that someone is calling, but I still need a headset or to pull out my phone to answer the call. They are not about to cram a decent camera into something watch-sized, and even if they did, the wrist is a horrible camera mounting point for taking pictures. One of my friends has a pebble, and uses it as a way to silence his phone quickly. Neat trick, but most cases where you need to silence your phone that fast, even the little noise it makes will have already caused a disturbance, and setting the phone to vibrate would still be the better option. I understand manufacturers needing more things to produce. The smartphone revolution has people buying far fewer items every year than they bought before the revolution; and with the stiff competition out there, manufacturers are not seeing the same high margins that they use to. They need something to be the next big thing... but what they misunderstand is that 'wearables' are not it. Yes, there is a market for them... just not a mass market. The next big thing that is being entirely ignored is 'smart home' or 'connected' technology. To be able to have my HVAC and lights controlled by my phone would be awesome. To have monitors/TVs that could tether to my phone and use my phone to serve up content (or stream content from my home server or cloud service) would be much better than having a 'smart' TV (talk about failures in technology...). My stove and microwave do not need a UI anymore; imagine a cooking app that had recipes and when you got to the part about preheating the oven at 350*f then you touch it and it starts preheating the oven for you, that would be slick! Rather than allowing car manufacturers to make a UI for their vehicles (they had their chance and have all failed), lets have a secure standard and a proper mounting spot for our devices so that we can bring our own device and UI so that when a car last 10+ years we are not still stuck with horrible 10 year old hardware and software controlling our vehicles. In other words, replacing the smart phone with yet another device is not the right answer. Making all of our commonly used devices accessories to our smartphones is the way of the future. Eventually the tech will be small enough to fit inside of a watch... the issue is not that technology cannot get small enough, it is that we as humans are too large to make proper use of such a small interface. I had to live with a Lumia 520 for a few weeks, and as admirable of a $60 phone as it is, that is too small for me to use on a regular basis, so how is something smaller than that going to be useful? In a future where we all have some form of cochlear implants in place of headsets, or embedded screens in our eyes in place of screens, and can control devices with thought instead of with touch inputs, then we can talk about watches replacing phones. But I suspect that once we get to that point (probably much sooner than we imagine) there will be embedded options which will still make watches a poor form factor.