Why does the Apple Watch — or any other smartwatch, for that matter — exist? It’s a question many of us have been asking and now it looks like Wired has found the definitive answer: Apple made the Apple Watch to help solve problems created by its own smartphones.
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In a lengthy profile about the creation of the Apple Watch, Wired reveals that Apple started designing its first smartwatch before it even knew what the device would be good for. Along the way they came to the conclusion that the Apple Watch could be used to better handle notifications than smartphones and thus free you from having to spend so much time every day unlocking your phone and dismissing useless alerts that pop up whenever someone favorites a tweet.
“We’re so connected, kind of ever-presently, with technology now,” Apple’s Kevin Lynch tells Wired. “People are carrying their phones with them and looking at the screen so much… People want that level of engagement. But how do we provide it in a way that’s a little more human, a little more in the moment when you’re with somebody?”
The key was speed. Interactions on the Apple Watch were designed to last no more than 5 seconds at a time. This meant Apple had to come up with software that could contextualize your notifications and give you faster ways to respond. So for example, if someone sends you a text that has a simple “yes” or “no” answer, Apple will suggest that you either respond “yes” or “no” instead of forcing you to type your answer out.
This is only one of the ways that Apple designed the Apple Watch around freeing you from your iPhone. To read more, check out Wired’s full piece yourself by clicking here.