After a long anticipated wait and a two week pre-order launch, Apple Watch was finally released on April 29th. I walked into an Apple store yesterday and was excited to see all of the Apply Watches on display. They were beautiful! See all models here.
After trying on a basic Apple Watch Sport, I was told that there were no watches available for purchase in store. Ordering an Apple Watch Sport ($349) might take weeks.
The most interesting feature to me was Apple Pay, powered by NFC (Near Field Communication). A rep was nice enough to show me the steps to set it up:
- Enable Bluetooth setting on my iPhone6.
- Click on the Apple Watch app icon on my iPhone6 and see the pairing screen as the picture shown below.
- Click on “Start Pairing” box.
- Hold Apple Watch up to the Camera and align it with the viewfinder as the picture shown below.
- When pairing is complete, you can use Apple Watch to perform Apple Pay.
- You have to have your iPhone with you.
There are three reasons you don’t want an Apple Watch
1. You have a Windows phone or an Android phone. Since Apple Watch only pairs with an iPhone, you can’t use your phone with it.
2. You have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s. Since Apple Watch only pairs with iPhone 6/6+/5/5c/5s, your iPhone is too old.
3. You only want a watch. Without carrying your iPhone, your Apple Watch won’t work.
It’s a bit odd to me to invent a wearable that depends on the existence of your mobile phone. However, when pairing with Apple Watch, iPhones 5/5c/5s obtain Apple Pay functionality. This significant feature has not been discussed much. NFC chips are embedded in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+, enabling in-app Apple Pay functionality in those phones, a feature not available on previously released models. If Apple Watch starts to be adopted, the addition of NFC functionality into iPhone 5/5c/5s would help mobile payment (Apple Pay) taking off.
If you wear a watch and carry an iPhone now, you might really like the convenience that Apple Watch provides; such as receiving messages/calls, checking maps and mobile payment, etc. If you are like me, always pulling out my iPhone to check the time, Apple Watch could make a great Mother’s day gift… even if it does come a bit belated.
About the Author:
Hsuan-hua Chang has over 20 years of experience in wireless technology, holding many corporate positions ranging from software engineer, technical architect to product marketing manager. She is the author of “Everyday NFC Second Edition: Near Field Communication Explained”