The new Apple Watch is being lauded as a breakthrough in mobile, wearable technology. And while it has a lot of things going for it, the device begs a lot of questions, too. Is the watch suited for use in the enterprise? Or is it just a fun, personal device for consumers? Where Apple is concerned, that’s never an easy question.
Ostensibly, the original iPhone wasn’t intended to make in-roads into the corporate world and yet it nonetheless did — in a big way. Today, Apple’s iOS commands over 60% of the enterprise mobile market. So there’s little doubt that people will use the Watch for business, regardless of Apple’s intent.
Mobile tech has come a long way.
Historically, enterprise mobile devices haven’t been the most desirable or useable devices in the world. Their user experience often labored under the tyranny of low expectations and legacy applications. The Apple iPhone (and now Watch) wisely avoided most of these problems by starting with a clean sheet (although the Watch’s square shape feels needlessly held over from the iPod/iPad/iPhone).
Unfortunately, the ‘clean sheet’ approach isn’t really an option for most enterprises that aren’t also device manufacturers. To appease employees who want on-the-go access to enterprise data, developers and designers have to make the most of existing devices and operating systems to give users everything they want and need. Too often, however, mobile UIs that try to replicate the function and feel of desktop applications usually come up short on both.
Mobile is more about the experience.
A good mobile UI is no easy task, so we can really appreciate what Apple has done with their watch’s tiny hardware and screen. Likewise, our own tibbr Mobile app does a pretty good job (we think) of fully utilizing each device’s hardware capabilities, operating system, and available screen space, to disseminate useful, relevant information without needing to read a user’s manual.
Unfortunately, a lot of the Apple Watch’s features have limited use to the Enterprise crowd — Send someone your own heartbeat! The Watch does, however, have two features that many business people will find indispensable:
- The ability to not get caught using your phone when you’re supposed to be paying attention in meetings, and
- The ability to quickly silence your phone before people realize you have a Taylor Swift ringtone.
So there’s that.
Let us know what you think about the Apple Watch.
Are you going to buy the Apple Watch? How do you intend to use it for work? What features do you think will be most helpful on the job? Let us know in the comments section below…