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Android Headliner: Smartwatches And Wearables Are Best Suited For Notifications And Activity Tracking

November 30, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

With 2014 almost over, we’ve seen a good number of wearables and smartwatches get their release and we’re only bound to see even more with the coming year. There is a smartwatch or wearable piece of tech to fit just about anyone’s tastes and preferences, from functionality to size, and even color. While everyone may want their smartwatch or wearable to do different things, I still remain convinced that both smartwatches and wearables are best suited for accessing your notifications and tracking your activities. Not everyone will agree with me on this and that’s OK, but there are more than a few reasons why I believe this to be true though.

When we take a look at all the ways we can access the aspects of our connected lives, our smartphones tend to be the most used. That could be convenience or because they’re simply the most capable. They have the ability to connect to the web for browsing, reading emails, and even for watching videos, listening to music and playing games. With the wealth of apps available out there for most mobile platforms, you can even use a combination of apps for professional work purposes. Smartphones also have big enough screens and can make all of these tasks and functions more enjoyable. Sometimes though checking your smartphone just isn’t practical and that’s where a smartwatch or wearable can come in handy. If you have a series of notifications that just came through but you only have a few seconds to give them a glance, a smartwatch or wearable tracker/smartband can be much easier than pulling your smartphone out of your pocket. They’re great at this and it makes things quick and most of the time hands free as all you have to do is turn your wrist and look down at it.

A fair number of smartwatches though have the ability to actually complete some of the same functions as your smartphone, albeit on a much smaller screen, with less RAM and less computing power. To each their own, but playing games, reading and responding to emails and taking or making calls from a device worn on your wrist just doesn’t seem appealing or really all that practical. Think about the size of the smaller display, the battery with less capacity and the act of holding your wrist up to your face like a modern-day Dick Tracy any time you want to make or receive a phone call from your smartwatch. In the sense of convenience, sure, the smartwatch can be an ideal for a quick call if it’s for something simple, like to confirm the meeting time of a get together or what brand of milk to buy, especially if you aren’t able to reach for your phone. Long conversations though just don’t seem like something that would be enjoyable. It seems logical that your arm would get tired from holding it up in the position needed to use the phone call functionality. And what about call quality compared to your actual phone?

Typing up messages and emails, or playing games on the tiniest smart displays known to man? Forget about it. The thought of these features on tech like smartwatches and wearables is cool, but how often would the majority of people really use these features? Do you honestly want to want to spend 5 minutes typing up a response email to your boss on a 1-inch touch display with extremely small buttons on the keyboard? Probably not. In the end, smartwatches and wearables are extensions of our smartphones and tablets. They’re best used as enhancements to the user experience on those devices, like when you need to see real quick who just called you without reaching for your phone. Should the call be important and warrant a call back, reaching for your smartphone as soon as possible is not an impossible task. If you want to quickly glance at that message that just came in or track the amount of calories you’ve burnt throughout the day, wearables are great for this too. Despite being great at the act of interacting with our device notifications, OEM’s are still looking to pack as much as they can into these tiny wrist worn computers. Which ultimately would make them a bit more expensive. And how practical is it to spend possibly more on your smartwatch than you did for the contract pricing on your smartphone, just so you can take calls on it? Sometimes it’s best to keep things as simple as possible.