AH Tech Talk: Smartwatches and Why We Want to Buy Them

When Android Wear launched last summer, and developers got to start tinkering with the SDK, a whole new world for applications, functions, uses, and clever tricks opened up.  People who have an Android Wear watch would tell you it's a great tool to save yourself the trouble of pulling a phone out of your pocket, while many others would say that it's just another thing to charge at night.  Both camps are right though.

Though Android Wear has received a few software updates and battery improvements, the fact remains that a small screen is not good for as much as even a smaller-screen phone, while having to charge a watch, a daily and all-day tool for some, is a hassle that they shouldn't have to deal with.  Well, with Apple's own smartwatch having gotten the review process finished and posted all over the Internet, people have opinions about the idea of a smartwatch, especially when it comes to considering what makes one worth buying.  Business Insider posted a poll for its readers, asking what makes a smartwatch appealing, or what the main reason for even considering to purchase one.  And, as you might expect, it comes out rather landslided towards one choice.

So, of the five choices, and they seem to cover the gamut of what a smartwatch, Android or iOS, can do, people seem to think that messaging family and friends using your wrist isn't the best idea.  Similarly, given the small screen (and perhaps uncomfortable position you have to hold your arm at to see it) isn't ideal for navigation, according to voters.  People who already wear watches and would like and enjoy the added functionality camped at second, while the folks that, like mentioned before, don't want to pull their phone out of their pocket sat proudly on top.  A fair few others didn't feel their reason was represented, however.  But what does this mean for Android Wear, and the future of the smartwatch as a device?

It means that, if notifications are what people buy it for, then they'll get exactly what they paid for.  Messaging, which has been highly touted on both platforms (but specifically on Wear with a recent update allowing the sending of a Hangouts message instead of just a text) can be awkward, especially since talking to your watch, or Bluetooth headset if you have one paired.  And, although walking directions are the perfect use for wrist-mounted navigation, riding a bike and especially driving a car or similarly large vehicle is risky and possibly dangerous.  Fitness, however tempting of an option, might not be as accurate as using a dedicated step counter, calorie counter, or similar equipment or devices, but that's the best part of owning a smartwatch.

If you aren't buying it specifically for those reasons, then all those extra things it does kind of well will keep you using it, more than if the watch just gave you notifications.  What is your main reason for either wanting to get or actually buying a smartwatch?  Let us know down below.

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About the Author

Phil Bourget

Staff Writer
Using Android since 2012 and the Galaxy S III, I'm now running a Nexus 5 paired to a Moto 360 to keep updated on the Internet of stuff. Usually found on Google+ or in class.