Over the past few weeks, I’ve been giving thought to what a real iWatch would, and should, look like. It’s tough to think about, given the myriad of functions that could go into it, and trying to whittle that down to just a few that actually would be feasible on such a small screen. This is what I’ve come up with.
- Siri. The biggest feature of the watch would have to be Siri integration. It would connect to an iPhone or iPad, and use that device’s Internet connection to process Siri requests. It would be much better if it could interpret basic requests right on the device, like creating a reminder or replying to an iMessage. I still don’t quite understand why those actions require an Internet connection. In any case, Siri integration would be really great. As part of this it would also have to have on-device support for dictation. I can see that as the only really feasible way to do text input on that device. A keyboard would be way too small, but I feel like dictation could work well.
- Notification Center. Like the Pebble, the iWatch would most definitely have to have integration with notification center from iPhone and possibly iPad. Any notifications that came in should show up on the iWatch, and be clearable from there. Not all of them would be actionable, but they should be clearable. Clearing them from the iWatch should remove them from NC on the iPhone. They also would have to work no matter what, unlike the Pebble’s. I’d imagine that Apple would be able to pull this off with their own software and private libraries that they have access to.
- iMessage and SMS Integration This is crucial. I would have to be able to create, read, and reply to iMessages and SMS messages on the watch. Messages would be composed with dictation, and would send using the iPhone’s internet connection.
- Extensibility. Going sort of with Notification Center integration is the ability for developers to write apps to run on the watch. I don’t mean games or anything with high power. I mean that if an app on an iPhone receives a notification, like Facebook Messenger, and that notification gets pushed to the iWatch, then one should be able to reply to that message from the watch itself. Apps like that would make a lot of sense to me on the watch.
- iPod Nano-Style Watch Faces. This is an iWatch, let’s not forget. The watch faces on the Nano are wonderful, and I would love to see them on the iWatch itself. It would be neat if anyone could make custom watch faces too. That would be really cool.
- A Reasonable Price Point. This goes without saying, I think. If Apple does release an iWatch, the price would have to be reasonable. I feel like not many consumers would be willing to buy a $300 or $400 watch. $200, maybe. Sure, the loyal Apple community will buy it at that high price, but most consumers aren’t going to shell out that kind of money for an iWatch, when they could just buy a Nano and a wristband.
I could be wrong in my ideas. These are just some things that I would like to see, and that I think would make sense to have in an iWatch.
Arthur Rosa is an engineering manager based in Sunnyvale, California.