Tim Green: "The Apple iWatch will have no minute hand or numbers." | Mobile Entertainment

Tim Green: "The Apple iWatch will have no minute hand or numbers."

Tim Green:
Tim Green


General / February 14th 2013 at 1:45PM

Apple's iWatch will be so beautiful you'll want to cry. And it will keep time faultlessly by running out of power at exactly 4pm.

When I was a child I remember watching a charming animated film about hedgehogs.

Scientists were worried at how many of the little beasts were being run over, so they genetically engineered larger ones. Over time, they needed to make hedgehogs bigger and bigger, until eventually the spiny mammals were six foot tall and a danger to humans.

By this point, cars had begun using hover technology that made them glide one foot above the road. The scientists decided they needed to engineer hedgehogs that were, well, about their original size…

And so we come to Apple's much-rumoured new iWatch.

Lazy journalists like me are very fond of trotting out the observation that phones have cannibalised watches, with their stinky straps and their pathetic tiny faces (the watches, not the journalists).

Thanks to smartphones, no one wears stupid watches any more apart from Roger Federer.

But now it appears that Apple has had this amazing idea. What if, instead of the hassle of reaching into your pocket to get out your iPhone every five minutes, you had some kind of wrist-based device that could perform simple functions and alerts?

You could even tell the time with it.

I'm excited to see how this whole iWatch thing might pan out. Here's how I think it could go.

First Apple will prepare the way for iWatch by suing anyone who infringes their IP. Its lawyers will go aggressively after the BBC's SpringWatch programme, and Bill Oddie will spend the whole of 2014 in a high security Californian penal institution.

When iWatch ships, it will come in a beautiful box that is the work of 27 packaging engineers. The lid will sigh as you remove it.

You will take out the smooth and curved glass product (no physical buttons) and notice that the screen is blank. This is because your iWatch will not tell the time until you have registered and synced it with your iTunes account.

But be warned, iWatch will only sync with the the latest versions of MacOS. If your computer needs an upgrade you can buy one for £89. If your Mac is too old to support Mountain Lion you can buy a new laptop from just £699.

OK, so you've upgraded and synced. You are now ready to start telling the time!

The first thing you'll notice is that the iWatch doesn't have a minute hand.

Or numbers.

This is because minute hands and numbers are ugly and disrupt the majestic sweep of the hour hand. In time, you get used to it, like the Apple mouse without a right click or the phone with no removable battery.

Next step is to attach the strap. However, there isn't one. The good news is that you can buy a colourful magnetic strap at the Apple store for just £39.99.

This is an excellent investment, and will last you six months, after which time the iWatch 2 will come with a new connector that will not support the old strap. However, you will be able to buy an adaptor for £29.99.

The iWatch will work splendidly via Bluetooth with your other iOS devices. It will ping when you get a call, text or email. You can use it to control your music.

However, there may be some teething problems with telling the time. Be careful not to touch it on the left hand side or it may switch to local time in Peru.

Of course, some irrational consumers will object to the beauty and exclusivity of the iWatch. They'll look for alternatives that are more open and customisable. And ugly-looking.

Good news, Google and Microsoft are waiting in the wings.

The first Android watches will arrive in 2014. They'll be OK looking at cheap. But they will also be attacked by malware, and the time will get fucked up. All over the world Galaxy S-Watch users will turn up for meetings at 3am.

Then Microsoft will re-enter the market (I say re-enter because MS already tried to kickstart the sector with SPOT watches, just as it was first into tablets. Oh, the tragedy of Microsoft).

The first M-Watch will be octagonal and half an inch thick. Its face will be blank and you will need a software licence to download compatible hands.

Occasionally, someone will ask you if you have the time and you will reply: "It's just coming up to 404 Error."

In the years to come, the market will mature and people will buy multiple devices using multiple smart watches. And rather like remote controls today, we'll find these devices piling up. And how we'll laugh as Granddad tries to turn on the Mozilla fridge with his Bada watch.

What a twat.

This is just scratching the surface of the social changes smart watches could bring.

She: "Why do you keep looking at your watch when I'm talking to you? Are you in a hurry?"

He: "No, I think you're great. In fact, I was actually trying to find naked pictures of you on Facebook."