July 17, 2024
Apple made an enormous Apple Watch mistake 8 years in the past
Apple made an enormous Apple Watch mistake 8 years in the past
The Apple Watch Ultra with the Timex Waterbury Chronograph.
Timex Waterbury Chronograph (left) and Apple Watch Extremely Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

It’s virtually fall, which suggests it’s virtually new iPhone and Apple Watch season. Subsequent month, we’ll virtually actually see the iPhone 15 lineup, in addition to the Apple Watch Collection 9 and, presumably, an Apple Watch Extremely 2.

Nonetheless, in latest weeks, rumors have sprung up about an all-new Apple Watch X that would come out in 2024 or 2025. This may be a significant milestone for the Apple Watch product cycle, marking the tenth anniversary of Apple’s wearable. For 2023, we must always count on the Apple Watch Collection 9 to be pretty iterative compared.

One of many rumored options of a attainable Apple Watch X is a brand new, proprietary system for a way Apple Watch bands connect. Based on Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, one chance can be a magnetic band attachment system as an alternative of the present technique, the place bands slide into the chassis and lock in through a button mechanism.

Whereas a magnetic system sounds simpler and extra streamlined, it additionally highlights a giant flaw in Apple’s determination to make use of a proprietary band from the beginning.

Your Apple Watch bands are about to be ineffective

An Apple Watch Series 5 and an Apple Watch Ultra with an assortment of various Apple Watch bands.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Tendencies

The Apple Watch was first introduced in September 2014 and truly launched in April 2015. Apple’s smartwatch has been round for eight full years as of this writing.

I didn’t get my Apple Watch Collection 0 till a couple of months after the discharge, however in that point, I’ve acquired a decently sized assortment of varied bands, from Apple’s personal to varied third-party straps. Up till just lately, I’ve at all times gotten the smallest Apple Watch, the 38mm or 40mm dimension, so the overwhelming majority of my bands are designed to suit the small Apple Watches. However I’ve since upgraded to the Apple Watch Extremely, so these smaller bands are now not getting used.

Proper now, I’m within the strategy of rebuilding up my band assortment for my Apple Watch Extremely as a result of I like to combine up my band kinds and have choices to choose from. However since I heard in regards to the Apple Watch X presumably altering up the band attachment mechanism, I gained’t be shopping for as many bands now, as they’ll presumably be rendered ineffective in a couple of years.

MobyFox Hokusai Apple Watch band.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Tendencies

That is the issue with Apple adopting a proprietary band system all these years in the past when the primary Apple Watch launched. As soon as Apple decides to vary the system for attaching bands, then that massive assortment of watch bands you’ve collected through the years turns into ineffective.

I’m fairly certain that all of us noticed this coming. In spite of everything, Apple was utilizing the 30-pin connector for the iPhone for a number of years earlier than it jumped over to Lightning, and now we might be transferring to USB-C with the iPhone 15. It solely is sensible that Apple can be altering how the bands work on the Apple Watch in some unspecified time in the future. We didn’t know precisely when it could occur, however the chance has at all times been there.

If Apple is altering it to a magnetic system for a possible Apple Watch X, that might be the brand new customary for Apple Watches going ahead. And finally, no Apple Watch will use the outdated system, so what occurs to all of these outdated bands?

For an organization that desires to tout sustainability a lot, altering the band system and making these present bands ineffective is fairly contradictory.

Apple ought to have copied Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic, in black and silver.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

As a result of I used to be all-in on Apple merchandise for the previous decade or so, I by no means actually explored different choices till I began right here at Digital Tendencies. However since then, my eyes have been opened. A lot.

Take Samsung Galaxy Watches for instance. They don’t use proprietary bands in any respect. As an alternative, they merely use common 20mm watch straps, which is the best way that Apple ought to have gone as nicely.

Since Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and older fashions simply use customary watch straps, which means you have got a ton of strap choices that exist already, slightly than ready for a particular, proprietary model of a mode you want. And when you determine to cease utilizing the Galaxy Watch, these bands can nonetheless be used with conventional watches or one other smartwatch that makes use of customary straps. That is additionally true of smartwatches just like the TicWatch Professional 5, Garmin Forerunner 265, and others.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, and the new fabric strap.
New material Samsung watch strap Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

The one factor I don’t assume I like about customary straps is the truth that these tiny pins used to connect them to the lugs might be a ache to cope with, particularly when you wish to swap out bands lots. For that, Apple’s system is simpler, and much more so if it’s switching to a magnetic mechanism.

Nonetheless, I consider Apple tousled by not utilizing an ordinary watch strap system like Samsung and different firms. If Apple used the present customary, you might have used your favourite watch strap previous to the Apple Watch, and even when you switched to a distinct smartwatch, you might use your current straps.

Now that it’s rumored that Apple might be altering the strap attachment technique sooner or later, all of these present watch bands you’ve collected might be rendered out of date. The opportunity of a vastly upgraded Apple Watch expertise is thrilling, but when it comes at the price of years’ price of watch bands, that pleasure might be muted.

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