Scots in no rush to get their hands on Apple Watch

Douglas Smith from Giffnock was the first through the door to try the Apple Watch in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
Douglas Smith from Giffnock was the first through the door to try the Apple Watch in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
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IF APPLE is about to revolutionise the wristwatch, Scots have hardly been rushing to get their hands on one.

In contrast to the overnight queuing that has accompanied iPhone launches, only a handful of would-be buyers were waiting to try the Apple Watch in Glasgow as it was unveiled to the public.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to answer your phone on your watch if you grew up watching Star Trek, where everyone was talking into their wrist”

Karyn Rogerson

But many of those taking the first opportunity to order the device from the city’s Apple Store – two weeks before it goes on sale – were already firm fans.

For housewife Karyn Rogerson, 42, it was all about reliving her childhood. She said: “It’s pretty cool to be able to answer your phone on your watch if you grew up watching Star Trek, where everyone was talking into their wrist.”

Supermarket manager Stuart Campbell, 30, said: “It looks amazing, smaller than I thought it would be, with a great finish.”

The “Apple aficionado” also liked the handiness of being notified of texts and e-mails, with his only concern being the watch’s “unknown” battery life.

He said: “Is it going to last all day – 12-14 hours? It may depend on how much I use it.”

Surprisingly light, the Apple Watch has just two buttons in addition to its touch screen, the larger one reminiscent of an old-style winder.

But it has so many apps and features that wearers who already constantly check their iPhone might find themselves unable to look away from it. For those with more self-control, the watch remains in stand-by mode until it automatically “comes alive” when wearers lift their arm.

Such wearable technology has other potential downsides, with the watch giving owners an electronic tap on the wrist every time a new message or alert is received. That could lead to over-excitable users soon irritating their friends by being able to “tap” them for the sake of it, send an image of their heartbeat or an instantly scribbled doodle.

Even Apple staff said: “It takes a bit of getting used to.”

Other features include a fitness app which checks blood pressure and distance travelled and issues reminders to the sedentary to stand up and move about.

Contactless payment – which will be available on watches in the US – may follow.

The watches will be available from 24 April, but the online Apple Store yesterday was quoting delivery dates in June.

Apart from its price tag, of £300 to £13,500 ( that’s for gold-cased models), the watch’s appeal could be limited by having to be used in conjunction with a relatively new iPhone and operating system.

That will make the device, in some respects, a kind of iPhone remote control – such as for taking calls and dictating texts.

But it could also come in handy for selecting music, scanning boarding passes and setting up camera shots.

Apple said there were no plans for a standalone watch that could be used without being linked to an iPhone.

However, some shoppers thought it would still become a “must have”. Cameron Knight, 14, from Bearsden, said: “There’s not much reason to have one but they are very desirable.”

USEFUL APPS

MAPS: Shows walking route to destination, giving a tap on the left of the watch to turn left, and right for right.

MUSIC: Select and listen to tracks from your iPhone library via Bluetooth (wireless) headphones.

PASSBOOK: Stores boarding passes, tickets and loyalty cards ready to be scanned. Alerts you when time to be used.

CAMERA REMOTE: The watch becomes a viewfinder for selfies or group shots, sets the timer or takes the photo.

IRRITATING APPS?

DIGITAL TOUCH: Send an electronic “tap” to another Apple Watch wearer, a hand-drawn sketch, or your heartbeat - measured by putting two fingers on the touch screen.

ACTIVITY: Displays minutes of brisk activity, calories burned and how often you have stood up to take a break from sitting - with reminders issued hourly.

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