1 Week with the Apple Watch

by GameHouse

In this episode of App Marketing Conversations; Ryan Morel, Robi Ganguly and Ian Sefferman discuss the initial use cases of the Apple Watch, what app marketers can do better, and whether Robi will put his Android Wear back on.

Watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

Ryan Morel: Good morning. Welcome to another edition of App Marketing Conversations. As always, I am joined by Robi Ganguly of Apptentive, Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ by Tune. So today, we’re gonna talk about the Apple Watch and the fact that I got one, which is very exciting, so yeah, apparently, we’re just gonna sit here and you guys are gonna ska me questions about my experience with it so far, and being the center of attention is always kind of fun. It’s like the only time in my life I get to be the center of attention.

Robi Ganguly: That’s what having kids does.

Ryan Morel: Exactly. So I’ll start off by saying I’ve had the watch for almost two weeks. It sounds like your experience with Android Wear was the same. I kind of just didn’t want to wear a watch because I haven’t been wearing one for so long, but after I kind of got over that initial trepidation, I’ve continued to find use cases, maybe not on an every day basis, but on an every otherish day basis. So I think the real test, at least for me, is whether or not I’ll still find value in wearing it six months from now. You lost your value of your Android Wear, obviously. So actually, maybe we can start by you talking about what you thought was wrong with Android Wear and what the opportunities are from wearables in general.

Robi Ganguly: Right. Yeah, I did. I mean, my main problem, the thing that made it hard for me to wear it day in and day out was the battery charging cycle. The fact that I had to charge it everyday just meant, when I started traveling, it was a real pain, and being at home, it’s fine, but once you start traveling and it starts dying, if you’re not wearing a watch everyday, it’s very easy to not wear a watch at all. That’s what was true for me. And there was so many nice things that I did kind of enjoy about it and I wanted to work, like being able to be like “Oh, that text message just came through. It’s not that important. Oh, that’s an e-mail I have to get to.” That stuff is useful, but because the battery life was so crappy, I just didn’t wear it everyday and now I’m out of the habit, and I think, to get back in the habit, I have to go through that first week of weirdness again.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: So how’s the battery life on that for you?

Ryan Morel: So for me, it’s been good. I have charged it every night, so for me, that’s not an issue, because when I did wear a watch, I would take my watch off at night anyway, and it’s been usually between 60 and 75% battery life every night, and I put it on around 6:30ish in the morning, take it off around 10, 10:30ish, so that’s pretty good. So that’s why they said 18 hours, and clearly, maybe I just don’t use it all that much. But the battery life has not been an issue for me so far.

Ian Sefferman: Okay. How many times a day are you actually, like, engaged with it?

Ryan Morel: That’s a really good question. Probably 20ish.

Robi Ganguly: It’d be interesting if it told you, cuz it could now, right?

Ian Sefferman: Really, yeah.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: I mean, I’m sure Apple’s getting that data.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: So I find that, like, this part is good, because, like, I just turn it, it shows up and tells me the time and then it goes back.

Robi Ganguly: Does it ever not do it? Do you ever go like this: “Oh, come on!”

Ryan Morel: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I end up shaking up my

Robi Ganguly: I hate that; that’s so frustrating.

Ryan Morel: It is a little frustrating and it’s a little bit slow, but I think, at least for me, one of the real values of it was to get me to stop, like . . .

Robi Ganguly: Pulling your phone out?

Ryan Morel: . . . just getting sucked into the phone all the time, and so that, like, two-second glance of kind of the information I need to know has been great to keep me out of my phone and checking e-mail and all the other things that you do on your phone.

Robi Ganguly: Right.

Ian Sefferman: So going into it, I heard conflicting reviews, or I read conflicting reviews. So one side of the equation was “I’m not looking at my phone anymore, so I don’t look as rude. I just do this really fast.” The other side of the equation was “I’m doing this all the time, and people are like “Wow. That guy really doesn’t want to be here and he wants to leave.”” What have you found?

Ryan Morel: So I have felt that myself, right, where I’m like “Oh, god, I just looked at my watch again and they think I wanna get out of here,” but I don’t know how you solve for that, right? Like, I don’t really have an answer other than I think that’s better than somebody pulling out their phone and sitting there going “Uh-huh,” like, am I gonna look through this? At least that’s my experience.

Robi Ganguly: But in most cultures, that is a signal to people that’s like “Hey, I gotta go,” like “You guys gotta speed up.” And then all of a sudden, you have this device that’s asking you to do that.

Ian Sefferman: Yep. It’s like “Get me out of here.” Yeah, yeah.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: It’ll be interesting if that’s true five years now, like, will that signal still hold or just will this be totally normal.

Ryan Morel: Well, I think one of the interesting things that they did is that the notifications change based on what type of incoming notification it is. Like, for text messages, it’s like a really almost imperceptible touch of, like, my . . . And I barely notice it. And then it’s like “Oh, I got a text message. I don’t need to check that right now.”

Ian Sefferman: Interesting.

Ryan Morel: Right? Where, if it’s a phone call, it’s like you really can tell, right?

Robi Ganguly: So that, like, discrete sort of signal and the differences between them actually does matter?

Ryan Morel: Yeah, it does, cuz I know I go “Oh, I don’t need to check this. It’s just a text message.” A phone call, you would check your phone anyway.

Ian Sefferman: That’s funny, cuz for me it’s opposite. If I get a text, I’m like “That’s really important.” If I get a phone call, I’m like “Nobody calls me. That’s gotta be a sales guy. Like, go away.”

Robi Ganguly: Can you customize the way that they notify you? Or is it set?

Ryan Morel: It is customizable . . .

Robi Ganguly: Okay.

Ryan Morel: . . . but I mean, there’s limits to how much you can customize.

Robi Ganguly: Right.

Ian Sefferman: Right.

Ryan Morel: I still haven’t quite figured out how to get it to stop, like, making a sound when I hit my stand goal for the day. Like, I don’t need this sound, right?

Robi Ganguly: “Ding! You’ve stood for two hours.” That’s funny.

Ryan Morel: Yeah, so one of the things that I think is an interesting opportunity is the contextual notifications that maybe aren’t possible with the phone, at least on a large-scale basis, and I frankly don’t think they’re doing a very good job of it right now. So, like, I was driving the other day, and I got the notification that I reached my stand goal, which is kind of strange, because I was driving and not standing, but it was a really good example of when not to send a notification, because I’m clearly moving and notifying me of something is bad.

Ian Sefferman: Right.

Robi Ganguly: Right, right. And to notify you, like, of something so trivial.

Ryan Morel: Yeah, exactly. Like, it’s not a 9-1-1.

Robi Ganguly: Right.

Ryan Morel: I think I don’t need to know this. So I mean, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for them to improve upon things based on movement that you couldn’t necessarily do cuz your phone might not be with you or on you or whatever it is.

Robi Ganguly: That’s weird.

Ian Sefferman: Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but, like, where we had Google Now integrated into it, right . . .

Robi Ganguly: Yes, that’s right.

Ian Sefferman: And yours has nothing like that, so like, on yours, was it basically like “Hey, it’s time to go for this appointment,” or like “It’s time to leave now because there’s traffic.” Did that automatically notify you?

Robi Ganguly: Yeah, no, it would definitely show me a leave-now-meeting sort of indicator, and then even do a tappable map that sometimes actually got the directions going and sometimes didn’t. It wasn’t always accurate or taking the right action. And then also – this I found real benefit in – because Google Now has these cards that start to be prescriptive and then started to guess that I was a Seattle Mariners fan, that I was a Seahawks fan, when games were on or coming up, it would start to actually put those cards at the top, so I’d be like “Oh, there’s the Mariners’ score,” so that was actually pretty cool.

Ryan Morel: That’s cool.

Ian Sefferman: And does the Apple Watch have anything like that yet? Cuz you said Siri was getting better.

Ryan Morel: Siri is getting better. Siri is better than the watch than it is on the phone, in my view, even though it’s using the iPhone. Just from a user experience perspective, it’s pretty good.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah, so I imagine that stuff is coming, right?

Ryan Morel: It’s coming.

Ian Sefferman: I would think they’d fold that into Siri in some way.

Ryan Morel: At some point, yeah. So I think that, probably, the equivalent is not quite as good, a long way from being as good as the glances and how quickly you can interact with things, but it certainly does not learn and it should be doing that.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: Right, right, yeah, but that’s also a function of, like, the Google Now system and their app, and there’s Google Now for iOS, so we could imagine seeing that on the watch sometime soon.

Ryan Morel: Yeah. Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah, that’s true.

Robi Ganguly: Let’s talk about the apps, the non-Apple apps.

Ryan Morel: So it’s hard for me to get excited about the non-Apple apps, simply because I think there are people . . . And I don’t think this is the fault of marketers or developers. I think it’s the fault of not having a watch . . .

Robi Ganguly: To test on.

Ryan Morel: . . . to test on, right? Like, one of the benefits of having the iPhone come out a year before the app store was that people got to play with it for a year and, like, really think about how they should be using it, and this, you didn’t have that opportunity, so I mean, like, I have the Evernote app. I’m like “I’m never gonna take a note.” Maybe I’ll take down something, but that’s about it, right? There’s just a lot of things that are totally useless, in my view, and frankly, can be annoying.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah. Right.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah, yep.

Ryan Morel: But I would say six months from now, we’ll have a better view about whether marketers and developers really understand how to take advantage of the watch as a compliment to your iPhone app, not a distraction from it.

Robi Ganguly: Right.

Ian Sefferman: Do you think there’s an opportunity for a gaming platform on that?

Ryan Morel: I think so. So we were talking a little bit off-camera about LifeLine and kind of the text-based stuff. I think that’s interesting. I think, like, little, small mini-games could be interesting, like Slots, where you just tap it and you get one play; something social could be interesting, like – I don’t know – related to your heartbeat or whatever it is, and you could tap something and it’ll go and send something to you and you would have to do something really quickly.

Ian Sefferman: Yep.

Ryan Morel: Like, those sorts of games might be interesting, but not  sit and play Candy Crush, for example. I’m just picking on that . . .

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: . . . like, that type of game mechanic is gonna be hard. What do you think? Do you have an opinion?

Ian Sefferman: So I might be even more pessimistic than you on sort of current structure games, but I think there are greenfield opportunities that we haven’t even thought of yet that will be interesting.

Ryan Morel: Yeah, yeah. What do you think?

Robi Ganguly: I mean, I think the different interface lends itself to a lot of game styles that haven’t made a ton of sense with a phone, and definitely didn’t make sense for consoles and PCs, and I think the notion, like with My Planet, you know, there’s this story unfolding and you’re a part of it, and it can change, depending on where you are, and this can actually be part of your interaction. I would imagine that’s a direction that people are gonna be able to innovate around. And there’s this game, I think it’s called Ingress – is that what it is? – that is pretty popular on Android phones, and it’s about going to certain places and checking in and, like, holding spots with your team, and the people who play that just adore it. They spend so much time with it. It’s incredible. And I wonder if we’re gonna see things like that with watch games.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: You know, like, as we were talking about games, the one thing that stuck in my head was Tamagotchis. Do you remember the actual Tamagotchi device?

Robi Ganguly: Oh, yeah, right.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: It was, like, approximately that size, right?

Robi Ganguly: Oh, yeah, totally.

Ian Sefferman: That could be an interesting type of experience, right?

Robi Ganguly: You could be like “Oh, I just fed it.”

Ian Sefferman: Yep.

Robi Ganguly: “Oh, oh, it’s hungry!”

Ian Sefferman: Yep.


Ryan Morel: Yeah, and I think that, already, some of those are already coming out . . .

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: . . . and I think that makes a ton of sense, right?

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: Cuz you don’t need, like, the full experience on the phone.

Robi Ganguly: So next week, we’ll get a full-blown review of the top 10, Tamagotchi apps

Ryan Morel: It’s gonna be weird.

Robi Ganguly: It’d be awesome. You’re like “Well, hold on.”

Ryan Morel: Yeah. Well, there’s too many places to go with that. Okay, so yeah, we’ll keep talking about this. Maybe we can get you back on your Android Wear and compare them

Robi Ganguly: You know what? I think I’m gonna try and charge that and then get connected and give myself another couple of weeks so maybe we can play back and forth.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: I’ll start looking for games, too. I don’t know if they’re . . . I’m sure there must be. I just haven’t looked into it.


Ryan Morel: Yeah. Cool. Okay, well, thanks for watching. Make sure to like this video, subscribe to the channel and check out the other segments.


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