Xeni on Rachel Maddow Show on Apple Watch


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You can put me down as in the “Nope, don’t want, know I don’t want, and won’t get one” camp.


No, I really don’t want the Apple watch. Seriously.

I also don’t want something that is literally attached to me from a company that clearly has been heavily utilized by law-breaking spy agencies. I wish you didn’t want that either.


If Xeni is really saying “you want the Apple watch whether you know it or not”, then perhaps Rachel should have had Anna Kendrick on instead.


You want the Apple Watch whether you know it or not

I know I don’t want it. (below copied from my post here)

I was excited when the iPod was released. At the time, I was sitting there with a relatively expensive, crappy mp3 player and saw right away the advantages of the iPod.

This watch? Just doesn’t seem as revolutionary in its approach to me because it’s tethered to an iPhone. If Apple had figured out some revolutionary way to power a tiny watch that was self-sufficient and didn’t require an iPhone in my pocket, I’d be much more enthused about it.

Overall, I’m much more excited about the direction Apple is going with their new, even larger trackpads with Force Touch, pressure sensitive writing, (pressure sensitive photo editing?), etc.

I already use a MacBook Pro’s trackpad to do a lot of stuff in Photoshop (this mockup below, for example, I used my trackpad for all the editing with my fingers) and would love to be able to also use it more like a Wacom tablet on my laptop.

Of course, if Apple did THIS below with the MacBook’s trackpad, I’d shit bricks. See my mockup below:

Hi-res LCD under the trackpad’s glass. Allows one to pinch and zoom either in unison or even the option to do it independently of the Photoshop image you’re editing on your main screen. Utilizes pressure sensitive capabilities with optional stylus or just use your finger. It’s basically a built-in Wacom tablet and trackpad simultaneously.

A photographer’s portable dream studio and great for other things as well including zooming in on spreadsheets, etc. and could even also serve as a little, secondary display for notes, email alerts, notification center, etc., etc. – The options would be endless, really. See another idea below:

Instead of this, we get a watch that’s tethered to an iPhone. I expect bold stuff like I’m showing in my mockups above from a company like Apple. Not this tepid, limited watch.

In other words, what I’m saying is I should replace Tim Cook. Hire me now, Apple. I’ll work for peanuts.


“Your Video is Loading…” I am getting bored “Your Video is Loading…” Still? Really “Your Video is L…” No it isn’t, I’m off to read the comments.


I see right through Tim Cook’s droning, forced starry eyed sales pitch and I find it offensive in a way. The apple = magic shtick was getting old years ago. Also… you can see the weather? I can tell you what the weather in San Francisco is right now without my phone, and I’m thousands of miles away lol!

On the other hand, Xeni’s enthusiasm was refreshing and the points she made were thoughtful, great job!

So anyway, I don’t need to send tiny pictures to anyone, I don’t need to send my heart rate to anyone, I don’t need more devices to charge daily, and I already have a notification manager- I call it my “pocket”. Of course, I’m also 43 so I’m completely out of the “thing” market, and now my targeted marketing is life insurance and reliable automobiles and my hobbies include being confused by the younger generations, so what do I know.


there is more than one app that lets you use an ipod touch, ipad, or iphone as a pointing device.

Didn’t work the way I wanted it to, but I haven’t checked em out in a few years.

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As the owner of a Pebble, I’m not sure anyone wants an Apple Watch.

Some folks are going to attack my Pebble saying it’s ugly, some may say they prefer its looks. In real life, it gets a compliment a month (on average) - people do notice it, and I end up having to explain it. Those who notice it are usually impressed and positive about it.

But I think most people won’t want an Apple watch because Apple have tried to do too much.

The biggest problem will be battery life. I use my Pebble for notifications and Runkeeper integration. Runkeeper is the big battery drain - I run three times a week for half an hour to an hour and that takes about 10% of the battery life due to the constant communication involved. (Updates sent over Bluetooth LE every second, for those wondering.)
Even with this occasional heavy usage, the battery still lasts me over five days.

Apple’s tried to cram too much functionality in to their watch, and I doubt that if I went running first thing in the morning with an Apple Watch that I’d still have a functional watch by evening - maybe even lunchtime. Because that poor battery life is being used on dumb features.

Who the hell really needs their calendar on their wrist? There are two types of people in the world - those whose calendars contain at best an occasional social engagement or doctor’s appointments - and those who are in meetings all day, every day, all over the place. For the former, a calendar on their wrist is a vast, empty wilderness on their wrist. For the latter, their wrist is too damned small for their calendar. And having their next appointment advertised in their current meeting might not always be a smart move. If those shakers and movers with busy calendars need help with them, they should do what everyone else does - get a PA. Because the Apple watch can’t be called by other people to check on your calendar and put an appointment in it…

What else can I put on an Apple watch? Oh, the weather. Because buildings don’t have windows, and when you’re outside don’t you find you’re always just too busy to look up?

Stock ticker. Really? You really need to see stock valuations all the time? I’m not sure you need a watch, but I am sure you need some kind of therapy.

Health monitoring is a nice idea. I had a Jawbone UP once, and that was useful. I can get the Pebble to monitor my activity via apps, but it drains the battery too much. I’ve stopped doing it.
Sharing my heart rate? That’s between me an my cardiologist, thank you. Prompting me to get up and walk every hour? That’ll go down well in many offices… Much of the health stuff seems well intentioned, but can’t have been tested on anyone outside of Apple!

Oh, but there’s one thing I could do with an Apple Watch that my Pebble can’t - answer phone calls. Because talking to my wrist is just what I’ve always wanted to do. I don’t use voice activated technologies like Siri or Google Now because I feel it’s rude to others, and I try to avoid using my phone too much in public for similar reasons.

My experience with my Pebble has shown me that keeping it simple is best. It gives the best battery life, and other uses for a watch are gimmicks at best. This isn’t about implementation - form very much defines function here.
Speaking of form, that seems to be the only thing Apple did right with their watch - aesthetics are very personal, so lots of choice is probably a good move.

I’ve tried most of the things that Apple says their watch can do to improve my life. The Pebble is quite expandable. These improvements were actually pointless distractions that wasted battery life which was better used on the point of a smartwatch - notifications and occasional “second screen” usage.

The hype might make many people want this watch at first. But after a week or so of being told to frequently recharge it, I suspect that the reality will be most people will want a quick eBay sale, or spare charging stations…

I could be wrong. But when I talk to other people about how I use my watch - and how I could use it - I get the impression that even my mild use is something of a novelty, barely worth the hundred bucks. Apple’s asking a lot more for that novelty.

I wonder if in the future we’ll look back at this as the point at which Apple over-stretched themselves and let simplicity fall by the wayside in their designs, to the detriment of the product. It looks that way to me right now.


there is more than one app that lets you use an ipod touch, ipad, or iphone as a pointing device.

Indeed, I also use my Android tablets, Android phones (along with an old iPhone) with my Mac as well in that limited capacity. However, there’s no pressure sensitivity unless you use a somewhat expensive, specialized stylus (no fingers for pressure, for example).

There’s the Adobe app, etc. but they’re very limited.

Didn’t work the way I wanted it to

Right, they don’t have the practicality, convenience and specialized functions as my mockup would have, in my opinion.

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i don’t know. i also have a pebble; i also don’t like bothering other people with sounds and stuff from my phone. which is why i used to miss calls and texts all the time, with my phone in my back pocket and the ringer silenced. sometimes couldn’t feel the phone’s vibration motor.

wearing the pebble changed all that. never missed a call, or an important text, and more importantly, stopped pulling my phone out of my pocket all the time.

recently the vibration motor in my pebble died, leaving me sad. pebble offered me a refurb unit for $20 off but assuming they don’t go thru the same process as apple refurb devices (they disclaim that the screen may be scratched, which means they don’t replace the case), i decided to pass - who wants someone else’s scuzzy watch that they’ve been wearing for a year?

i hate to reward them for this, but i signed up for a pebble time, figuring it’s familiar and less expensive than the apple watch.

anyway, i guess my point is just having notifications on your wrist is definitely worth wearing a watch for.


Great to see you up here in SF!
As an Kickstarter funder of the Pebble watch, I recived one very early and love it. But in the last week or so Pebble came out with a new watch offered on Kickstarter , and there in lies the rub. Why did Pebble not offer us first supporters first dibs on the new watch? 10 minutes after the online Kickstarter offering the first low price sold out!
So I decided to wait for Apple watch.
Here is my question to you, in your opinion what is the best Apple watch for the money? $350 to $10000 is a big range to choose from, was there a sweet spot?
I am sold on the smart watch, and hope to upgrade this year.
Cheers, and keep up the good work!

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Can we build-in a licensed Nintendo DS emulator?


I want a smart watch to do some very specific things. The apple watch and most others don’t do it.

phone-less GPS
phone-less media player with bluetooth
the time, I guess
hrm and daily step monitoring would be nice
not need charging more often than every five days, depending on how much I use the first two things.

When I’m out being active, I don’t want or need my phone on me. I’ve found the best device is a junky old POS flip phone with a media player - even without service on it I can call 911, it’s light(ish) and it plays music. The GPS is really unnecessary.

Honestly, my life is not so connected that I need text/email/social notifications on my wrist - I already get those on my phone, which is in my pocket less often than it’s in my hand…

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I’m guessing you may have an ad blocker installed.

I think this looks like the dumbest piece of shit this side of Google Glass, and would like to predict it will be a huge failure and signal the fall of the empire.

However I bet you dollars for doughnuts its a huge success and a massive new revenue stream for Apple for years to come, because it turns out I am crap at predicting this sort of thing.

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But, what better way to lull them?

That was around OS8, I think.

They can afford a failure. Remember the Newton? It was as failure, aside from everything it inspired.

Overall though, super well said! I say that at least Apple has some vision, and in 10 years it will be a fake thumbnail instead of a watch. Who knows who will make it. Apple will probably still exist then because they have more money than God.

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Estimated value of the Vatican: $10-12 Billion
Peak value of Apple: $700 Billion.

Makes sense.


As usual, the Daily Mash’s coverage is the best:

Here are the facts:

  • Looks shit.
  • Available in a $10k version that comes with an app for murdering rival oligarchs.