Lab’s First Impression: Apple Watch

According to the estimation of shipping tracking company Slice Intelligence, only 22% out of the 1.7 million ordered Apple Watches were shipped this past weekend. Luckily, the Lab received several of our pre-orders on Friday, so some Lab members got to try it on over the weekend. Here are their first impressions:

Adam Simon, Head of Strategy
“The watch immediately became a security blanket for me — it allowed me to not check my phone so often, and not even worry as much about where it might be at any given moment. After taking a hard look at my notifications and paring them down to just the essentials, I now know that anything that taps my wrist is actually important. I’ve been wearing it from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep, with no battery issues at all. Just like the first iPhone was a bit like cultural training wheels for having a computer in our pockets, I think the Watch will wind up being training wheels for having computers on our bodies.”

Scott Varland, Creative Director
“It’s as wonderful and as imperfect as the first iPhone on launch day. It fulfills the basic promise of extending the iOS experience and it succeeds in making its owner feel ‘naked’ without one after using it for a few days. It is not an essential device, but I have no doubt that many iPhone owners will covet one the same way they do a nice case. For all of the new problems smart phones have created (read: peak distraction), this helps solve some by taking the anxiety away. Not having to run for my phone each time it beeps and buzzes is liberating; and not having to look like I need directions at the intersection is confidence-building.”

Michelle Cortese, UX Designer
“I fell in love with the haptics right away. They’re subtle and prioritized, using a range of vibration intensity and frequency to communicate levels of urgency very well. That said, suddenly every notification became more intimately and immediately demanding; by the end of the day, the sensation of a tiny finger tapping my wrist felt more like the nagging of an overly eager younger sibling. A couple times, I was so focused on the Watch that I wound up abandoning my phone on the table. Whoops!”

Interested in trying out the Apple Watch for yourself? If you’re an employee of Mediabrands, visit us on the 9th floor to try it in person.

Proximity Push: iBeacons & Actionable Notifications

The Lab is bullish on iBeacons, Apple’s latest technology which enables proximity messaging (1-150 feet in range) via compatible apps. Think about recipes tailored to the grocery aisle you’re in or facilitating wait times at a restaurant without the need for those lovely restaurant pagers. Well, Apple’s recent announcement of actionable notifications brings the promise of iBeacons to another level. Now apps can push proximity-based notifications that let users take action like downloading that recipe or preordering appetizers right from within the home screen notification.

It’s a DR marketers dream, but don’t abuse the power! These notifications need to reduce friction for the user, not increase it. Users will be as quick to drop the app as they were to install it if they are bombarded by Like requests. 

What You Need To Know From Apple’s WWDC

Not free to watch to the full two hour press conference from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference? Want to skip the developer jargon and get to implications for marketers? We got you covered. Check out the 3 biggest developments from today’s announcement.

Continuity – The new feature lets you toggle between devices seamlessly. It syncs activities so you can pick up an email mid-draft from mobile to your desktop or continue watching a movie on your tablet from Apple TV. For media consumption, this is only going to drive cross platform viewing.

Messages – The Messages app looks a lot like WhatsApp with video and voice sharing, mapping features and more. Apparently the WhatsApp CEO isn’t all too pleased. As more behaviors take place within messaging, marketers will need to see this as a new media channel, not just dark social.

Actionable Notifications – Notifications can now be actionable, like Liking a post within a Facebook notification. It very much falls in line with our Notification Nation trend as glanceable media takes hold. Third party widgets are also available within the Notification Center. Expect user interaction to increase across apps that nail push notifications.