The Apple Watch is finally available for pre-order on Friday, 10th April. My eldest son can’t wait and at every opportunity extols all the great features of the latest Apple (almost guaranteed to be) blockbuster product. Not that he’s quite committed to spending his own pocket money of course, but the hints are pretty obvious as to what he wants for his Birthday! But do I need one?

What we do know about the iWatch (give it up Apple, it will always be called that), is that much like the iPhone – being a watch will only be one of a multitude of functions we expect from a (very) personal computing device. If it’s just a watch you want, I love my Skagen – it is sleek, light, and never needs winding or charging. Okay, I need to adjust it manually with Daylight saving and when travelling and I have to use my phone as an alarm clock. When running, I switch over to my Garmin to track my routes and which lets me prove to the world, and especially my wife (via Strava) that I am actually out exploring and staying fit on my travels. However, I still need to take my phone to take selfies of the landmarks I discover, which I then need to synch (via Instagram) once I am back at my hotel with WIFI connection.

So, if I was to pick the key functions that I need in a new wrist-computer they would include as a priority GPS-route tracking and camera function. I do love the green (surprise, surprise) sport swatch but imagine my dismay when I was reliably informed by my son that I will still need to run carrying my phone, as neither function is available on the watch!

His enthusiasm is infectious, so I am thinking, okay, perhaps not as a sports-watch alternative, but I’d still like one. After-all, I am an early-adopter and still have an original iPad at home. And I know from that experience, that the iWatch 2.0 will be thinner, lighter, faster and more feature packed. And that this original version will not be upgradeable beyond iOS xx, and I’ll be stuck with some old apps. Nevertheless, I just want one, I just need to find a way of justifying it…

Now I am not the most punctual guy around. Okay, at home I may be first in the car – my wife is normally trailing but, in fairness, it is she who has packed the bags, dressed the kids, hung out the washing – but in the office I am very busy. In fact, I spend most of my day in meetings – in the boardroom, on the phone, or in the coffee shop. Nevertheless, I am often running from one to the next often more than a few minutes late. Now I’m of the opinion that having your laptop or phone out when in a meeting is poor form because of the inherent distractions they present. But perhaps a subtle vibration on my wrist to inform me of my next meeting would be all that I need to be on-time. Okay, that’s a feature I need!

My most important role at work is making business decisions. From the mundane like leave-requests, the important like purchase order approvals to the critical like high-value contract approvals. Between meetings I accumulate a lot of emails. And I will never read any of them on my watch. But amongst all that email clutter, are some important executive decision tasks. The problem of email-based task notifications is you click on the email and its read. And unless immediately actioned, tasks are often lost, resulting in process delays with serious direct and opportunity cost implications. But imagine if I could see just a notification of my assigned tasks. And with a swipe approve the mundane, or for complex decisions directly launch my task list on my phone with a single click. And imagine if I could continue to scroll through these tasks and action them on the train where connectivity is worse than intermittent? This means I could leave work on time to spend quality time with my wife and kids. Now that’s a feature everyone would love!

Fortunately, at IQX Business Solutions we have been able to realise that vision. We have extended our OneList Approvals app from the portal, iOS and android tablets and phones to wearables like the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear. Business critical task notifications are now accessible truly everywhere (without even hauling out your phone to sneak a peek). Now I, and I hope you, will have real business-justification for getting an Apple Watch!

Now the sports-score app that would let me discretely follow the big game whilst out and about, at home with the kids, or playing poker with my mates will be just a bonus. Meeting reminders and active task notifications are the killer apps I am hanging out for! I will be making my iWatch down-payment on Friday.

By Richard Frykberg

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