Okay, so it’s been no mystery that the Apple Watch 2.0 has been kind of a bust. All of us with Apple Watch 1.0s were looking forward to a big upgrade or some major difference and what we got was "waterproofing" and GPS built-in. Not such a huge win if the watch was already on your wrist. Certainly nothing that was going to make you go out and sell your v.1 on Craigslist to buy a v.2.

I was having lunch with a friend that works for Apple (not in the Watch group) and he asked, "Well, what would you want it to do?"

First, I really want a new form factor. This thing looks like a clunky watch. Why couldn’t they have put the guts in a sleek "band" design like the Nike Fuelband? How can they make it thinner?

Second, I’d like the battery to not need to be recharged every night. I like to use my watch at night, occasionally, to see what time it is. When it’s charging it’s not on your wrist so you have to go fumbling for it. I guess that’s what bedside clocks are for.

Third, what if they added a tiny camera to the watch. So like, Dick Tracy, we could take quick pics of stuff. This is the feature my daughter (who has my v.1 Apple Watch now) is hoping for next.

Fourth, allow users to design their own watch faces. What if there was a "watch-kit" software that allowed users to build and sell custom watch faces? Designers would create an entirely new market for the watch. Today’s faces are okay, but limited. Set the Apple Watchface free.

Fifth, really isn’t a feature it’s an aspiration. I want the fitness app to really take its job more seriously. Today it loosely connects with your iPhone and does some interesting stats. But this thing should predict your fitness, should recommend exercises, should use the heart monitor to encourage your physical improvements. The fitness app IS the killer app for the Apple Watch, but it’s not done yet. All the pieces are there, but the software is behind the curve. Look at Nike Fuel online, or Fitbit and see what they are doing. Then leapfrog everyone and kick ass. This is the feature of the Apple Watch that has the lion’s share of momentum, let’s take the Apple Watch Fitness Band 3.0 all the way to the bank.

Finally, Apple needs to license the Apple Watch OS. Let outside vendors come up with new and unique form factors for the Apple Watch. Jonathan Ive is great, but there are a lot of other industrial designers who would love to have a go at the Apple Watch. Let’s give them the chance.

My final reveal: I think I’m leaning towards not having a watch at all. I’ve been wearing my Nike Fuelband since I gave my Apple Watch v.1 to my daughter a few months ago. And now the Fuelband is starting to exhibit the universal problem with the button starting to wear out. (This is why Nike discontinued the Fuelband.) And I’m leaning towards not replacing it.

So, maybe I don’t want an Apple Watch v.3 at all.

John McElhenney


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