Is the Apple Watch right for your B2B company?

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It’s been over three months since Apple released the Apple Watch and with new iPhones and watchOS 2 coming in September, it’s time to consider whether or not an Apple Watch is a good buy for your B2B business.

Welcome to a comprehensive review of the Apple Watch, and how the wearable has improved since its June launch.

Apple Watch sales

Apple has yet to release official Apple Watch sales figures, but its third quarter 2015 financial results state that the Apple Watch launch was successful and helped contribute to increased revenue for the quarter.

Third party sales analytics indicated there were about 1.5 million pre-orders for the Apple Watch with daily sales estimated at 20,000 units per day for nearly three months. Given that the Pebble Smartwatch had been the most successful smartwatch with sales hitting 1 million total units at the end of 2014, there is no argument that the Apple Watch is not the most successful smartwatch ever.

Business apps worth getting

My Apple Watch arrived two days after the initial availability in April and has been on my wrist since that day. The fitness and activity tracking functionality is important, and gets me up out of my chair and strolling through the office more than ever before.

The growth in enterprise apps has been significant over the last four months and today we see very functional apps from Microsoft and others that make the Apple Watch a valuable accessory for the enterprise.

Microsoft’s Outlook app was just updated and now provides an email experience even better than the native Apple Watch email client. With Outlook, you can read more of the email text on your Apple Watch, respond to emails right from the watch, show email just from your “Focused Inbox” appear on the watch, and even view your calendar. The native email application only lets you view a couple lines of text and limits functionality to simply allow flagging email, marking as unread or read, and moving email to the trash. You can’t respond to email from your Apple Watch with the native client.

Microsoft also has the very functional Wunderlist task manager and Microsoft Translator apps for the Apple Watch. You can create to-do’s and translate English words and phrases to various other languages all by simply speaking into your Apple Watch.

Slack is a very popular team communication tool and its Apple Watch app helps you stay in touch with colleagues throughout the day. You can quickly switch between teams, receive and respond to DMs with standard emoji, pre-defined text, or Siri dictation, get a quick heads-up of online team members, and more.

Salesforce also has a powerful Apple Watch application. The IBM MobileFirst apps (https://www.apple.com/business/mobile-enterprise-apps/cross-industry.html) are also making their way to the Apple Watch.

As you can see, the Apple Watch may soon be the business users’ favorite and most essential accessory.

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The author wearing his Apple Watch

What you should know about security

When you go through the Apple Watch setup procedure you are prompted to setup a four-digit passcode and I highly recommend you do so if you want to keep your Apple Watch secure. If you remove your Apple Watch, or someone steals it off your wrist, then sensors on the back detect that it has been removed and the Apple Watch automatically locks. Even if you unlock your connected iPhone, the Apple Watch will still require a passcode if you do not have it mounted on your wrist.

The Apple Watch will also require you to enter the passcode if you want to perform a wipe and reset. This is a good theft deterrent measure that Apple provided with a software update after the Apple Watch launched.

Apple Pay can be set up on the Apple Watch and offers a payment method even more secure than your credit or debit card. Your financial information is not shared by Apple with merchants or transmitted with payments. Instead, Apple creates a unique device account number that is stored in the secured element, a dedicated chip in Apple Watch. You can even pay with Apple Watch if your iPhone is not connected.

Apple also does not store the details of your transactions, which offers another level of privacy.

watchOS 2 improvements

Apple already announced and provided details on watchOS 2 that will make the Apple Watch even more compelling with third-party application support that doesn’t require a direct connection to the iPhone.

The Time Travel complication, Apple’s term for additional information on the watch face, provides support for turning the digital crown to view what is happening in the future and what already happened.

Transit information, store credit cards, reward cards, and much more are all coming in the free watchOS 2 update.

Wearing and using Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a finely crafted piece of technology with elements similar to high-end jewelry. It is lightweight, the digital crown is refined, the high resolution display is vibrant and visible in all lighting conditions, and i’ts not as large as most Android Wear devices.

There are an assortment of bands to match your style, comfort, and wardrobe. I find the Sport Bands to be very secure and comfortable so I have both the blue and black with the blue one for running and the black one for work.

I rarely used Siri on my iPhone 6 Plus, but with the Apple Watch it is quick, easy, and accurate to simply raise your wrist and initiate actions with Apple Watch. Sending text messages through Siri is efficient and results in extremely accurate text messages, but you can also send those messages as audio messages.

Analysts repeatedly state that the Apple Watch is expected to be Apple’s most successful product launch and after spending nearly four months with one it is my favorite Apple product purchase ever.

And it could be the right fit for you and your B2B colleagues.

Photos by Matthew Miller

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Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller started using mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host, with ZDNet's Kevin Tofel, of the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned more than 200 different devices running Palm, Linux, Symbian, Newton, BlackBerry, iOS, Android, webOS, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone operating systems. He's a professional engineer by day and a mobile writer by night.