AMITIAE - Monday 2 March 2015
Ten Days after Apple's Spring Forward: Baselworld - There is an App for it
By Graham K. Rogers
Most speculation has focussed on the top of the range Apple Watch Edition: made of gold. Suggestions of between $4,000 - $10,000 have been put out as a price level and - no surprise - some pundits think watches at such high prices will fail to sell and Apple will have another (speculative) dud on its hands.
Image with Permission of Apple
While there are also Baselworld apps for Android and Blackberry devices, I examined the iOS version, using both the iPhone 6 and the iPad Air 2. The app is optimised for both, so has a proper full screen display on the larger device.
I want to avoid obvious puns such as "like clockwork" or "a well-oiled machine" so I will get them out of the way now; but the app has been carefully developed to give an almost seamless experience for those attending or just simply interested in what will be there. The app is cleanly designed and set out in a logical fashion.
At the bottom of the screen are four main tabs: Index (as above), Map, Favorites and Search. The Map is a delight and worth downloading the app for this alone. It opens with a watch face (showing the correct time) which immediately zooms out to show the floor plan of the 6 sites for the show (Palace plus 5 Halls). The tiny watch face can just be seen on the wall of Hall 2.
To the right of the 2D/3D icon is a tiny watch icon. Pressing this brings back the watch face to a full screen display. To the far right at the top of the screen, is an arrows that allows the user to enter directions - beginning and end - the result is displayed on the map as a blue line.
Each of these practical actions would be useful when visiting a large show such as Baselworld allowing the user to save information for later analysis. An additional feature allows users to opt for offline operations, so all the data is downloaded beforehand. An oddity, but rather practical, was that opening several screens started a video, but the iOS device straight-away displayed a "Mute" icon on the screen, so that there was no disturbance. The user could easily turn sound back on to enjoy the product video.
I did try the Search feature, but was unable to find Apple listed. Nor was Apple shown as one of the companies holding a press conference, although one little gem there was that motorcycle world champion brothers Marc and Alex Marquez will be at the Festina booth on 21 March and will be available for one on one media interviews. I almost wish I were free to go.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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