It's hard to remember now, but the iPhone wasn't always seen as an intuitive, easy to use device — back in 2007, most of us were still comfortable with flip phones rather than smartphones. To help show off exactly how you'd use the iPhone in more detail than you can fit into a commercial, Apple released a bunch of "guided tour" videos that walked you through main features in more depth. Now, with the Apple Watch ready to launch, the company has just published four videos walking potential buyers through key features and use scenarios.
Apple's trying to make it clear just how to use the Watch before it launches
The first "welcome to Apple Watch" video is a simple overview of the main hardware and software concepts: the digital crown, friends button, glances, and force touch. But the video itself can also be seen as a thesis statement for how Apple wants you to think about the Watch's value. "Since it's right there on your wrist, it's ideal for brief interactions," says the peppy narrator. "It lets you quickly do things you're used to doing on your phone, but in a more convenient, less obtrusive way." Whether or not we really need all the features baked into the Apple Watch remains to be seen, but at least the company is putting together a pretty user-friendly way of explaining them to us — the first video actually does a pretty good job of distilling the many new interface gestures and features down in a way that doesn't come across as well during a keynote presentation.
The next three videos are a bit shorter, and focus on customizing the watch face, using the messaging app, and the oddball "digital touch" features that let you send quick sketches, tap patterns, or your heartbeat to other Watch users. All in all, the videos do a good job at distilling a few key features to the Watch and showing how to dig into the finer details of sending different messages, tweaking the watch face, or going through your notifications and glances. It still feels like there's a lot of new interfaces and features to remember here, but these videos should be helpful to those who want to know their Watch inside and out ahead of the April 24th launch.
Apple has seven more videos planned in the series: phone calls, Siri, maps, music, Apple Pay, activity, and workout. We imagine they'll all be up and available by the time the Watch is on sale.