The Apple Watch cannot video chat with dogs wearing telepathic collars, but it will talk with a new BMW or Porsche. Go Go Gadget Panamera!
Just as the iPad was merely a larger iPhone, the Watch is a smaller iPhone that’s inevitably sleeker and more discreet than pulling something out of your pocket. It’s also dorkier than the 3-D glasses TV manufacturers tried making us wear. We haven’t tried one. We’ve used automaker-designed apps on our smartphones, used them to locate cars, unlock them a block away, check on the charging status, and send directions to the vehicle’s navigation system. The Apple Watch can’t do anything more than put this information on your wrist. If it were an ignition key, that’d be one thing. But it’s not.
Here’s the BMW app for the electric i3 and i8.
And here’s the Porsche app for Macan, Cayenne, Panamera and 918 Spyder. Note how 911 and Cayman models — the real driver’s cars among the Porsche lineup, aside from the million-dollar 918 — are excluded. The must-have features those drivers are missing? The ability to fold in the mirrors and switch on the A/C. Only plug-in hybrid Porsches can do the latter.
Also, Hyundai has an Android watch app that integrates its BlueLink concierge and maintenance services onto your wrist.
If everyone with a smart watch were cute little girls like Penny from Inspector Gadget, this would be fun. But they’re tired, stressed-out adults handling yet another electronic device that will detach them even more from the physical world before it breaks and becomes obsolete. Yawn.