Just one week ago, excitement towards the 2017 version of the Apple Watch hit new levels of excitement when it was revealed that the new device would have LTE capabilities. This came one year after it was rumored that Apple was trying to get LTE capabilities on the Apple Watch Series 2, but couldn’t find a way to offer satisfying battery life. An LTE (even a 4G) radio takes up a lot of juice, and Apple didn’t want to let their customers down.
When Business Insider confirmed the new 2017 Watch will indeed have built-in LTE connectivity, many said that the new Apple Watch is a device they would buy. Of course, they assumed that like the Samsung Gear S3, it meant that you wouldn’t have to be near your iPhone for your watch to be able to make or receive calls. It was assumed that the Apple Watch 3 could take on the phone number of your smartphone so you can receive calls and text messages on your smartwatch while you are away from your main phone.
Unfortunately, it looks like the phone call part may not be true. MacRumors has the news.
“The third-generation Apple Watch, set to launch this fall with LTE support for the first time, is unlikely to support phone calls, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a note shared this morning.”
The article adds that while a voice service that replaces the iPhone’s calling functionality is feasible, Apple is making improving the user experience of data transmission the priority. Many commenters after the article don’t think this is that bad of a thing.
“I can’t imagine why you’d want this functionality in a watch, but if you do, I’m sure it’ll be able to use Handoff to place and answer phone calls just like the Mac does,” says loanhighknight.
“Is anyone really opposed to this? It’s obvious most people use their phones and smart devices for anything other than phone calls, nowadays,” claims Dwalls90.
While it’s true that anybody who buys a smartwatch for the sole purpose of making phone calls is misguided, having this feature is more important than one would think. A perfect example would be one in which certain events don’t allow smartphones, but haven’t banned smart watches. This author does paid audience work for popular game shows in order to make some extra cash, and smartphones are either left in cars or with security until after a show is done. That means one can go up to six hours (and it has happened) without a smart device. Many audience members on these shows claim they miss auditions, bookings, and other things due to not being able to communicate for hours.
However, using a Galaxy S3 smartwatch, which allows you to make calls, is an excellent solution. It has helped this author in so many ways. While most people currently don’t find themselves in a situation where they can’t use their phones for several hours, that could change. Many places and events are (rightfully) banning smartphones since the devices not only take away attention from the event, but people taking instant pictures and videos of things that lead to legal situations have become a major disability.
Perhaps Apple really is taking things slowly and wants to make sure the LTE data capabilities are perfected before phone calls are allowed. But if this is the case, the third version of the Apple Watch certainly won’t be the hit that people expect it to be.
[Featured Image by Richard Vogel/AP Images]