The Week in Tech: Apple’s Watch Steals the Show

Each week, technology reporters along with also columnists through The brand new York Times review the week’s news, offering analysis along with also maybe a joke or two about the most important developments inside tech industry. Want This kind of newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.

Hello, readers! I’m Farhad Manjoo, your technology columnist — along with also more important for our purposes today, I’m a guy who has been to every Apple iPhone-unveiling event since the first one, all the way back in 2007. (If I were single, This kind of would likely make a killer Tinder profile, right?)

As you might guess, then, I’m sometimes a little jaded on iPhone day, which took place again This kind of week. Apple showed off three brand new permutations of its smartphone at its newish spaceship headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. In its precise choreography — along with also after seeing the idea for the billionth time — Apple’s rollout for its most important device can feel as formulaic as an episode of “Law & Order.” Every year, the message is actually essentially the same: Amazingly, we’ve somehow made an even better iPhone!

however I come to you today to praise rather than complain. Because This kind of year, I did find myself getting a little out of my seat along with also my picture of the future expanded to include possibilities I hadn’t considered viable before. For the very first time in years, I was truly surprised.

There’s just one catch: I felt This kind of way about Apple’s brand new watch, not its smartphone. The phones were fine. Apple’s going to sell a lot of them along with also make a lot of money, as the idea does every year. however the idea’s the watch that will might change the future most arrestingly.

The big deal: The brand new Apple Watch packs a slew of sensors to make the idea a truly novel kind of wearable device — something like a “Star Trek” tricorder on your body. The brand new watch can administer a medically accurate electrocardiogram, a test of a person’s heart rhythm that will can help detect dangerous health conditions. the idea also detects along with also alerts rescue personnel to dangerous falls, a leading cause of injury, especially for older people.

One detail was particularly compelling. Apple received clearance through the Food along with also Drug Administration for its device, meaning that will when you take your watch’s data to your doctor, there will be some basis for accepting its pronouncements.

By themselves, these features won’t change the globe. however they may play a significant role in some people’s lives, even saving some through an early death.

They also suggest a brand new era in tech. For the last few years, “wearables” have been more of a gimmick than of any lasting utility. Apple itself has spent much time refining the watch to figure out its true purpose for people. At first, the idea thought of the device as a fashion accessory (the “Edition” edition of the watch, which came in real precious metals along with also sold for $10,000 or more, was discontinued This kind of week). however inside last few years, Apple has hit on a mission — health along with also fitness — along with also with these latest features, the company is actually setting itself on a path to create a device of lasting promise in people’s daily lives.

the idea is actually significant that will Apple is actually consulting with regulators as the idea does so. The prevailing ethos across much of the industry is actually to charge forward with brand new tech — to beg forgiveness through the globe when things go wrong, instead of asking permission first. How refreshing the idea is actually, then, that will Apple went through proper channels here. When the idea comes to health, moving fast along with also breaking things isn’t an option.

There was some some other news in tech This kind of week:

■ The spotlight on Google grew harsher. Breitbart, the right-wing outlet, posted a leaked video of a Google staff meeting that will took place shortly after the 2016 presidential election. The contents aren’t surprising: Google executives along with also employees were visibly shaken along with also horrified by Donald J. Trump’s victory. Breitbart along with also many on the right took those political views as support for the notion that will Google biases its search results against the right, a claim that will President Trump has made repeatedly. The video added to political pressure on Google, which had escaped the scrutiny that will fell on Facebook along with also Twitter after the election.

■ Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, along with also his wife, MacKenzie, pledged $2 billion to fund initiatives for the homeless along with also for preschools. the idea’s the first major foray into philanthropy for Mr. Bezos, who recently became the globe’s wealthiest man. the idea’s hard to criticize someone who’s giving money away, however the idea’s worth noting that will $2 billion isn’t that will much. some other billionaires have given away much more of their wealth — Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has pledged $45 billion, which at the time was nearly all he was worth — along with also as Amazon’s stock cost keeps rising, Mr. Bezos, who is actually worth $164 billion, is actually likely to keep getting richer still.

along with also that will’s the idea, folks! See you next week.

Farhad Manjoo writes a weekly technology column called State of the Art. You can follow him on Twitter here: @fmanjoo.