4 Signs Apple Has Completely Given Up on Being Cool
The latest thrilling launch in Apple's line of products you can't actually use unless you own their other products is a sexy new smartwatch. The Internet's still busy debating whether this is the flop that will finally signal Apple's downfall or a golden monorail to a bold new tech era.
We don't want any part in that debate. But we have noticed something weird: so far, the Apple Watch seems tailor-made for old people.
Old People Love Wearing Gadgets
Some of you saw Apple's watch and immediately wondered, "Who the hell buys watches anymore?" Right now it's basically three groups of people: James Bond, those middle-aged men who fancy looking like a potbellied him, and people old enough to remember when folks wore watches.
Smartwatches are your grandparents' hoverboards.
More than two-thirds of teens don't wear watches, and only 19 percent of Americans bought a watch in 2011. Right now, more than half of people who buy smartwatches wind up ditching them because the novelty wears off. Literally the only reason some folks think the young might adopt watches now is that Apple made one.
But old people? Old people love the shit out of wearing their technology.
If you know any elderly people who've leapt into the future and bought themselves an iPhone, the odds are good you also know folks who keep their phones on a cord around their neck. Wearing your gadget makes it harder to lose or forget, and most old people are already still wearing watches out of habit. It's a match made in heaven! Or at least in the Paradise Valley Retirement Home.
It's Made for People Who Are Falling Apart
Apple's new watch is the first product ever released with the ability to gently tap someone when they miss a turn while navigating. Again, this is way less of a selling point for the young and spry than it is for older folks who might need the odd nudge to shake them out of their senior moments.
"No, it's not V-Day, gramps. You're five minutes out from the Safeway."
See, your regular smartphone buzzes when you take a wrong turn using the navigation app, and if you're listening to your headphones at the time it'll just read you the new, re-routed directions. But what if you've got a hearing aid that won't work with any Bluetooth headsets? Well then, you need the Apple Watch.
One of the features Apple bragged about most was their watch's ability to hassle you about your health. It monitors your heart rate and the number of steps you travel per day so it can warn you when your sedentary lifestyle threatens to turn you into one gigantic hardened artery. By turning walking from a chore to a colored bar that moves throughout the day, Apple's finally found a way to make low-impact exercise fun.
It instantly loads '80s montage music to your iTunes.
Hey, does anyone else remember what happened the last time a formerly hip tech company did that exact thing?
"I gotta get in shape for the retirement home's 'Anaconda' video parody."
And the Apple Watch can dial 911 when your heart stops from too much living. Convenient!
It Caters to the Stores Where Older People Shop
One of the neatest features of Apple's new watch is it gives you the ability to pay for stuff with the flick of a wrist. No longer will mankind be subject to the tyranny of the wallet or the tyranny of pressing a button on a phone to pay for stuff. It's the dawn of a new age. Unless your daily purchases involve anything not on this list:
Sadly, you'll have to pawn the watch to afford your Whole Foods purchase.
OK, so you've got Nike, Sephora, and Whole Foods there to appeal to the younger crowd (when they aren't shopping on Amazon.com). The rest of these brands are clearly marketed for the nursing-home demographic. You're not even allowed to shop at Macy's without an AARP membership, Walgreens is where your pills come from, Disney and the 'R' Us stores handle your grandkid shopping. And McDonald's? Well, let's just say their share of millennial stomachs has been collapsing for a while now.
One day we'll all pay for everything electronically, either through our phones or subdermal microchips that make it easier for the Antichrist to control us. In the meantime, Apple's watch is like pinning a $5 bill to your ailing grandma's jacket before she totters out to Walgreens for some flavorless candy and a jar of that special colon-massaging yogurt.
Or colon-massacring burgers?
The Emojis Are Great for Wizened Eyes
Your eyes are the first thing to go. And if there's one complaint we've all heard from our aged friends and family about the current generation of smartphones, it's that text on them is just too darn small. Once again, Apple's got the collective backs of our elderly populace:
Bam! No words, no :D -- just an endless stream of disembodied visages cutting through the cataracts with total clarity. There's even an app to make the grandkids feel guilty that they haven't called today:
We can't wait for a hilariously poorly conceived "Tap That" ad campaign.
If you're still not convinced Apple is now the company of high-wader khakis and nostalgia for Barry Goldwater, check your iPhone's music. Apple surreptitiously just gave you a new U2 album most of the population never wanted. It's basically Apple's version of a birthday present you never asked for, only they got confused and snuck it in the drywall of your house.
Robert Evans is an editorial manager at Cracked, and runs the personal experience article team. He worked as a tech journalist for several years until he learned how to write.
For more lamentable innovations, check out 5 Wearable Tech Items Designed for Assholes and 4 Ways Virtual Sex Will Be More Embarrassing Than Real Sex.