Designing Women: Apple Finally Gets It Right

Apple Watch, women wearing watch

Apple ads so often feature dads who can do it all, but forget about women doing the most. Now they're getting it right.

1. Apple Thinks Beyond Their Super Dad Customers

The Short of It:

Apple's new features for Apple Watch are including what's on women's minds, not just the dad who's got a business meeting in Tokyo.

The Longer Version of It:

For women, safety becomes one of our biggest concerns when we find ourselves alone.

While walking down the street alone is something that consistently raise alarms for us, we've also adapted to the unknown by creating our own safety measures. We all know the holding the keys as a weapon trick, the pepper spray on the keychain routine, the eyeballing our cars before approaching them and checking out the backseat before getting into it tango. The precautions— the attention to details— aren't just extra steps for the overly cautious and paranoid. They're the everyday steps and measures women and those at high risk to violence have to take.

Watch an Apple commercial or a keynote demo and you'll see the dichotomy between a woman's every day and what a man is concerned about. The typical Apple demo person is a dad in his early forties wanting to catch up with his kids before they go to bed over FaceTime. He makes time for a workout (which he does alone in the early mornings while the sun is just coming out), playing around with his dog, and he tracks his health via the Apple Health App. He certainly doesn't need a Period tracker in his calendar or a safety alert app for those early morning runs.

Upon the Apple Watch's first release, demos revealed that a very important profile was being left out. Women. In fact, a 2015 report from research firm NPD Group revealed that 71% of smartwatch owners are male. Odd, because safety is one of the first features women liked most about the Apple Watch— for one, you don't have to dig around in your purse for an emergency call when you've got your watch right there. Even more odd? Women install more apps than men, spend more money on apps than men and make more purchases than men in general, but weren't their main focus in commercials and advertisements.

On Monday's WWDC keynote, Apple announced they'd be launching new features for the Apple watch that we can't help but cheer for. Because they look a lot like they've got women on their mind.

The first feature is the wheelchair activity monitor. While the feature appeals to the outdoorsy exerciser, it was launched with the people who have disabilities in mind. The second feature (which we're more interested in) is an emergency alert system. The new emergency alert feature is an effort of reassurance to women walking to their car in an empty parking lot or on their way home at night.


The bonus feature we also like: the Watch automatically knows the emergency 911 number of a country you're traveling in, something that will help put women traveling alone at ease.

The Takeaway:

Apple is finally getting it right. Not all Apple consumers are 40-something dads on the Tesla Model 3 preorder list who can fit in exercise with their dogs, surfs with their friends, brunches with foreign associates, a trip to Tokyo, and a business meeting over FaceTime with their boss in London all in one day. It's nice to see we're finally getting features made for us.

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