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According to sources who spoke to MacRumors on condition of anonymity, Apple told certain developers to have their Watch apps ready by mid-February.

Ostensibly, among them is one of biggest Apple Pay partners who was reportedly asked to prepare an iOS app with WatchKit support and have it ready to launch in the App Store by February 12.

The wrist-worn gizmo is arriving in April, Apple CEO told investors on an earnings call earlier this week. Conventional wisdom says testing third-party apps ahead of the launch is necessary to ensure key Watch apps work properly and, more importantly, don’t create a major drain on the battery.

Another possibility: carefully-selected developers get a chance to show off their apps at a launch event, assuming there’s any. In addition to furthering the Watch narrative, featuring third-party apps in live demos at another event would go a great length toward explaining what the Watch is really for and maybe turn us all into believers.

Sounds plausible?

MacRumors forums are now flooding with reports of Watch sightings in the Cupertino area, suggesting that employees are wearing and testing the device in the wild. Race Johnson shared on Twitter the following image that appears to show someone, likely an Apple employee, wearing a Watch in public, around San Francisco’s Marina area.

Apple Watch in wild Race Johnson 001

Yesterday, VentureBeat reporter Mark Sullivan got lucky.

He was able to observe an individual operating his Watch for several minutes while commuting on Caltrain, including receiving a text message notification and a map. Although initially skeptical of the Watch’s prospect, the experience of seeing one in live action made Sullivan a believer.

“I saw a text reminder on the screen, and then, briefly, a map. It appeared that the guy had been using the Watch for some time and was pretty used to it,” he recounted.

“One thing that disturbed me slightly about the device? Like other blockbuster Apple products, when you see it, something somewhere in the corner of your mind clicks on, and then you realize: You want one.”

Sullivan’s early impression is that the device quickly becomes an indispensable part of its wearer’s daily routine:

I want one, and I didn’t even really see much of what the thing could do. But I got the distinct impression that the Watch has already become integrated into the daily life of this user.

I could see it as a powerful personal assistant that’s always just an arm’s lift away to help you make sense of the minutiae of daily life: the schedules and reminders and appointments and social media and everything else we all have to process every minute of every day.

April can’t come soon enough!

Apple Watch in wild Suzy Menkes 001

The image above depicting the Watch on someone’s wrist was posted to Instagram by Vogue editor Suzy Menkes several weeks ago.

What’s the Apple Watch to you?

A doomed product, a yet another screen that relays what happens on your other screen, or something you can easily picture yourself wearing and using on a daily basis.

Are you a skeptic or a believer?

Source: MacRumors