Apple ‘complications’. Bad choice of words, or foresight?

How-To GeekI just received a new article from How-To Geek via their RSS-feed titled ‘How to Add Third Party Complications to your Apple Watch‘.

My initial reaction was: Now that’s an interesting typo, writing complications instead of app(lication)s. Then I noticed the word complications was used throughout the article… I fired up Google to verify, and… loh and behold! Apple uses indeed the term complications!
Apple gives the following explanation for the term: ‘Many watches include a few specialized functions — known in watchmaking as complications — that go beyond telling the time’. The Wikipedia confirms this statement.

So yes… linguistically speaking Apple is accurate with their terminology. But whether it’s a smart choice of words? We all know there will be issues sooner or later, with one or more apps… err… ‘complications’. And then people will not look at horology-terms, but they’ll recall the common meaning of the word complication:

something that introduces, usually unexpectedly, some difficulty, problem, change, etc.

…and when this happens too often Apple would have wished they’d called them app(le)s instead! 😉

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