72 Hours with Apple Watch
It arrived on Friday morning at the office. The TNT Courier looked at my wrist, spotted my 25 year old TAG Heuer and said, “…why do you need another one?”
It’s been fun, but now (72 hours later) the honeymoon might be over. Here are my thoughts:
- Slow — The Watch is very dimwitted at times. Even “Glancing” for the time takes the Apple Watch 1/2 a sec to respond before showing me the watch face. After 30+ years of reading the time in 1/10 of a sec, a 5x increase is noticeable…and annoying.
- Navigation — The navigation is clumsy and takes quite a while to understand. The intuitiveness of iOS is somehow lost on the Watch. Even in the hands of kids aged 9 and 11, there’s a sense of confusion.
- Apps — Some developers have clearly rushed their Apple Watch development — obsessed with being there on “day one”. They needn’t have bothered. Most apps are poorly thought through and the UX is clearly lacking in some. My view is make sure you have a clear and real purpose for having an Apple Watch app extension of your existing iPhone app.
- Battery — Not brilliant. The daily charing is very frustrating. The effect on the iPhone is alarming too. If you put the Watch into Power Reserve mode to minimise power drain be warned — the power-up process takes an eternity!
- Synchronising with iPhone — I would have thought this would have been easy as the Watch would act as a slave to the iPhone, but no. For some reason my Favourite contacts are missing most of their information, I have duplicates of all my Weather locations, Maps hasn’t worked since Friday, and I get alerts from apps I don’t even have installed on the Watch.
The Good Stuff
- Fit and Finish — The fit and finish of the watch is pure Apple. Beautiful to touch, pleasant to use and a joy to wear.
- Data — The Apple Watch is going to knock the likes of Fitbit, UP and Nike FuelBand around a lot. The addition of the Heart Rate monitor is nice. The Watch constantly monitors you throughout the day.
- Power User — my mate Charlie Brown predicted the Watch would be brilliant for power users, and he’s right. If you’ve bought the Apple Watch thinking it’ll be like having an iPhone on your wrist, you will be disappointed. If you bought one because you want a device that’s a functional extension of your current iOS device, particularly an iPhone 6 Plus, then you have shopped wisely.
- Feedback — Some of the vibration/haptic feedback is very nice. The “rubber-band” effect of reaching the bottom of a screen (ViewController) is really nice.
- Visuals — The best looking apps on the Apple Watch are the apps it’s shipped with. Weather, Stocks, and Maps are the best. Nice and clean with a very specific UX pattern. Even the little chart on the Stocks app is easy to read. Kids will love the Earth view and Solar System view in the Watch faces mode.
I agree with what Kevin Rose said over the weekend:
Rating: 5/10. If you haven’t purchased one, wait for v2 or a major software update. Give it time.
Australians were lucky we didn’t get the original version of the iPhone. The iPhone 3G that arrived in July 2008 was a big step forward. We were also coming from a world that knew no better. A world without iPhone was yesterday.
With Apple Watch, it’s very different.