10 Totally Rad Things about Apple Watch So Far
- When your hands are full, you can operate it with your nose. Force touch is a bit tricky… but keep trying. In public, please.
- Waking up to a non-auditory buzz on the wrist is incredible. Didn’t realize I’ve been searching for this all my life. Only downside: the buzz feels eerily like a blood pressure cuff that’s just starting to inflate.
- On achieving an activity goal, it plays an 8-bit style sound effect. 1-up!
- Emoji-envy: send the goofy super-emojis to friends who don’t have a watch, and they’ll see them in Messages, animating.
- Controlling your iPhone’s head-set volume with the digital crown is way smo-o-o-o-oth, like using the knob on an old analog receiver.
- Making a phone call from the watch when your iPhone is in the other room is very Dick Tracy. And laughable/impressive depending on who just saw you talking into your watch.
- It plays back videos received in Messages. And you can pan across! Just swipe left/right.
- Siri can answer (silently) some basic questions on the watch itself, without hand-off to the phone.
- The Camera remote app on the watch allows you to use your iPhone as a surveillance camera. (Unless it’s in your pocket.)
- Use it to impress your kid’s 2nd grade classmates. Beware: you might start a 7 year-old riot.
And now, the grumbling
The difference between a notification and a glance and an app is murky. Mail notifications/app views are very confusing. Can I force-touch this notification? No? Oh, I need to scroll wa-a-a-ay down to see the action buttons. Scroll, scroll, scroll… aw, screw it.
Navigation is confusing. Pushing the Digital Crown either navigates to the watch face or the home screen of apps, depending on context. Needs some Jobsian simplicity.
Lift-to-activate-screen is borky. I’m often tapping it (with my nose) to turn the screen on. Also, lying in bed with your wrist in the air just doesn’t work. Automatic activation = screen must be somewhat upward facing only.
Speaking of waking up to the silent alarm — Apple needs to redesign the snooze experience so it’s stupid simple. As it is, there are two smallish buttons: Snooze and Dismiss. Way better would be one big Snooze button, followed by a scroll to see Dismiss.
This has been written about to death, but 3rd party apps need to be optimized both for experience and speed. I don’t heavily use any of them because of lengthy load time.
It’s only just begun
The watch will get better, trimmer, faster with each generation. Apps will get much more savvy, empowered, and optimized. It’s exciting to get a sense of where it all will lead.
Compare the first generation iPhone to the Apple Watch and you’ll see that we’re only at the beginning of it all.