Apple Watch Observations
This blog will contain some random notes I have on using the Apple Watch.
Not to be unflattering to my fellow App developers out there, but you really can tell which developers had a watch to test with and which ones did not. The Apple Watch is NOT an iPhone on your wrist – not even close. Watch apps that try to reproduce their iPhone/iPad functionality will be deleted – fast. The watch is a completely different paradigm. You only WANT to interact with it for a very short period of time and the screen blanks out quick enough that if you’re staring at an app trying to make a decision, it will vanish.
That being said, I have yet to come across a great watch app that’s not one of the built-in Apple apps. Tempo comes really close and their force-tap notification is a phenomenal idea, but I’ve been lost several times in their app trying to look for something… There’s too much there. For comparison, Apple’s built-in fitness app is probably the busiest app that is mostly functional, but really, it would be great if I didn’t have to tell it everything I was doing.
I don’t even understand the news apps. Why do I want to read the news on a watch? Before I can read the headline the screen goes dark.
I’m trying out as many apps as I can and finding that I am removing more than I keep.
One thing I’m finding by using the watch is that I am not missing notifications anymore. I receive a lot of notifications on my iPhone and some are app-specific. The phone receives so many notifications that I miss some.
What I am finding with the Apple Watch is that the little red dot on the watch appears whenever a notification arrives. The watch seems to surface the ones I want to see. For example, I just received a text via Google Voice that did not show up in the notifications center on the iPhone, but appeared on my watch. In the past, I would have completely missed this.
Plus, I do not feel over-notified on the watch… yet. I can control what is sent via the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, but I have not configured anything like this yet – I’ve just kept the defaults.
Another thing I notice about the watch is that the time delay for fading out is sometimes very fast. I can barely get to what I want before it disappears. The watch is actually dark most of the day while it does whatever it does in the background.
One really nice feature is that if you touch the watch face when it is out, it does come on and it seems to stay on just a tad longer than when you raise your arm to get it to appear.
I forgot about this until I was packing up the charging cable so I would have it during the day while at work, but the charging cable they ship with the watch is extra long. It’s longer than the iPad cable that ships with that device. I’m not exactly certain why it is so long since you have to take the watch off to charge it anyway, but it is nice to have a little more length on one of these cables.