More  Watch Thoughts

Dan Moren of Macworld shares his six month  Watch thoughts:

Glances are likewise kind of sluggish, and having more than a few has made it largely unmanageable: there’s no indication of which Glance is where, which means swiping through a bunch of them to find the one you want, only to have to wait for it to update. In watchOS2 2, you can use Siri to open a Glance, but that feels a bit like using a crowbar to open a jar of pickles.

Glances are somewhat useless for all of the things mentioned above. The only one I use at all is Downcast, for controlling podcasts when my phone isn’t close by or is in my pocket. Sometimes when I get in the car and hit play on my Bluetooth adapter music starts instead of podcasts. If my phone is in my pocket it is easier to get podcasts playing on my  Watch. Otherwise, Moren nailed it. It’s too hard to remember the order and it take too long for mot of them to update for it to be truly great. It’s unclear why this background updating isn’t more reliable. Is it to save battery life?

Third-party complications, another of watchOS 2’s hallmark features, was something I was looking forward to greatly, but it’s ultimately ended up being a bit underwhelming. I installed Dark Sky’s, but most of the time it looks much like the built-in weather complication, and it doesn’t seem to update consistently, which means I have to load the app to get an accurate temperature reading…and then we’re back to waiting for that to load.

I was very excited about getting to add new things to my watch face. But like Dan I experienced similar issues with Dark Sky not showing me anything better than the stock Weather app and also failing to update on it’s own regularly. What makes it even worse is that there are just not that many third party complications so far. Based on the dozen or so apps I use, there are only like five that have complications and two of those are weather apps.

Six months into the Apple Watch, it seems clear to me that it’s a cool device, but it’s got a long way to go. I’m looking forward to seeing what watchOS 3 brings, but I’m starting to think that it will take until the second-generation Apple Watch for the whole thing to really come into its own. Because performance is definitely the biggest impediment right now, and there’s only so much that software engineering can do to make up for slow hardware.

Another home run comment from Moren. The  Watch is cool. It’s surprising comfortable and there are plenty of cool little things I enjoy about it.I probably wouldn’t really notice if I didn’t have it for a week, but maybe I have become so used to having it that I would notice it being gone. I am also in agreement that this is the “future”, but I have been saying for a while now, it is not the “present”. In five to ten years a device similar to this will have taken over for phones, the same way phones and tablets have taken over work that just used to happen on traditional computers.

In the meantime though, watchOS2.0 was a major letdown. The promised new features are there, but underutilized. Just like past iOS features, without support from third-party developers the features go nowhere. The  Watch does feel like it works a little better, but most of the intriguing parts of 2.0 are being neglected, which means that 2.0 hasn’t changed the  Watch as significantly as every one predicted it though. Now I can only hope not to get roped into buying a new watch from Apple next year.

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