Trust me, I love my Apple Watch. But that doesn’t mean that Cupertino’s first wearable device is perfect. Here are five things I wish were different about the first-generation Apple Watch.
1: Third-party apps
Third-party apps on the Apple Watch are, at the minute, pretty disappointing. This is because applications for the smartwatch really function as iOS extensions, which are beamed over to the Apple Watch using a wireless connection. This means that when interacting with a third-party app, like Overcast or Calcbot, there’s a noticeable delay between UI interactions. Moreover, apps which require an Internet connection to work, like Dark Sky, can take some time to load their data (especially if you’re outside of a Wi-Fi connection). The good news, though, is that we’re expecting Apple to solve some of these problems later this year, beginning with announcements for Watch OS which we’re expecting to hear during WWDC in June.
2: Battery strain
Apple Watch puts a strain on your iPhone’s battery, make no mistake. I haven’t noticed this too much, since I’m using an iPhone 6 Plus with plenty of battery life to spare, but at the end of the day I certainly have less life left than I did before I started using the Watch. If you have an older model, like the iPhone 5 or 5s, a portable power drive wouldn’t go amiss when you’re venturing out of the house with Apple’s smartwatch in tow.
3: Stainless steel is scratchable
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, especially to those who’ve owned stainless steel watches before. But the mid-tier Apple Watch’s stainless steel casing is, indeed, scratchable, much like Apple’s old iPod Classic. It’s not all bad news, though; it seems simple metal polish can help users out on this front, removing hairline scratches with a simple buff. Plus, with a sapphire display, it’s not as if the front of your Apple Watch is going to scratch anytime soon, and for this reason we still love the stainless steel model.
4: You’d better have both hands spare
Here’s something oddly funny about the Apple Watch: to use it, even for Siri-initiated commands, you’ll need both hands spare. This can be frustrating, especially since the Watch is designed to ease the burden of digital communication by making it more convenient and easier to access. I’m hoping this is something Apple tweaks in a future version of its Watch OS, but at the minute, you’ll need to keep a free hand spare (while raising your other arm) in order to perform even the simplest of tasks, regardless of whether you’re calling on Siri or not.
5: The Taptic Engine
I love the Taptic Engine on the Apple Watch, but I’ll admit – the gentle, nuanced taps it performs took some getting used to. In fact, in certain situations, like when I’m driving, it’s easy to miss tap notifications altogether. I feel this is something I’ve adapted to (in an odd move, I’ve found that I’m noticing more taps now than I did when I first started using the Watch), but I nevertheless wish the smartwatch allowed users to further increase the intensity of haptic feedback. Sure, this might come at the expense of battery life, but the option would be much appreciated.
Do you have an Apple Watch? What do you like and dislike?