The Apple Watch. The Apple Watch was hyped up for years preceding the announcement in Cupertino last year. I was looking forward to it and was excited for what Apple’s going to show us and just see what they’ve been working on for the past few years or longer. And even when they showed us the Apple Watch, they showed us the features and software, I was impressed for the most part.
But now that my Apple Watch Sport has arrived and I’ve been testing it and using it on a daily basis for the past couple of weeks, I’m just not that impressed as it has several fundamental flaws that just can’t be overlooked. So these are 10+ reasons why you should save your money and you should not buy the Apple Watch.
Many of the flaws appear in the software as the hardware as a whole is pretty simple—it’s constructed with premium materials and it doesn’t look all that bad in my opinion. But the software is the real issue here as it makes me want to give up every time I try to use this device. First of all, the icons for the Apple Watch are very small. You can zoom in to a certain degree using the digital crown but when you’re on the go, when you’re driving, biking or hiking, you have to use precision to locate the app you actually want to open. It’s really not as easy as it seems to open up just a simple app, especially when you’re the move. It just isn’t.
The apps themselves are very slow. They all take a considerable amount of time to open up as the app has to communicate with your iPhone and then back to the Watch. I might as well take my phone out of my pocket. I’ll probably save more time.
I also have an issue with just how the software is set up and designed. I hate how Siri is an afterthought and isn’t built around the device like Google Now is built around Android Wear. It just makes sense, at least for me, for a wearable device to be built around voice search and the Apple Watch just appears to almost completely forget about this fundamental aspect. I say almost because Siri is here but you will need to hold down the digital crown and wait a second until she actually appears and starts to take your command. Once she does appear, you can start to give basic commands but nothing too complex because Siri just isn’t that complex anymore. She’s nowhere near as good as she once was or thought to be. She really just needs to be updated, she’s definitely not as good as Google Now or even Cortana in some aspects.
And no matter what, you will need to use both of your hands to activate the voice functionality; which is something you just don’t want to have to do especially when you’re on the go. That’s the key time you’re going to actually want to use your smartwatch and you’re going to want to use voice functionality when you’re on the move. So when you get voice functionality activated, Siri just kind of lets you down. She’s too slow, she’s outdated, and she’s basically useless so you might as well, once again, just pull out your smartphone from your pocket.
On top of that, gesture support is very limited with the Apple Watch. That’s the second most important thing about a wearable behind voice functionality in my opinion. The only real gesture on the Apple Watch is the wrist raise gesture, which shows you the time when you raise your wrist. If you want to interact with anything, you will once again need to use your other hand.
The software is also very unintuitive as a whole. There’s just way too much going on. You have notifications that swipe down from the top, quick settings that slide up from the bottom; which Apple calls Glances, on the watch face itself, you can tap on various shortcuts to open certain things up, and you can press the digital crown to get access to apps. You hold it down for Siri, you double press the digital crown to go to the previous app you were once at, you press the power button to pull up a list of your top friends, you double tap it to open up Apple Pay and then you can hold it down to turn your Apple Watch off, lock the Apple Watch, or activate Power Reserve. There’s just way too much going on that it’s incredibly unintuitive after wearing this watch for a couple of weeks straight. I just still don’t feel that I have full grasp of it. And it hides the voice functionality, which I value the most in a smartwatch.
I haven’t even mentioned Force Touch yet, which works with searching apps. You really have no idea if it works with certain apps because, well, you can’t see any of the settings associated with Force Touch. You have to guess whether or not Force Touch is implemented and it can be very frustrating because what it does is that it shows you an additional range of settings or options that are otherwise invisible. So it’s very confusing and it’s very hard to engage.
The other thing I hate about the Apple Watch with all things considered is that it’s way too expensive. The base model costs $349, which gets you an Apple Watch Sport in a 38mm configuration; which is way too small for the majority of people’s wrists. I have pathetically small wrists and the larger 42mm band is still almost too small. And of course, you have to pay an additional $50 for the larger version. And if you want any special straps like leather or metal straps, then the price will just continue to skyrocket from there; depending on which strap you like best and if you want the stainless steel model. This is certainly not one of the cheaper Apple products that’s for sure.
Overall, I’m very disappointed with the Apple Watch. I know this is a first generation device and it’s going to get better in due time. But I think, in my opinion, the only way for it to get better is if they improve the software and actually completely scrap the software and re-build it around Siri. Yes, smartwatches are new and I don’t think any company has come close to mastering the smartwatch but I especially think that Apple is going in the wrong direction with the Apple Watch.
I think Apple, more so than anyone else, has the potential to make a killer smartwatch. But right now, it’s just not there. They have the hardware down and the hardware’s not bad but the software just needs some improvements and I think over time, we will see some improvements that are much needed and will greatly improve the experience of the Apple Watch. But right now, it’s just not there.
So these are my thoughts and opinions of the Apple Watch and why you should not buy one. You should save your money because this is a first generation device and it’s not worth $400 let alone any more. So just save your money.