The Apple Watch is very frustrating on multiple levels. There are times it figuratively clicks and works in a way unique to smartwatches. But there are more times it literally clicks and beeps with useless notifications. The display is fantastic, as is the tight design and construction. But touch accuracy is off, and the operating system and UI are both inconsistent and illogical.
Looking at the big picture, it’s easy to imagine a smartwatch of the future. One that opens smartlocks, starts up smartcars, adjusts smartlights, sets smart thermostats, and acts as a wallet, a concert ticket, and an airport boarding pass. The smartwatch of the future could guide us through unfamiliar locations while delivering contextual and useful information, like points of interest, bad weather, and traffic alerts.
The Apple Watch already does some of that, as does Android Wear. But Google’s wearable OS has the benefit of Google Now for contextual alerts, which isn’t reliable enough to support the platform just yet, but provides solid potential. Apple isn’t even close to Google here.
The rest is out of Apple’s control. Experts claim the smart future fueled by the “Internet of Things” is just around the corner, and that will provide the infrastructure to make the smartwatch a viable product.
But that’s not now. Now the smartwatch is a geeky boutique item. And at best, the Apple Watch is an expensive iPhone accessory.
Nope, Apple did not define the smartwatch here, and it has not given anyone a reason to buy one. What utility it does provide does not justify the cost, and it’s clear that as of this writing most app developers have no idea what to do with the form factor.
- Well built
- Great display
- Navigation and messaging prove useful
- Confusing and inconsistent UI
- Few decent apps
- Notifications can cause madness, managing them burdensome