I decided to pick up an an Apple Watch Sport Edition (“gold”, with black band). While I have said repeatedly to friends that I think smart watches are kind of dumb, but I am working on a startup that will want an Apple Watch component, and there were a couple of things I wanted to try that I thought the watch would be good for, so I decided to give it a shot. I figured if anybody would have cracked the “why would I want a smart watch” question, it would be Apple.
I have played with it for about 8 hours. Which might not seem like much, but frankly, if I were to play with it anymore I might take it off my wrist, throw it on the ground, and smash it repeatedly with a baseball bat Office Space style. This thing is fucking pathetic.
The UI is… sloooooooow (yes, even on watchOS2). Navigation is unclear (do I use the crown or the touch screen? Answer: YES.. except when it’s not). Force touch? Sometimes. Do i press this button to go back? No, shit, that’s the “friends’ button for messaging, shit I should have pressed the crown… now I have to hit the crown to get out of that.
For the life of me, I still can’t get the goddamned thing to sync photos properly. Yes, having photos on a watch does seem silly, but if you say you can do it, then fucking do it. The first time I paired it, never had a single photo on the phone. It defaults to wanting to sync “favorites”, and I hadn’t marked any of my photos as favorites, so nothing to sync. No problem, I’ll just switch to another album. Nope! Nothing syncs. Hmmm… Let me go back to “favorites”, then make some photos favorites and sync. Nope!
Let me try this – unpair, then pair again, but before pairing, have some photos in favorites. OK, paired, go through all the bullshit of downloading apps and whatever, and look at that, my favorites synced. OK. Let’s add some more photos to favorites. Nope! They don’t get onto the watch. Let’s delete some photos from favorites. Nope! They don’t come off of the watch, either. What… the… fuck.
Notifications? Um… sometimes. As in, sometimes they will make it to the watch. When it feels like it. Usually after I’ve already taken my phone out of my pocket because it buzzed, which defeats the purpose.
Then there is the app launcher, which is “yeah, I’ll launch this app, or maybe the one next to it. Your fingers aren’t fat, but you know, fuck it, i’m going to put these apps so close together that whatever I launch is a guess. It’s like roulette!” What a terrible, terrible launcher.
Maps? Yeah, you don’t want to bring up maps, unless you really don’t want to know where you are for several minutes.
Siri… At first, it didn’t work. Not with the crown pressed, nor with “Hey, Siri”. Going into settings on the phone, it says “Hey, Siri” is enabled, but you couldn’t disable it. It’s like the setting was greyed out and wouldn’t respond to being changed. Rebooted the watch, which took forever, and still.. NO. Not a fucking thing. Then as I started cursing, hey, all of a sudden Siri started working. OK, then.
Now, the one thing I really wanted to try was an app called MapMyWalk (well, MapMyRun, because only that one has an Apple Watch component at the time of this writing). The reason for this is that I thought it would be cool to be able to pause/resume from the watch (instead of pulling the phone out of my pocket), and be able to look at a pretty quick glance at time, distance, etc. But the interface was so unbearably slow that it was actually easier reaching into my shorts pocket, and pulling out the phone to do this (which is what I do today). I mean, jeezus.
I seriously cannot believe what a disaster this experience was. I already thought “smart watches” were suspect, but man, this is really, really, really, really bad. Maybe by version 2 or 3 of the hardware, where the CPU and memory can keep up without needing so much of the phone, this thing will be good. But for now, it’s awful. Epic fail, Apple. EPIC… FAIL…