It's been over a year since the Apple Watch has come out and with WWDC happening next week, it's a good time to talk how it has fit with my life and what it needs to do in the next version.
I am happy with my purchase of the Apple Watch and specifically the Apple Watch Sport. I have never purchased a first-generation Apple hardware product so it is interesting to be an early adopter in that regard.
As I stated in my article on No-Interface, the Apple Watch should be thought of in many ways as an Amazon Echo competitor. Siri is the powerhouse of the device whether it's simple command or speech to text. I use Siri on the watch several times a day and it works at least as well as it does on the phone.
What else do I use on the watch?
- Timers - typically for daily tasks such as cooking, laundry, or just anything I need to keep an eye on
- MacID - for unlocking my Macs
- Authy - for two-factor authentication
- Fitness/Activity - tracking my exercise
- Weather - quick glance to see what I need to wear for the day
Now can I do this without the Apple Watch? Of course! However, the Apple Watch makes it more convenient... when it doesn't take forever to do stuff.
The Speed Problem
When Apple first launched the iPhone in 2007, there was no App Store - there were no Apps and now I know why. Apps on the Apple Watch are slow... very slow. When I need to use Authy to login to a website, I may as well use the Today feature on my iPhone because launching the app on my watch can take forever.
The hardware in the Apple Watch simply isn't ready for Apps and as a developer, it really shows. Create the simplest watch app in XCode and see it take forever to deploy and run. Native apps or not this is where Apple needs to focus on upgrading the hardware.
There's a lot of speculation about what will come out with the new watch:
- A FaceTime Camera
- Cellular Data
- Circular Watch Face
- Thinner Device
But they all distract from the real problem right now... the speed. To me (along with the price) this is the biggest challenge of the device right now. It is difficult to convince folks to spend $300 on a watch when it lacks the speed for a growing market of apps.
I am sure that we will see a faster watch this year. Hopefully, it will be fast enough to make for a solid product that developers want to develop on.