Not only did Apple’s iconic device tell time, quickly it became the go-to device for notifications and alerts, a more convenient extension of the iPhone and app-o-sphere, complete with a mini-Springboard of app icons. The Watch user experience was different than Apple expected so the device has a makeover on the way. Apple rethinks the Watch again.
Apps vs. Convenience
Allow me to begin my analysis of Watch and watchOS 3.0 with my own experience. First, to use Watch is to love to use Watch. It has replaced half a dozen different watches in my collection– sport to luxury to basic– with half a dozen or more different watchbands which are easily interchanged to match an event.
Second, Apple’s idea of Watch navigation was designed in a darkened closet with Keynote slides because it didn’t match reality. Instead of using the honeycomb app launcher (who can figure out what all those stupid icons mean?), I went straight to Glances for convenience, and setup just those notifications that were unique and worthwhile to me. That same scene was repeated earth wide because Apple’s honeycomb app launch interface was too cumbersome to use.
Apps launched slowly; so slowly as to be an annoyance rather than a convenience. In Watch watchOS 3.0, Apple addresses my major complaints. Apps launch instantly or nearly so. Glances are gone and replaced by a familiar and user configurable Dock experience. Goodbye, honeycomb app launcher, we hardly used ye.
In other words, Apple paid attention to how customers were actually using Watch and responded accordingly with adjustments, changes, and options that will make Watch more useful than the first versions of watchOS. There are still plenty of notification options, and watchOS 3.0 will standalone with less need of a tethered iPhone (but who buys Watch without already owning an iPhone?) and still provide users with plenty of useful convenience and functionality.
Apple rethinks the Watch again.
Four of the most notable changes in Watch with watch OS 3.0?
Complications – I love these and it’s unfortunate that the Watch screen is so small, because Complications are the ultimate one-tap app launcher.
- Breathe guide meditation app
- Find My Friends
- Heartrate monitor
- Home app for HomeKit controls
- Apple Mail
- Weather conditions
The Dock – Instead of Glances, watchOS 3.0 promises a more familiar Dock where users select the apps they want, setup the order of the apps, and a swipe gets you to the Dock and apps (similar to how Glances worked).
Watchfaces – Apple recognized what many of us figured out quickly. A watchface should match an event and a watchband, so look for more faces. Many more faces.
Scribble – How cool is this? Instead of using voice to respond to an incoming message (while you’re in a place where you just cannot speak the response) Scribble lets you use handwriting– albeit one letter at a time– to respond to a message.
Watch becomes more health conscious in watchOS 3.0 and that’s a good thing because health that’s out of sight is also out of mind.
The most visible change is Apple itself as the company is willing to make a major interface course change for a product that too many insightless critics compare to iPhone. Remember, Apple made a huge course change to iPhone after the first year, too. That’s when the App Store was born. These Watch changes are good and set the stage to make the device more attractive and more useful.