Seven months later, my Apple Watch is still the second thing I put on every morning. (Glasses first.) But while I still enjoy using it and recommend buying it, I’m starting to feel the limitations of what the first version of the watch can do.
The main issue: I’m still only using it for a few tasks, and those haven’t changed at all.
Apple has a tendency to release new product lines when they have a couple core features nailed and not much else on top. The iPod was a simple music player that did nothing else in it’s first release. The iPhone had a few built in apps, but really sailed to success on its then revolutionary multi-touch screen at a massive 3.5 inches. Even software like Final Cut Pro X launched with a minimal feature set and grew into a more useful app.
The Apple Watch had a lot going for it when it launched. It had 3 lines (Regular, Sport, and Edition), 2 sizes, tons of bands, an app store, a new touch sensor, and more. Before its release, some were saying this feels like a version 2 or 3 from Apple. And while the feature list and hardware options are more fleshed out than we’re used to in initial Apple Releases, the Apple Watch doesn’t get any of them perfect.
I think the best feature of the Apple Watch is how it handles notifications. The reliability it has in never missing a notification, to how certain notifications have different taps on my wrist, to the ability to reply to them without opening an app, the Apple Watch does wrist notifications very well. It’s just all the other stuff that it does just well enough, but not great. I’m not surprised that Dan Frommer is only doing a few things with his Watch.
I’m very excited to see what Apple has in store for the Apple Watch in 2016. I think we’ll certainly see new hardware (maybe closer to the holidays), but I’m more interested in what the software updates look like in watchOS 3.