1,000 "No's" & laser focus - Watch software design

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by sigamy, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    Sorry, this is another negative Watch thread. But I want to focus on the software here.

    I'm seeing very questionable decisions in both the content and the design of the Apple Watch software. I'm not seeing Tim Cook's "laser focus" here. I'd like to hear what others think.

    Photos: Really? is this needed on a watch? I would think this is the first of the 1,000 "no's". But I guess we have the technology so why not?

    Icons: Why round? Round icons would like great on a round watch.

    In the movie they show navigating around the icons. there are two orange clock-ish icons right next to each other. very minor differences between them, I think one is a stop watch. This is a terrible design to put the exact same color and very similar icons next to each other.

    Calendar: on apple.com the calendar app shows 8 lines of information. 3 of those lines have today's date. How did this design get approved? I know, its Beta...

    Mail: Not sure what could have been done here but showing the From, Title, and few lines of the email just wastes tons of space without really helping me read the email.

    The cutesy animated emoticons? Really? I think Apple was all about "removing clutter" from the software.

    The sentences to describe weather need to go. Weather should be glanceable. Bring the skuemorphic images back--sun, clouds, animated rain, etc.
  2. rcp27 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    Given the way they are arranged, they would work pretty nicely on a hexagonal face too. One possible reason is that the hexagonal arrangement of icons makes it easier to hit the one you actually want with a fat finger rather than accidentally hitting the wrong one. Round watch faces work well for analog watches and look pretty as fashion items, but for presenting text information in various sorts really wastes space.

    As with the iPhone and iPad, the user is free to rearrange the icons, so they can chose to separate similarly coloured ones if they don't like the default.

    They don't (necessarily) show today's date, they show the date of the appointment. If you have a relatively sparsely filled calendar, you may well have the next three appointments on different days.

    I don't think the idea is that you would actually read email on a watch. It's more like the notification in the top right corner in OS X, so that when your phone pings telling you have a new email, you can take a quick look to see whether you need to read it now, or whether you can safely ignore it. To do that, I would think the "from" and "subject" lines would be enough.

    I think this is a cultural thing. I am given to believe they are really popular in places like Japan, Korea and China, which are important markets for this device. If you are going to support emoji, I think poking at the face to make it look how you want is a much better solution than scrolling through a list of (what will inevitably on this screen be tiny) options.

    I would be very surprised if the default "watch face" options don't include the ability to put the current weather or the day's forecast as an icon on the watch face, which is what you see if you just lift the watch to glance at it. They seem reasonably configurable from the demo.
  3. Nebrie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2002
    You need that photo interface anyways as you need some way to be able to set your own photo as a custom watch face. It just looks like a nightmare if you have thousands of photos. This is very much a "wait and see if they blew it" feature.
  4. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    I agree that the software needs more work but I think this is the first time Apple released a new product where people complained it does too much. Usually it's just the opposite.

    I like some of the touches others find gimmicky. Allows for some personality and the opposite of Android Wear which IMO is is kind of cold and utilitarian. Watch OS seems to have more of a personality, more life, more vitality. I still think 3rd party developers will determine the success of this product. iPhone and iPad would be no where with out developers and same will be for the watch.


    I'm hoping there's a way for the user to determine what photos show up on the watch and it's not just pulling in your Photostream.
  5. Patriot24 macrumors 68030


    Dec 29, 2010
    Yeah, they should probably keeping working on it and wait until early 2015 to release it when it is ready.
  6. sigamy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    Thanks for the reply. Great points.

    Yeah, I see I know it is the date of appointment. But it's too much wasted space. The list should be grouped by date so that you don't have to repeat date for each entry. This is reporting 101. Apple is even letting long titles go to the next line. That is just sloppy. In looking at this for five minutes I think a better design is:

    Today, Sept 9
    Lunch w/ Ben

    Fall Project Brief...

    Soccer Practice

    Tomorrow, Sept 10
    Status Meeting

    I agree it should just be notification.

    This is where I think the hardware and software could have done more.

    Hopefully some inbox rules/VIP settings can really help folks manage what makes it to the watch. For me, I'd only want my most important emails to show up on the watch. So--boss, wife, kids, text search on the title of email (to look for a project name or something).

    What about email showing as a notification and then moving your wrist shows the text of the email. Or moving your wrist scrolls thru the list of emails? just a thought. Again, won't work for people who get hundreds of emails.
  7. rcp27 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    Agreed on the calendar and email points. I expect what we are seeing here is beta software, and hopefully these sorts of things will find their way into the final.

    On iOS you are already able to set the notification preferences differently for different email accounts, and differently for your VIP list, and on the mail client for both iOS and OS X you have a VIP-only view. I have no doubt this kind of differentiation would be extended to the watch.
  8. masands macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    Don't forget that the iPod Nano's (yes even those under Steve Jobs) have had the option to view photos. Some of them even had video!

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