Am I the only one who doesn't think watchOS 3 was a major re-think?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Rogifan, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    And I don't mean this in a bad way. I just think the media is going overboard on the whole Watch re-think narrative. Listening to John Gruber's interview with Federighi and Schiller it's clear the #1 priority with the Watch was battery life. Obviously Apple has now realized there is battery life to spare so they changed app behavior which will now allow apps to launch much faster. I highly doubt when they were first designing the software they thought apps taking forever to load was a good thing. The honeycomb "home" screen still exists; the Digital Crown is still being used (and developers now have more hooks into it). Even though other options are available to switch watch faces and end workouts, force touch still exists and I believe you can still use it as you did before. So basically that leaves us with re-purposing the side button. Once they decided to convert that to an app-switcher it only made sense to combine glances with it (which then freed up that space for the Watch version of control center).

    To me while all these changes are good and welcomed I don't see re-purposing the side button as a major re-think of the watch. I think the media has had a narrative for some time now that the Watch UX was ill-conceived so any change is going to be branded as a re-think so they can claim they were right all along. But honestly I think the narrative would have been a lot different had there been no latency issues from day 1. The fact that apps took forever to load (and sometimes didn't load at all) soured a lot of people on the device, probably more so than what the side button was being used for. But maybe I'm just being biased because I've never thought the Watch was confusing or difficult to use.
  2. Smurphy Gherkin macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    It is not just one button. Confusing Glances are gone. Interface is same paradigm as phone. Intuitive.

    Dock is amazing. You can get to the app you want while walking without stopping.
    Swiping to change faces - which means that Faces are now quick access launchers / displays.

    Having used it for a day and a half it is revolutionary. Just so more usable. In my book this is a massive, and welcome rethink of the UI.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think watchOS3 is a incremental revision. Apple saw what worked, and more importantly what didn't work. They then worked on a new version of the OS to address those short comings.

    Its not perfect, apple could have addressed other short comings, or wishlist items we had, but in general, they tend to offer small steps, and watchOS3 is a small step
  4. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    wOS 3 addresses the major shortcoming of the AW, which is using apps. Many of us have basically stopped using apps in the current watchOS. That alone qualifies it as a major re-think.

    But, yes, the AW is just as useful in the other aspects and that hasn't changed.
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    WOS3 is not giant leap for mankind. Much is fixing what has been wrong from the beginning.
  6. rockyromero macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2015
    How is Siri responding?

    And what else would you like to see improved?

  7. diamond.g macrumors 603


    Mar 20, 2007
    if glances are gone, how does one look at their current heart rate without starting a workout?
  8. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2015
    There is a new Apple heart rate app that can be added to the dock or as a complication.
  9. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    Also, it's not just about apps/re-purposing the side button. Beta testers are raving about Scribble as they're now in a position to send custom replies under any circumstance.
  10. teidon macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2009
    And even if was all about re-purposing one button, it's still a big thing because in wOS2 the only time I ever pressed the side button was by accident (or when I wanted to force close an app). But now in wOS3 the side button is one the main ways how you interact with the Watch.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned too often about the removal of glances and the side button's new function is that in wOS2 if you want to see your glances, you needed to first go to the watch face and then swipe up. In wOS3 you can press the side button when and where ever and it will always bring up the Dock, which provides you with glanceable info about what ever interests you, and each of those apps are guaranteed (more or less) to resume execution within about 2 seconds. Further more each of those apps are guaranteed to update their snapshot (the thing you see in the Dock) at least once every 30mins so you should never see older information than that. And if you stop at any of those apps as you scroll though the Dock, the app's snapshot should be updated within about 2secs as it takes about that long for the app to resume execution.

    If that is not considered as big changes, then I am really sorry to let everyone not using the beta know that Apple did not patch in coffee maker in this update. Keep in mind that they implemented time machine in wOS2 though.

    I do agree though, that Apple released the Watch about one year too early. wOS has always felt a bit broken and or poorly designed. But they did (finally) bring it to the level it should have been from the beginning and then some - instead of discontinuing the whole thing as a failure. But then again iPhone released without App Store, copy and paste, 3G and many of the things we take as granted today.
  11. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    It's not a major rethinking in that the entire OS is scratched and rethought entirely. Prior to watchOS 3, Apple Watch was a concept of what Apple thought it should be.

    watchOS 3 brings greater clarify and focus of what Apple Watch aims to do. Gone are Glances and Favorites, two very prominent features that were rarely used by the masses.

    Glances is replaced by Control Center, so people can quickly check battery life, mute, and find their missing iPhone (I am not sure why Airplane mode is so prominent here).

    Favorites is replaced by the Dock, giving greater emphasis on apps, which are now made infinitely faster (slow data fetch on some apps notwithstanding). Most folks probably used Favorites to get to Messages anyway, which can now be placed on both the Dock and as Complication. And digital touch no longer requires the recipient to have Apple Watch.

    Apple Watch is now playing greater role in the Apple ecosystem. With new Home app, Apple Watch is probably the most accessible device for interacting with HomeKit devices. And Auto Unlock is exclusive to Apple Watch for automatically logging into your Mac.

    Health and activity related apps are given greater focus, perhaps the second most popular use case of Apple Watch (after notifications). Two Activity watch faces are simply great stuff.

    That is not to say watchOS 3 is perfect. Notifications and app screens remain unchanged. There's no third party watch faces. But I think Apple squeezed in a lot of improvements and I look forward to what Apple will bring with watchOS 4.
  12. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Hey I think all the changes are great. I'm just not convinced this was a major re-think. I consider it more iterative improvements based on consumers having used the device for a year or so (and having a lot more real world batter data).
  13. rockyromero macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2015
    Timing and the right features is everything.

    10M AW users agreed to the timing and bought into it.

    The big shift is how Siri starts to respond throughout the Apple ecosystem.

    Already, I'm using my iDevices as a substitute for Amazon's Alexa and has a bigger potential for me.

    The AW is a great part of the continuity process to iPhone, iPad, Laptop, Desktop and Apple TV.

    With the universal copy/paste, I may even bypass having/requiring apps for each of those devices.


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