Dis(likes) about my Watch (warning - wall of text)

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by dmcgoy, May 12, 2015.

  1. dmcgoy macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    I've had a 38mm SS for five days now.

    Things I don't like:
    1. I can clearly see where the screen ends and the bezel starts. Indoors and outdoors. I thought I may have gotten a subpar screen, but looking at a bunch of pictures of other Apple Watches (Sport and otherwise), I can see that I'm not alone. I wish Apple had spent a bit more effort making the bezel slightly less black at the transition edge to mask it better.
    2. On screen wake I often have trouble getting notifications (swipe down) and glances (swipe up) to be recognized if I swipe immediately on waking. The face activates, but the watch seems to be too busy doing something else in the background to recognize the finger input. Of course I can't replicate this as I'm sitting typing this.
    3. Hey Siri ignores me just enough to make me look stupid. It works well enough that I'm not turning it off, but around 15% of the time I'm talking to nothing.
    4. Battery is OK-ish. If I have a sedentary day I have 30-40% left. If I workout a lot (two 45 minute bike rides with heart rate monitoring) I'm left with low 10% at the end of the 18 hour day. I'm concerned that a year from now the battery with be 10% less capable and Watch OS 2.0 will be burning a bit more power doing more tasks and I'll have to start turning features off. This always seems to happen with my iPhones (awesome in the beginning, then a year or two later I'm struggling to get through a day).
    5. Screen resolution isn't high enough. Real watches look better as you get closer to them. You hold small screens close to your face. Apparently my close vision to good enough that I can clearly see pixels when I hold the watch up close. I hope Apple increases the density on future watches.
    6. Not bright enough in bright light. But I understand that the power to match the sun isn't possible right now.
    7. The watch face keeps activating when I'm driving. It'd be clever for Apple to tweak the algorithm to ignore steering wheel motions when your phone knows you are driving.
    8. Taptic touch is weak. I seem to miss it equally as often whether it is set to weak or strong so I just left it on weak to see whether my brain gets better at noticing it. Having tried prominent yet, because missing a notification isn't a problem (see like #7).
    9. Why can't I see my reminders?!

    That said, there's no way I'm returning it.

    What I like:
    1. The SS watch is beautiful. So beautiful I sold my 4/24-delivered Sport and waited another couple of weeks to get a SS and don't regret it. With the white band, it is really sharp looking. The only niggle I have is the screen blackness (see dislike #1).
    2. The sports band is very comfortable
    3. I can leave it slightly loose so I can slide it up and down during the day and the heart rate works fine. The watch only triggers the lock code when I actually take it off. When I workout, I just slide one hole tighter.
    4. The digital crown is silky smooth.
    5. The OS is surprisingly featured for a 1.0. The logic of the Watch OS makes sense after only a few days. The watch face is the home screen. You have four ways to get into apps: 1. Complications 2. Glances 3. App screen. 4. Siri.
    5. Seeing a timer count down on the watch face is REALLY nice. Especially since my iPhone seems to not show a count down on the notifications screen.
    6. I can now mark tracked bike rides with my phone deep inside my backpack.
    7. The red dot when I miss a notification. I check the time every 5-10 minutes, so missing the tap hasn't been a problem.
    8. Perfomance. Not as laggy/terrible as I had read. Most things load within a few seconds (or faster). But I'm using very few non-native apps, since the few I played with effectively broken. Hopefully 3rd parties will get Watch APIs at WWDC.
    9. Raise to activate works very well. Occasionally I get mad at it, but a lot less than I expected.
    10. Complications are awesome.
    11. Maps on the Watch are really nice. Very slick that starting navigation on the phone gives you mapping seamlessly on your wrist.
    12. I love that covering the watch turns the screen on. It's also cool that flicking your wrist away from your face turns if off.
    13. Activity tracking is based on three independent activities (standing, exercising, calories burned) instead of a dogmatic 10,000 steps. A Fitbit implies you've had a failed day if you ride a bike for two hours but only walk 5000 steps.

    1. Glances are less useful than I thought since they aren't full apps. For instance the Activity Glance is almost useless since I have it as a complication. I was getting confused to see it as a glance but couldn't see any granular information until I touched it to launch the actual app. It makes the most sense for things that aren't real apps - like the power level.
    2. Heart rate takes about 10 seconds to get a reading. Annoying.
    3. Occasionally the weather complication goes blank. Opening the weather app doesn't fix it.
    4. I really want Google Maps on the Watch. I don't fully trust Apple Maps and Google has much better traffic/re-routing information/logic. This is crucial in DC.
    5. I want to save more power when working out, but it looks the only option for heart rate it to turn it off for workout. That seems kind of extreme. I'd like an option to only record heart rate every few minutes. Maybe this wouldn't help enough?
    6. The Watch is hard to use while walking briskly and almost impossible when biking. I had a few near tip-overs when trying to start and stop workouts while riding my bike.
  2. gorkt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2007
    Good review! I have a lot of the same impressions, especially with battery life and activity tracker. If I don't trigger the workout app, I end the day with power to spare, otherwise I will get very close to power reserve.

    I spent $1 on an app called Reminders Nano. It basically looks just like what the reminders app should be, even down to the icon.

    The lag for apps annoys me more than it does for you. What really bugs me is the inconsistancy. Sometimes an app comes right up, sometimes it takes 30 seconds and sometimes it doesn't come up at all. Frustrating.
  3. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014

    I quoted all of the things I agree with. WHY IS THERE NO REMINDERS APP????? I too hope that Apple creates some sort of "driving mode" to stop my watch from lighting up with every turn. I can't imagine it being *too* hard, but what do I know?

    Aside from the lack of a Reminders app (WHY?) my biggest complaint would have to be the inconsistent functionality of the Weather app. It never loads right away, it always seems to take 5-10 seconds, sometimes more. None of the other apps, even the ones that use an internet connection, take as long as my Weather app. Heck, even Trivia Crack loads faster, and that's a 3rd party app!

    I'm excited to see how Apple improves the WatchOS in the coming months!
  4. dmcgoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    I may burn the dollar and get that app. I'd think that Apple would fix this in WatchOS 1.1, but who knows?

    I'm pretty ruthless on third party apps. If it ever takes more than 10 seconds to get something up, it's gone. I've had little trouble with delays on native apps.
  5. mrboba1 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2015
    Raleigh, NC
    I think it still does the 10 minute tracking even if you have the constant workout tracking off, FYI.

    Good review, though. :)

    Edit: ooh - maybe it doesn't. I'll have to investigate further...
  6. dmcgoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    I really think it'd be easy to Apple to have an auto-drive mode for the watch. The M7 motion chip in my iPhone 5s knows when I'm driving. It'd just need to communicate that to the watch and then the watch would ignore motions consistent with turning a steering wheel.

    I haven't had too much trouble with Weather. Occasionally I have to wait 10 seconds for it to load, but it's usually there for me in less than second. Usually.

    I hope Apple continues to make improvements with power handling. If they just add more features, then I won't be able to get through a day with a couple workouts. I'd hate to turn off a key feature (Hey Siri, Raise to Activate) to make it through a day.

    I can easily charge the phone for a few minutes if it gets low. It's a lot trickier to charge a watch, since it's far less useful away from the wrist.
  7. CellXor10 macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2015
    Connecticut, USA
    While some of your dislikes seem a bit nit-picky (at first), they do seem like realistic observations rather than whiny complaints. And while most of them don't bother or annoy me at all, I'd agree with many of them if I were to honestly critique my Watch.

    And the same could be said for the majority of your likes- which for me far out-weigh the dislikes as far as my overall assessment of my Watch.

    Glances I agree are only useful for a small select group of apps, though I imagine this will change as developers morph their Watch versions of their apps using the actual Watch rather than the developer kit. I've run into the same Weather issues- I have the weather complication at the center of the Modular face, which is a quite large complication that spells out most the info, so losing the weather is quite apparent. Tho I have found that mine does fix itself by clicking thru and opening the actual app. Agreed on Google Maps.
  8. dmcgoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    Does it? I assumed that was the case, but the text on the Watch App says "...Apple Watch conserves battery life by disabling the heart rate sensor...." This may just be poor writing. I'll try and remember to turn it off for my next bike ride and see what happens. I'm not hard-core enough to care about intervals or zones on my commute, so it's not a huge deal to toggle it. But I do want a rough idea of what my HR is.....
  9. mrboba1 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2015
    Raleigh, NC
    I edited after you read, and I'm actually not sure about this now. I had a 15 minute walk yesterday and it didn't show up during that walk (I was testing battery longevity), but sometimes it doesn't do it every 10 minutes either.

    And you must have some eagle eyes, because I don't see the transition, nor can I get it close enough to my face to see pixels before my sight gets blurry LOL
  10. dmcgoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    Try looking at the second hand as close as your eyes will tolerate. It will "shimmer" or look a bit "fuzzy." I agree this is really nitpicky, but a watch is something I put near my face regularly.


    I agree that Glances will get better as time goes on. It's a new way of displaying information. It's just kind of kludgy right now for stuff that demands more information. Swipe up, swipe left/right a few times, wait a couple of seconds for the info to update, then touch it again to load all of the info isn't very efficient.

    I have been very aggressive paring down glances. I only have Heart Beat (can you get this anywhere besides glances?), Power Level, Remote, Phone control/ping, Maps, and World Clock.
  11. Subdiv macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2014
    I agree about Google Maps. I'd also like to be able to get Google Now cards on my watch.
  12. mrboba1 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2015
    Raleigh, NC

    lol - nope, tried all 3 faces with a second hand, couldn't get closer than 3 inches and couldn't see what you're saying. And I still have really good eyesight!

    Congrats on your excellent eyesight!!:D

    What color do you use for the second hand? Maybe that makes a difference.
  13. dmcgoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    Well, I have mediocre far vision, but I guess my close vision is better than normal? I use blue on the "Simple" face. I did change it to white and it was less noticeable. I sometimes think I'm a bit crazy for noticing this, but I wasn't expecting to be able to see pixels so I was genuinely surprised to see the fuzziness when looking closely at the watch.
  14. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    Nice review, cool to see a fellow DC forum member
  15. Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    If your holding a watch close to your face, you must not be able to see very well. I usually look at my watch at the same distance at which I hold my iPhone.
  16. dmcgoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    I usually don't. But it's such a beautiful little thing, that I can't help but look at it more closely sometimes. Then I see the pixels. The chronograph face looks kind of lousy too, since the ticks are so fine. This may be less of an issue on 42mm watches since the pixel density is the same, but the screen is larger, so you are less tempted to pull it in close.
  17. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    Thanks a bunch people. Now I can see the damned pixels, too and I'm your typical middle ager who has to push my glasses down my nose to read the time.

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