How could Apple legitimately improve watchOS?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Aluminum213, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040

    Aluminum213

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    Mar 16, 2012
    #1
    I'm not sure what else they could do with it in terms of software. To me it's all hardware that needs to improve. Processor is too slow, every app should open up instantly. Battery life can always be better, built in GPS and LTE. Those are all hardware. Software wise, it pretty much does what I want it to do, anything more I just use my phone
     
  2. LoveToMacRumors macrumors 68020

    LoveToMacRumors

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    #2
    Software is limited by Hardware, so like you said, they need to improve hardware first, then software will be developed alongside.
     
  3. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #3
    I agree. I think that wOS is very good as it is. Hardware speed upgrades would be nice to speed up Siri and some occasional app loading (maybe that is a wOS problem). I think the gaps are lack of watch face flexibility (wOS) and the supporting activity, fitness, and health apps on the phone and web (total lack on the web).

    The other very annoying thing is that we cannot hide the Apple apps from the home screen. I rarely use most of the Apple apps; yet they consume a ton of precious pixels in a very small space.
     
  4. ZEEN0j macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I'd say software wise. wOS is in it's infant age. I'm more exited for the next software update then the next hardware.
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #5
    No way to give it a more powerful processor without making the watch larger to hold a larger battery. Until batteries get better there is no way we will see a giant leap in performance. Any software updates might tweak a few things the increase in speed will be small.

    Also the developers are not exactly knocking themselves out producing software for the watch.
     
  6. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #6
    Big +1 here. Apple is a hardware company that subsidizes its software, and it shows across all of its products. It seems like it takes Apple years and several major software iterations to reach state-of-the-market for their products. Fortunately, Apple has a loyal and patient fan base.
     
  7. IphoneIssues macrumors 65816

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  8. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #8
    I really wonder why. Maybe they think it can't do enough (whatever "enough" means), maybe they can't figure out how to monetize it, maybe they don't like using the watch themselves, who knows?

    I've only spoken to one developer (that I know of), and he didn't care for the watch at all. He was wearing it, but said that he thought it was slow and didn't do enough things. The app he's most responsible for also showed neglect, and is still, IMO, far behind competing apps in the same genre.

    In this case, it's not WatchOS's fault, nor can I blame the hardware -- it's the developer's responsibility.
     
  9. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #9
    I think the main problem is the lack of money to be made for watch apps. If the money was there the developers would be working 24/7.
     
  10. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    Colorado
    #10
    Well, is hardware bad? I don't know. I played with Android Wear last weekend (LG Urbane). It has Snapdragon 400 processor.

    No matter what face i picked on Urbane, the second hand twitches as it goes around the screen. Apple Watch second hand goes smoothly. Urbane hand is like quartz movement but actually twitches in between every second mark. Horrible! Pulling up Google Maps on Urbane took even longer than Apple Watch pulling up Maps! Scrolling is good but not as smooth as Apple.
     
  11. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #11
    1. Battery.
    2. Speed.
    3. Software.
    4. More sensors.
    5. It should make me Earl Grey whenever I need it. Hot.
     
  12. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

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    Mar 30, 2015
    #12
    So true... hard to put great efforts into a Watch with maybe 14mm users versus 700mm users. Imagination by some will really open up the doors. I like any option that we can use complications to open doors, set alarms, lights, recordings, etc. It has to be easy with the watch with its limited size.
     
  13. Armen, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016

    Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #13
    This is what I would have done if I was in charge of WatchOS

    Home Screen Layout:

    I'd ditch the honeycomb in favor of rows of rounded square icons like the iPhone (something people are already familiar with). The honeycomb may be pretty and all but it's difficult to touch the appropriate icon (especially when you're walking). Swipe left/right to go to different pages.

    Additional Complications:

    Native Mail complication that displays unread mail count in smaller complication slots and maybe the latest unread e-mail in the Modular face large complication slot.

    Heart rate complication: red heart icon on the watch face itself. Tapping it would make the watch measure your heart rate. The heart icon would change to a number when BPM is found and back to a heart when you tap again.

    Additional Watch Faces:

    Music Watch Face:

    The background for this watch face would be the current song album art
    Custom complications would be included with this face that would allow for next/previous track(s) and also display the song info.

    Custom Watch Face:

    This watch face would be similar to the photo watch face except that the photo would be the background and the foreground would have the hands of the simple watch face along with its complications.
     
  14. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #14
    I think there is a lot that can still be done on the software side. Many times apps work reasonably fast which tells me that there is something going on in the optimizations that isn't strictly hardware related.

    There should be a gesture to swipe between open apps. As a fitness watch this is a huge need as there is currently no way to easily move between apps on the fly.

    There should be an option to keep the watch face on all the time during activities. I don't care about the battery hit as most people's workouts day to day are 30-90 minutes. Let us take the battery hit, but have an always-on screen during those times, with data that is continuously updated.

    Give more control to 3rd party developers. Currently the HR doesn't update as frequently with any 3rd party app as it does with the native fitness app. Give them the ability to use sounds and taptics so we can get application specific alerts.

    They need to better define what the watch can and can't do by itself. Why is there an Airplay icon that generally does nothing? Why can't I start music on my watch and airplay it all from my watch without having to find my phone? Why do I have to connect my external HR monitor to the phone rather than the watch in order for 3rd party apps to gain access? (and if so, why am I also given the option on the watch?) There are too many places like this where the watch does some things but not others, or can do one action but not another similar one.
     
  15. lagwagon Suspended

    lagwagon

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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    #15
    I don't know about the rest on your wish list but they are definitely working on more watch faces and expanding that. (The job posting specifically for someone to work on watch faces.) Which will make a lot of people happy

    I've also heard from a podcast that they are also working on a possible low power always on for time. (Likely to be a watchOS 3 feature) If true then that will make a ton of people happy.
     
  16. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    Jun 21, 2013
    #16
    Fix Siri. Siri could be a very good substitute UI. Let's me dictate texts, open glances, etc... However, its not very good at listening. I frequently get no response when I dictate texts, for example. Or it thinks too long about what to "type". Or it types things (correctly) and then "autocorrects" to something that's not right. It does have its moments, but they are not frequent enough for my liking.
     
  17. jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

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    Sep 18, 2014
    #17
    Apple is not going to give us the moon in 1st gen, or even 2nd gen, even though they could, they won't, unless someone else could catch up to AW in both HW/SW. They own 70% smart watch market, no need to hurry.

    They will make gradual change each generation, ensure profit are maximize by not putting in latest HW design chip, since it tent to be most expensive in cost to Apple.

    Come back in 3/4 gen, or until someone else could get their act together to really come up with something legally could take away some smart watch market from Apple.

    Until then, change will be on foot speed. Remember, techie like us are minority, I know lots of people are perfectly happy with iPhone and AW, even though they only use a very small percentage of capability and very few 3rd party app.
    Grandma and grandpa and 8 years old does not need or use all the apps.
     
  18. Thai, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016

    Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    Colorado
    #18
    Apple is not going to change the software a whole lot because they have already invested R&D into it. They will make minor changes only. On iPhone, we still have rows of icons, right? And no, they will not make a round Apple Watch.

    After playing with Android Wear, i am VERY appreciative of WatchOS. WatchOS actually makes sense (once you play & learn it). Hell, my father at age 74 can use WatchOS!

    Apple is slow because they do a lot of testing internally. They don't just throw out a bunch of features and see which will stick (like Samsung and Android).

    Give us the moon? The moon will come as bands. The key to Apple Watch is in the different bands that will offer more sensors and capability. Unlike other companies that cram a bunch of sensors into a small space, Apple will separate the features out so that if you need body temperature measurements, then get a band that does that. If you need one to measures UV, then you buy with that sensor. If you want to extend battery life, then you get a battery band. Etc.
     
  19. Bryonator1 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2015
    #19
    I believe some of the biggest improvements will come with improved hardware. However, I think there are definitely some software improvements that could be made. Some things I would like to see:

    Third party watch faces. Just imagine all of the watch faces third party developers could come up with if Apple allowed it. If the only change in watchOS 2.0 was this I would be happy.

    Multi-page watch faces. I can swipe down to view notifications and up to view glances but swiping left or right does nothing. Why not allow additional watch face pages so I can have more complications that I can see by swiping left or right? Or maybe I want to have one page be the modular watch face and another page be the photo watch face.

    Either improved screen activation or always on option. This might be impractical due to battery life but would be nice if possible.

    Improved stability. I have had mine lock up on me many times and have occasionally needed to reboot it.
     
  20. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 2, 2010
    #20
    Outside of performance and stability upgrades, I'm rather simple in my request for future features. I'd simply like to be able to make the Modular face digits all red, rather than the current red/white combo, and I'd like to be able to put the time in the center of the Modular face (and be able to clear it from the top right.)
     
  21. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #21
    Allow the user to make more choices rather than baking them in.

    Would love GPS but not if it kills the battery
     
  22. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    #22
    I'd like this, too, mainly as a "night mode" color scheme. The white labels really stand out in the dark.
     
  23. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Exactly. Using red started as a night mode for me, but I like the red enough to use it all the time, these days. As it stands now, my night mode is simply the time, since it's all red.
     
  24. redman042 macrumors 68030

    redman042

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    Jun 13, 2008
    #24
    I think there's still a lot they can do on the software side. The OS has to more carefully balance performance with battery life than on the iPhone, given the tiny battery on the watch. Seems like they heavily biased towards battery savings on Watch OS 1.0, then over time have optimized and improved performance. I bet there's quite a bit more they can do.
     
  25. jasie02 macrumors 6502a

    jasie02

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    Sep 18, 2014
    #25
    Unless Apple start adding more memory for AW, additional SW feature is going to be limited, specially for any feature running in background. They don't want keep adding SW feature, and with AW getting slower and slower.
    This is fairly normal on my AW, with very limited app running, not a lot of memory left.

    IMG_0173.jpg
     

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