Perceived complexity and lag in the Apple Watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by darcyf, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. darcyf macrumors 6502

    darcyf

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    #1
    Wondering what people's thoughts are after playing with one of the Apple Watch demos at an Apple Store with regard to the interface.

    Did you find it intuitive? Easy to navigate?

    What about smoothness and speed between screens and launching apps?

    In the 5-10 minutes I had to play with it, I did find navigating around the Watch a little confusing. There's a lot of stuff crammed in there and a lot of different ways to interact with it and navigate through it. Maybe after a day of actually using the Watch it would become second nature - that's the Apple I expect. But walking away from a 5-10 minute demo left me feeling uncertain.

    I also found certain apps - the ones that relied on the internet like weather and stocks, if I recall correctly - to be laggy. So that might have been a wifi issue. Just wondering if anyone else can speak to that in case there are other areas in the Watch they found were not as responsive - or even better, more responsive - than they expected?
     
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    #2
    Most reviews say the same thing. Just like most new technology, there is a learning curve. Give it a day or two and it will be like operating an iPhone.
     
  3. bjdraw macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Try not to confuse easy to learn with easy to use (vi FTW).

    And the lag you describe sound related to the 3rd party apps or ones that have to pull data from the phone. This is def' a concern and one that I hope is addressed with software soon.
     
  4. kingofwale macrumors 6502a

    kingofwale

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    #4
    i disagree, iPhone was the most intuitive devices I've used in a long time, ever since the original iPhone.

    the issue with Apple watch is there's way too many ways to navigate. Sure you will get used to it, but it just feels very... un-apple-like
     
  5. caligurl macrumors 68030

    caligurl

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    #5
    the lag was really annoying.... i have to admit i was a bit put off by it... not enough to cancel my order....
     
  6. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #6
    I thought Apple told the Verge a software update was coming?
     
  7. darcyf thread starter macrumors 6502

    darcyf

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    #7
    Yeah, I think if you stripped away the physical Watch, which has Apple design queues all over it, and just looked at the interface, I think you'd be hard pressed to say it was made by Apple unless someone told you.

    Those tiny app circles clustered together and swimming around in a virtual soup... the layers of navigation with no clear path... those animated emojis...

    It's all very splashy and looks impressive in a controlled demo loop running on the Watch. But it's hard to make sense of it all when actually using it.
     
  8. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

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    May 27, 2006
    #8
    The lag of apps that is due to pulling data from the iPhone can't be fixed. It is the nature of BTLE. It is very slow. Lag due to hardware could be helped with optimization, but from what I have read it sounds like it is lag due to the phone connection, not hardware or software optimization.
     
  9. Cory Bauer macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I found the fluidity and responsiveness of the Watch to be fantastic. After the reviews (The Verge in particular) I was concerned this thing was going to be a dog; after actually playing with it my concerns about it being a first generation product were put to rest. I realize watch kit apps will be slow, but I'm perfectly content with the out-of-box Apps until 3rd party apps can actually be installed on the watch (instead of beamed from your phone) later this year.

    Regarding navigation, what I struggled with most was how to confirm or cancel an action. For instance, what's the equivalent to a "done" button when you've customized a setting on the watch face? Or if I use force touch to bring up additional options how do I dismiss that screen if I don't want to select the options presented?

    These are issues inherent in such a small screen. There's no room for "back", or "cancel" or "next" buttons on the screen in conjunction with everything else. Eventually we'll just memorize the buttons and hidden options, but for the time being there'll be a lot of, "ok, now what do I do?".
     
  10. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 17, 2008
    #10
    I went to my try one appointment last night and was able to spend a fairly significant amount of time playing with one of the display watches. My conclusions:

    1. The UI felt absolutely fluid - no lag what so ever. I was very impressed by how smoothly everything animated.
    2. There was a small problem when swiping through glances. Often I would swipe once and end up two glances over instead of on the next one. This was something I saw in the demo videos as well. I couldn't tell if it was a bug, or if they have some sort of short swipe vs long swipe functionality happening.
    3. The display units didn't have any third party apps that I could tell, so I wasn't able to see how much of an issue latency between the watch and the phone was going to be. I'm betting this will be a fairly quickly resolved issue once Apple starts allowing native apps on the watch (or a robust preloading mechanism).
    4. The maps app felt the same as my phone when the data is loaded over LTE. Meaning when moving to new locations you saw the grid being drawn first, then the data starts to fill in. Based on one of the reviews I was expecting it to be much worse than it actually was - it was definitely very usable (just not quite as speedy as over wifi). This problem may be exacerbated when connected to an iPhone that's using LTE (so you get the LTE lag plus the data transfer to the watch lag, but that's something I'll have to see on my own).

    Overall I was very impressed with the watch - other than the one very minor hiccup with the glances everything felt extremely solid.
     
  11. darcyf thread starter macrumors 6502

    darcyf

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    #11
    The size of the screen vs. what it's been tasked with doing is part of what I struggle with. It seems like Apple really wanted to show us how useful the Watch could be by including a bunch of impressive features and options and customizations.

    But when was the last time Apple ever released a product like that? Apple's usual MO - what they often pride themselves on - is focusing on the things that matter most and stripping away everything else until you have a product that is intuitive and easy to use while still being essential.

    There's a lot going on inside that tiny screen. I just wonder if it's so much that its getting in the way of a truly intuitive and essential Watch experience.
     
  12. Runt888 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 17, 2008
    #12
    As for complexity, I've spent a good amount of time learning the UI from the videos online, so I was able to get around pretty well. I'm sure there will be a small learning curve when I first get mine, but I don't see myself having any real problems with it.

    I can see how it may be confusing to people who haven't spent the hours we have devouring anything and everything Apple Watch related in the last few weeks/months.
     
  13. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #13
    A lot of people have commented that they didn't know what action to take next. Press? Tap? Swipe? Force tap? Rotate crown?

    The UI input goes all over the place. E.g. press the button below the crown to bring up Contacts. Then use the crown to scroll through them. Then press on the contact to select it.

    On Android Wear, "Back" is a left-to-right swipe like on iOS. On the LG WebOS watch, they have a dedicated "Back" button below the crown button.

    Yep, and other systems like Android Wear are kind of like that too, at first.

    As you said, it requires a learning curve, and (yes I'm going there) that's something I really think Steve Jobs would not have allowed to happen. He'd have been more like, "I WANT JUST ONE BUTTON!" :D

    PS. I think that a lot of Watch buyers will never figure out all the hidden inputs. People will be comparing watches and one will say something like, "I wish it could do this" and the other will say, "But it can! You just have to do this secret gesture". Such is modern life with devices that have overloaded input methods.
     
  14. cmichaelb, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    cmichaelb macrumors 68020

    cmichaelb

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    #14
    That was in the article. I think the reviewers would have expected to have that update already installed.

    I'm wondering, if it's true the watch and phone can talk via wifi direct as well, if you can choose that over Bluetooth for possible faster updating with certain aps?
     
  15. darcyf thread starter macrumors 6502

    darcyf

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    #15
    I had the same experience with swiping glances - and didn't realize I had swiped two over until I swiped back and found myself at a different glance than were I'd started from.

    You may be right about the long vs. short swipe gesture, but I hope it's just a quirk in the interface that will eventually be ironed out. Adding more and more subtle ways to change the nature of an interaction just creates more room for error, and more cause for frustration, imo.

    Playing with the new MacBook Pro 13" trackpad I often found myself force clicking by accident, for example. Maybe I'd get used to it over time, but there's a very real risk that people will just get frustrated instead, seeing it as just another pop up that tells them they're doing something wrong - so I won't bother reading it I'll just keep hitting cancel every time it pops up until hopefully maybe someday it goes away. They'll use their way around the feature rather than ever learning what it's there for or how it can enhance their experience with the product. Or just stop using it altogether.
     
  16. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

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    #16
    This is something I haven't understood since day 1. The watch has always seemed to lack a focus. It seems to have features, just to have features. The heartbeat and drawings are obvious evidence of this. I wish they had picked 2 or 3 things and just absolutely nailed them. Then add as you go, as they have with pretty much every other product they have released.
     
  17. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #17
    I don't like how many app circles there are on the home screen or the little extras that are so unnecessary like sending heartbeats. Is there a way to remove apps and have less and have the icons bigger?
     
  18. Cory Bauer macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2003
    #18
    I was thinking the exact same thing. I wonder if they shouldn't have just made the app interfaces scrollable so at least you might find the addition off-screen features that way. Especially when it's just one extra option they're hiding.

    The only force-touch option in the Notification Center is "Clear All". I tried to tap a message to reply, but nothing happened. So I tried a force touch, which brought up a "clear all" button with no way to dismiss it. In my attempt to make it go away, I ended up deleting all of the notifications. So yeah, not the easiest to learn Apple product ever.

    ----------

    Some of the features do just feel like tech demos; why not give the watch an emoji picker akin to Messages on every other device, instead of mime hands and exploding hearts?

    Still, even with everything and the kitchen sink thrown in, forum goers and reviewers are still building laundry lists of missing features they seemed to expect in a version one product.
     
  19. kdarling, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #19
    Yeah, anything that would make options more discoverable, would be good.

    One UI red flag to me is the use of what I call "magic data" in demos, where everything magically fits and looks consistent. For example, the way that everyone's name is four letters below:

    apple0200.jpg

    In real life, according to people testing the Watch, longer names are cut off and the end scrolls into view. This could be non-optimal in some situations / countries where the start and end of long names are similar. OTOH, as long as you have a photo to match up to, I suppose it's not a big deal :)

    --

    The most surprising review reveal to me, was that the heartbeat and drawing and tapping messages are not real time. Somehow I got the impression that they were. That is, that your partner would see and feel you at the same time.

    Instead, apparently they're like mini-recordings that are sent when you're done composing them. Like a voice message in iMessage.

    (My guess is that this delay is why they got rid of "Walkie-Talkie" mode, since it's not really one at all. I think Apple was trying to so hard last September to make it all sound magical, that they descriptively got ahead of themselves in some cases.)
     
  20. Cory Bauer macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Yeah that is a bad sign, as it shows a design that doesn't take reality into consideration. Whenever I design something with fields of varying length, I start with the longest string of characters expected and work backwards from there. Design is more about functionality than it is how it looks.

    That was the impression I got as well and was also disappointed. Really defeats the purpose as far as I'm concerned if the receiver of a tap or heartbeat has to launch Messages to receive the tap on their wrist you intended to get their immediate attention.

    Instead, apparently they're like mini-recordings that are sent when you're done composing them. Like a voice message in iMessage.

    (My guess is that this delay is why they got rid of "Walkie-Talkie" mode, since it's not really one at all. I think Apple was trying to so hard last September to make it all sound magical, that they descriptively got ahead of themselves in some cases.)[/QUOTE]
     
  21. DravenGSX macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #21
    I had low expectations after the reviews and was really
    Impressed. I was actually disappointed that I opted for the cheaper sport model over concerns with the lag in the reviews.

    I didn't experience any noticeable lag. I also had no problem navigating through the interface. I absolutely loved the entire experience. The next 13 days are going to be unbearable!
     
  22. docprego, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    docprego macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I didn't notice any significant lag. But that app choosing interface, what were they thinking? It's completely UNINTUITIVE! First there are NO labels so you have to memorize each apps icon. Second the icons are small! More than once myself and the salesperson assisting me tapped an icon and missed.

    I'm 100% Apple and already pre-ordered my 42mm sport but this is by far my biggest disappointment with the watch. Why not utilize a similar app interface from the iPhone and iPad with multiple pages you swipe through? They could have limited the number of apps per page so they were larger and included labels. The one they chose looks like it was designed for a circular display anyway.
     
  23. mightyjabba macrumors 65816

    mightyjabba

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    #23
    The UI is one of my biggest concerns about the watch. It just doesn't seem that great! I've never had a chance to use one myself, but it really seems like it's unnecessarily confusing. I guess the "cloud" of icons is okay once you learn what they do, but they really need to work on making it clear what mode you're in, and what inputs are possible at any given time, etc.

    Quite frankly the "digital touch" thing is kind of embarrassing. Like they came up with a tech demo and just decided to run with it as a major feature of the product. And don't get me started on the 3D emoji. Does anyone actually like them more than, say, the emoji used on this forum? They're horrible! Creepy while also failing to clearly convey an emotion, which is kind of the point of emoji in the first place. :mad: :rolleyes: :D
     
  24. Wiesenlooser macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I really like the ui. However - I think they should have made the circles bigger.
     
  25. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #25
    Yes, exactly! I know it's easy trot out "Steve would never have done X" whenever you disagree with something Apple does, but there is just so many things about the watch that would have benefited from more editing. And I'm afraid without Steve, there is no one to wield the Simple Stick.

    I didn't spend too much time playing with the demo watch, but one thing that surprised me was the zooming on the apps screen -- you know, the one with all the circular app icons. So you twist the crown to zoom in, find the icon you want to tap, then you let go of the crown -- and the icons snap back down to smaller size! Did anyone find that kind of pointless? I was expecting the icons will stay zoomed in until you twisted the crown the other way. It's so hard to tap the icon you want when they are so tiny. I wasn't the only one having problems tapping the correct icon. My friend and the apple salesperson who was showing us the watch also had problems tapping the icon the were aiming for.
     

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