Played with Watch and do not agree with slowness complaints

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

  1. zacheryjensen macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2009
    I was able to spend some time playing with the actual watch today, not the demo loop, but, the display watches that are functional.

    At no point in using the watch did I have even the slightest impression that it was performing too slowly for the class of device it is. Furthermore, I had absolutely no trouble finding my way around the UI, understanding "where" I was at any given moment, or any of the other weird complaints I have been seeing from reviewers and such.

    One theory, none of these reviewers have a working understanding of the iOS convention of swipe down for notification center, swipe up for command center? I don't know, but, that's just as complex as the watch gets. You're either on the face, in notifications, in glances, in the menu, or in an app. But it's actually simpler than that as the apps vs. the face/notification/glances is a separate, very secondary-feeling aspect of the UI.

    Anyway, the take away here is that the UI is perfectly fine and if you can't figure it out after 5-10 minutes of playing, you may want to reconsider technology in general :p

    My 7 year old who has basically no experience with watches had no trouble except that she was surprised you could both turn and press the digital crown.

    The one thing that did trip me up was how sensitive the watch was in regards to a hard press vs. normal tap. But after a few tries I got it. Normal taps are super light. K, lesson learned and will never be a bother again.

    Navigating around the watch was extremely responsive, with beautiful high frame rate animations, smooth transitions, and in the few cases where the watch maybe seemed to stutter a bit, it didn't stutter in the sense that you were waiting, it stuttered in the sense that it skipped unnecessary animations so you'd be where you wanted to be in the time you expected to be there (such as a swipe down to get to notifications, one time I did that it just went from the face to notifications with no animation, likely because of a momentary delay in rendering throughput.)

    There are some contextual transitions that have a minor delay before executing, such as when you crown out of an app to the face, or between the face and apps, but, nothing that causes large delays for high frequency usage. No meaningful delays moving from face to notifications or to glances, for example. As far as individual app performance, that's going to be hugely dependent on the app itself. The native apps, once loaded, are as responsive as one could hope from a tiny computer that you might actually be able to swallow if you really tried.

    So yeah, I do not agree with the observations that have been claiming this UI is too confusing or too slow. It's great for what it is, it's by far the best smart watch UI I've encountered so far.... by a large margin. Using it is a joy. Things like the animations in the watch faces are so buttery smooth and detailed, you will probably kill your batteries in the first few days just staring at the eye candy. I'm so glad Apple went the extra mile with this sort of thing.

    Other than the UI, I found the finish and look of the real world devices to be excellent and beyond what I was expecting. They really are better in person. Every single model in every single combination looked good. My least favorite band styles, after seeing in person, are definitely the leather loop, but, it's a matter of taste, not quality. I am so glad that none of the watches seem overly bulky. Not a single model gave the impression off-arm that the enormous monsters like the Moto 360 give. These devices looked like ... well, watches! Size, shape, design, it looks like a winner to me.

    I'm more excited than ever for my pre-order to arrive, on time hopefully, around the 24th. The only downside of today's visit is that now both my wife and daughter want one (and my wife wasn't even really sure why, that's a good sign for Apple.)
  2. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2012
    I believe the complaint is third parties apps and getting the data from your phone.
  3. zacheryjensen thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2009
    This has been part of those complaints, but, also general UI slowness.

    I do completely, 100% expect a slower UX with third party apps being a developer myself and knowing how they are being implemented.

    But so far as the first class watch experience, it's amazing for something of this class and size. It's addicting, really. I want my own right now! heh I am so going to kill my battery every day for the first week in like, 3 hours, I'm sure. Can't wait to play.
  4. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    The "confusion" is just because of how many options/actions there are - compare iPhone to Apple Watch:

    Swipe up for control center
    Swipe down for notification center
    Press home for home screen
    Hold home for Siri
    Double tap home to multitask

    Apple Watch;
    Force touch for menu options
    Swipe up for glances
    Swipe down for notification center
    Press crown for app grid/press home to return to watch face
    Hold crown for Siri
    Press contacts button for contacts
    Double tap contacts button for apple Pay
    Use crown for scrolling lists
    Use crown for zooming grids

    Then there are some things like customizing the watch face - you force touch, tap on the screen to select an element, use the crown to switch options, then press the crown button to save it. That is essentially 4 different interfaces (touch, force touch, crown selection, crown button.)

    Now I don't think it is necessarily bad, but compared to the iPhone currently it is definitely more complex and there is much more modality and hidden UI.
  5. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010

    Tell more about the quality of tech reviews than the Watch itself.
  6. zacheryjensen thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2009

    You just simply left out numerous iPhone interactions that have zero discoverability such as pinch to zoom, double tap in browser for zooming, swipe left for some behaviors in some lists, swipe left for others, in some lists, you tap, in others tapping is nothing, and so on. Far more interactions than the watch, actually.

    Also you make the app list vs. face sound more complicated than it is. You press the crown to toggle that view. It's one button and it is very limited in what it actually does in regards to a single press. On iPhone, if I press home, it might take me back to my main springboard view, it may take me back to a newsstand view, then pressing it again may take me to a folder then again to get to the springboard, or maybe it went to a folder, then again to get home, or maybe I double tapped and switched apps then hit home and instead it took me straight to springboard even though I was originally in newsstand.

    The complexity levels here sound terrible but they are trivial for a human mind to understand with a bit of exposure. The watch is actually simpler. Not on the watch face but want to be? Press crown. Not there yet? Press it again. Just like home button on iPhone. Already on the face but want to be in apps? Press crown. Move between face and not face by pressing crown one or more times until you're where you want to be. One sentence of instructions. Easy.

    Anyway, all this talk is pointless. You play with it a few minutes and you get it. Its complexity severely exaggerated through conversation and reviews.
  7. cdm283813 macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2015
    The interface needs help and the watch lags/has performance issues. It's been confirmed a few times from multiple reliable sources Let's stop trying to pretend that issues don't exist.
    When I bought the iPhone 6 on release day iOS 8 was so buggy I went back to Android within 7 days. Fast forward 6 months later I bought a iPad Air 2 and it's been a great experience. Enough to make me want to try a iPhone 6s this fall. It does no one any good holding back criticism. Everyone criticized Samsung for their poor build quality and lag and today we have one of the best phones on the market with the S6.
    If people don't criticize the Apple watch Apple will have little motivation to improve it. So please stop thinking that protecting it actually helps the situation. I only see the watch getting better but sugarcoating does not help it. If there's problems people need to speak up.
  8. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    Well... I spent some time with the demo unit as well, and there were definitely some areas that lagged a bit. I don't think it was that bad and I wouldn't describe the OS as laggy, but let's not pretend that it's perfect. It definitely still needs some work.
  9. zacheryjensen thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2009
    Everything always needs a little work. That's a pointless observation. The real issue is the exaggeration of the "problem" here. It's well within the realm of usability and mostly right on par with iPhone level responsiveness. And frankly, knowing what one could possibly pack in there, technology-wise, it's incredibly great.
  10. gwynne macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2010
    I spent 15 minutes with a tethered demo unit. The whole thing was way more intuitive than I expected. I drilled down in many apps, scrolled with my finger and with the crown, zoomed in on pictures from the mosaic view, etc. maps was the only thing that took a second to load.

    No dog in this fight. Honest answer. I'll probably be back tomorrow if someone has a specific test they want me to perform to "prove" lagginess, I'll be happy to provide an honest description of the result. It's possible I don't know all the navigation tricks yet. Likely.
  11. lwilliams macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2012
    Athens, GA
    I spent some time trying one out tonight also. My experience is the same. It was great. I saw no issues with it at all.

    I had changed my mind about ordering one yesterday. However, after tonight, I simply need to decide which one I want. I am thinking 42mm with the Milanese loop band. SO cool.
  12. shayanhooshmand macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2014
    The main complaint in tech reviews were the 3rd party apps and confusing new set of controls. Since there were no 3rd party apps on the demo units, that can't be confirmed but in review videos it seemed there was an apparent slowness. However, that can be improved in future software updates.

    As for the new set of controls, if you picked up an Apple Watch having never used one before, I'm sure it can be confusing. Then again, that was the same thing with the iPhone, but maybe not as pronounced. That's why they have the Guided Tours videos and people helping you with the Watch in stores.

    I have to say though, after having seen many videos of the Watch and learning about it's functionality, I still forgot in many apps to use Force Touch to bring up hidden menus. Lance Ulanoff, who did the Apple Watch review for Mashable, mentioned in his review that he could not find a way to compose new tweets from the Apple Watch Twitter app, but later, in a Periscope broadcast, said that it is brought up by using Force Touch on the main menu of the app. Those kinds of things are definitely confusing.

    In general, there is a clear learning curve with the Apple Watch, but people will eventually learn :p
  13. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    I played with one today. Apple needs to fix the snap animation when you swipe from one page to another. It's kind of loose right now making it appear as if it's lagging. Like it cant seem to "lock" the page when you swipe fast enough.

    This shows in the glances section when you swipe or in the health app break down pages.
  14. cdm283813 macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2015
    That's the entire issue. It took one tech reviewer 3 days before becoming comfortable with the operation of the watch; I'm not making this up. How can I expect my non-tech savvy wife to even attempt it? Apple should be making the watch easier to use; not making the user feel like their dumb. Most people here are geeks but there are so many people out there that never visit tech sites. This watch is going to frustrate so many people.

    "It took three days — three long, often confusing and frustrating days — for me to fall for the Apple Watch. But once I fell, I fell hard.

    First there was a day to learn the device’s initially complex user interface. Then another to determine how it could best fit it into my life. And still one more to figure out exactly what Apple’s first major new product in five years is trying to do — and, crucially, what it isn’t."

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