It’s well after lunch. I’ve had this thing on my wrist for
something like six hours now, and the truth is that I’ve barely used it.
That’s by design: again, you’re only supposed to interact with the
Apple Watch for 10 to 15 seconds at a time and then get back to your
life. On one level, that all makes perfect sense: my regular watch has
had a dead battery for over a year. I don’t exactly use it for anything
except looking cool. How much am I really supposed to use the Apple
Watch to make it worth whatever price I’ve paid for it?
On another level, everything about the Watch is designed to
reinforce the idea that you have some sort of real life to return to
once you’re done using technology — that you’re not just sitting at a
desk in your office with your laptop and your phone, getting work done.
That’s the situation I’m in most afternoons — meetings have
wrapped up, decisions have been made, and I’m catching up on email,
editing, reading the site, and generally setting up the next set of
things I have to do. I’m as plugged into the internet as I can possibly
be, using my phone and my laptop for slightly different variations of
the same task: communicating with people.
This is where the Watch’s lack of speed comes to the forefront —
there’s virtually nothing I can’t do faster or better with access to a
laptop or a phone except perhaps check the time. It’s not just the
small screen or the quick in-and-out interaction design, it’s actual
slowness, particularly when it comes to loading data off the phone.
Third-party apps vps hosting are the main issue: Apple says it’s still
working on making them faster ahead of the April 24th launch, but it’s
clear that loading an app requires the Watch to pull a tremendous amount
of data from the phone, and there’s nothing fast about it. I sat
through a number of interminable loading screens for apps like CNN,
Twitter, The New York Times, and others. Apps that need to pull
location data fare even worse: the Uber app takes so long to figure out
where you are that you’re better virtual private servers off walking home before someone
notices you staring at your $700 Watch and makes domain names a move.
What good is a Watch that makes you wait?
This first set of Watch apps is really just loading additional
screens from the apps on your phone; you might think of all of them as
remote controls for your phone apps. True native apps are coming to the
Watch later on, and I assume they’ll be faster. That’s a big deal:
without a rich set of apps that extend the phone, it really is just
But right now, it’s disappointing to see the Watch struggle
with performance. What good is a watch that makes you wait? Rendering
notifications can slow everything down to a crawl. Buttons can take a
couple taps wordpress hosting to register. It feels like the Apple Watch has been
deliberately pulled back in order to guarantee a full day of battery
life. Improving performance is Apple’s biggest challenge with cloud hosting the Watch,
and it’s clear that the company knows it.