There’s a euphoria, an excitement that comes with unpacking a new Apple Watch. For years, you’ve fantasized about wearable technology that only Apple could design and the day is almost upon us. The Apple Watch represents an entirely new way to interact, to communicate. The software, while advanced, will undoubtedly go through many transitions over the next few years. Think back to the original iPhone software and how that has undergone drastic changes since iOS 1.0, when there weren’t even third party apps. But that’s not the case with Apple Watch, there will be no shortage of apps on day one. In fact, many sites are documenting lists of each and ever app. It makes sense, as people are generally interested in what apps they can install on their newest gadget. Here’s why you might want to avoid the mad dash to load up on Apple Watch apps.
Enjoy It Pure!
Unless your a sadist who has strapped an iPhone to your wrist, you’re in for an entirely new experience. You can put your phone down and not be interrupted by notifications from countless third party apps. Notification overload is a real thing on mobile. Now imagine being tapped on the wrist throughout the day for a each breaking news story, to do list or reminder that it’s your turn to play Trivia Crack. Yes, that’s a real Apple Watch app. I think this level of hyper notifications will ultimately be beneficial, but it’s going to take time.
Whether you’ve opted for the 38mm or larger 42mm Apple Watch, you shouldn’t expect a big display. That’s a good thing. By design, these don’t look like you’re wearing a computer. Central to Apple Watch is the digital crown, which in many ways acts like the home button on your iPhone. Press it and boom, you’re greeted with a visual representation of your apps. This space will get crowded and quick. Apple ships the watch with 20 apps (I’m including Settings as an app). As you move around the display, app icons will get larger, making for an easier tap target. You can also use the digital crown to zoom in and out. Despite these advances in managing apps on a small screen, this will get mighty cramped if you download every conceivable app.
Start with the core apps and gradually make your way to Apple Watch apps that enhance your life.
Developers Need Time
The word app is a bit of a misnomer. What you’re seeing on your Apple Watch will be more like extensions of your iPhone apps. Understanding what works on a small display is going to take time and more importantly, user feedback. For one, your favorite developer may not have an Apple Watch yet. Within the first half hour, most models were sold out. Apple sees the importance of developers having the devices that they’ve initiated a lottery for developers. Those chosen can purchase an Apple Watch that will ship by April 28th. This is pretty significant, considering all pre-orders have June ship dates. Sure there is the Watch SDK (software development kit), but there’s nothing that will simulate real-world usage. How these apps process information and decide which bits are important enough to tap you on the wrist.
Your favorite iPhone app may be several versions in and offer a refinement that just isn’t possible yet on a 1.0 Apple Watch app.
A Bad App Is Still A Bad App On Apple Watch
There is a mad rush by some developers to be Apple Watch friendly. Some are gaining exposure that comes with having a compatible app. Not all apps are created equal and there are plenty of apps that suck. A bad app is still a bad app and maybe more so if it’s strapped to your wrist. It’s like App Store 1.0, all over again, complete with fart apps. Bad apps don’t deserve your time.
For each new app you install, you’re filling up your iPhone with another new app. Managing all of these apps takes place in the dedicated app. You’ll be able to check the boxes to install or remove apps. When you start filling up your watch, you’re also filling up your iPhone. Some have no issue with having hundreds of apps on their phone and I suppose that’ll translate to the watch. Having more apps means more navigational challenges, possible storage issues, more updates to install and more. There’s a price for installing apps, even those which are free.
I’m not trying to pour cold water on your Apple Watch app experience. Before you head wrist first, take some time to enjoy the pure experience of nothing but stock apps. And when you do tip your toes into third party apps, do so with a certain level of refinement and expectation. Avoid the massive lists of day one supported apps. Start with your favorite apps that offer Watch support and wait until the dust settles, as we’re sure to see some truly amazing apps rise above the fray.
What apps are you installing on your Apple Watch?