Apple unveils Apple Watch

When Apple first unveiled the Apple Watch this past September, the demo units journalists were allowed to play with weren’t fully functional, which is to say they mostly contained pre-roll demo videos. So sure, everything looked great, but it’s impossible to truly assess the value of a new product without giving it a proper spin.

Following Apple’s special media event on Monday, Apple finally let members of the press play with, to a certain extent, fully baked Apple Watch devices. So without further ado, here are the first Apple Watch reviews from the folks who have actually gotten a chance to use them at length.

 

First up, we have Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch who found the Apple Watch software to be rather intuitive.

The Apple Watch system software was new to us, but it is expectedly intuitive. After so long using all-touch devices, the digital crown does at first take some getting used to, but soon enough it makes as much sense as a navigation input as did the iPod’s clickwheel, if not more so. And when you do use touch input, it’s fast and responsive.

Apple’s ‘taptic’ touch engine is another tentpole feature of the wearable (though it’s also now in the new MacBook) and this works wonderfully in this setting. The engine’s vibration is very subtle and subject to fine tuning, providing a different response though only small variations. Compared to most haptic feedback in wearables that I’ve tried before, it’s almost on a completely different level – whereas you won’t even notice the kludgy vibration motors in a lot of Android Wear devices, taptic feedback is as difficult to ignore as an actual human lightly tapping your wrist.

 

Nilay Patel of The Verge seemingly liked the device more than he was anticipating but still has concerns about the device’s potential to present a killer use case. Indeed, the fate of the Apple Watch may ultimately fall on the shoulders of developers.

That’s sort of the defining theme of the Apple Watch so far: it’s nicer than I expected and I’m sure the confusing interface settles down into a familiar pattern after you use it for a while, but I’m still not sure why you’d want to put this thing on your wrist all the time. Apple’s big task at this event was convincing people that a use case for the Watch exists, and at this moment it still feels like an awful lot of interesting ideas without a unifying theme. We’ll have to wait until we get review units in hand and spend way more time with one to really understand the value of the Apple Watch.

 

Brandon Russell of TechnoBuffalo was nice enough to put together a few YouTube videos showcasing how the Apple Watch UI operates.

While Russell had mostly positive feedback about the Apple Watch, he did note that navigating the UI was a bit more complex and involved a process than we’ve come to expect from Apple products.

Force Touch is also another big way users will be navigating the Apple Watch. The technology will essentially determine how hard you’re pressing down on the device’s screen, and act accordingly. So if you press hard, one UI element will pop up, as opposed to a simple tap. There are a lot of new elements and gestures users will need to learn, so the learning curve is definitely steep in the early going.

Learning how to navigate software on your wrist has become a complicated problem, one that companies like Pebble and Google have tried to address. Apple’s take is nothing if not colorful, but, at least in our early hands-on, it’s definitely not the easiest thing to use. Not something you typically say about Apple products. However, this isn’t a typical Apple product.

 

Source: Yahoo