Half a year later, the Apple Watch feels like a stalled platform

“Seven months later, my Apple Watch is still the second thing I put on every morning. (Glasses first),” Dan Frommer writes for Quartz. “But while I still enjoy using it and recommend buying it, I’m starting to feel the limitations of what the first version of the watch can do.”

“Here’s what’s working: I’ve learned to rely on the watch, without thinking, for a handful of functions. These are as basic as quickly telling time to as futuristic-seeming as watching my Uber approach on a tiny map before it swings around the corner,” Frommer writes. “Notifications, one of the early big-idea purposes of a smartwatch, are pretty reliable and, with some attention to their frequency, very useful… I reply to a large portion of text messages from the watch, using customized quick responses. Tracking my exercise has helped me lose 10 pounds.”

“But that’s about it. And they are pretty much the same ways I used the watch when I first got it,” Frommer writes. “The platform simply feels stalled. I don’t think I’m being lazy. I’ve searched for new and compelling new uses of the device, but they are nowhere to be found. That’s despite several months having passed since Apple launched the second version of watchOS, which gives app makers more control over the watch, including its sensors and digital crown.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We do not disagree with Frommer. Apple Watch is currently in the same situation as iPhone was in 2007, saddled with 2G speed and prior to the iPhone OS SDK (March 6, 2008) and the resultant App Store (July 10, 2008). A few of us had iPhones for that year while the rest of the world looked at them as a curiosity, but we knew.

We wouldn’t trade that early iPhone or this early Apple Watch experience for anything.

You can have our Apple Watches when you pry them off our cold, dead wrists.

For more Apple Watch discussion, please read our Take here: Apple Watch and dissatisfaction.

Apple Watch and dissatisfaction – November 30, 2015
It’s official: The Apple Watch is destroying the so-called competition – November 20, 2015
As Apple Watch sales ramp, Swiss watch makers suffer biggest slump in six years – November 19, 2015
Apple Watch models take top four spots on 10 most-wanted smartwatches list – November 18, 2015
Apple Watch is 2016’s hottest holiday gift – November 18, 2015
Apple Watch changed my life; it’s a great gift for many
Monday, November 16, 2015

Apple has already sold more than $1.7 billion worth of Apple Watches – October 29, 2015
Strategy Analytics: Apple Watch sells 4.5 million units in Q315, takes 74% global smartwatch market share – October 28, 2015
Apple Watch users are abandoning traditional watches – September 15, 2015
Over 1 million Apple Watches already sold in China – September 3, 2015
Apple Watch already dominates smart-wearables market, says IDC – August 28, 2015
IDC estimates Apple sold 3.6 million Apple Watch units in Q2 – August 27, 2015
Best Buy CEO: Apple Watch demand is ‘so strong’ that we’re expanding sales to all 1,050 stores – August 25, 2015
Swiss watch exports decline most since 2009 – August 20, 2015
Apple Watch takes 88% of total smartwatch revenue – August 14, 2015
Apple Watch kills a entire industry in three months – August 12, 2015
U.S. wristwatch sales post biggest drop in seven years after Apple Watch debut – August 7, 2015
Apple Watch dominates smartwatches with 75% market share – July 28, 2015
Juniper Research: Apple is world’s #1 smartwatch maker – July 23, 2015
Canalys: Apple ships 4.2 million Apple Watches in Q2 to become world’s top wearables vendor – July 21, 2015
Apple Watch satisfaction is unprecedented at 97%; beats original iPhone and iPad – July 20, 2015
Non-techies love their Apple Watches even more than tech users – July 20, 2015
Apple Watch is Apple’s most successful product debut ever – June 1, 2015


  1. For some reason, I’m just fine with thisi “stalled platform.” It saves me at least half an hour per day! You only get ONE chance to experience 1st gen Apple products. Anybody who can afford it, but skips it is foolish in my opinion.

  2. What? Come on only six months into the product is hardly stalled anything. Development of great products takes time. I think this is complete non-sense. One year cycles of products are fast enough if not to fast as it is. I’m sure there are software updates being worked on as we speak.

  3. It sounds to me like this guy has simply gotten used to this new technology and has incorporated it into his lifestyle; this is a big difference from a “stalled platform”. Or maybe he is in drug addict mode with his technology, and he needs a regular buzz to keep him going.

    With 1000s of apps now, there are a lot of ways one can integrate the Apple Watch into one’s lifestyle. I use Apple Pay all the time, as well as Passbook for boarding passes, there are the health apps, maps, language translation, Siri, I answer the phone all the time with my watch, a quick check of the news headlines, Messages and Notifications, audio memo apps, Hue for controlling my lights, music (it’s a great iPod), etc etc etc. This is a stalled platform? If so, then great!

    1. I agree with the article. I’m not sure that it’s Apple’s fault though. I just haven’t found the killer app that takes it to new level higher than the one it reached in the beginning. That’s not to say I don’t have use for my watch. I love it. I use it for all the uses noted and add to that scheduling and even some light email. It has great advantage to anything else. What the author is saying though is that the watch came with that functionality. Since then it hasn’t grown for me. Depending on the apps that people use, the story may be different for them. I still love and use my watch faithfully. I’m just looking for how it might grow to further integrate into my life and activity.

  4. If Apple was smart, it would allow third parties to develop watch faces. The reality is that 90% of the time the watch is used as a watch and the handful of built-in, minimally customizable, watch faces grow boring and monotonous over time. Having more watch faces to choose from would greatly alleviate some of the “boredom” while we await other new and exciting ways to use Apple Watch.

  5. It does all of these things that I depend on, but it does not do more than that only seven months into the product cycle, so it must be stalled… What bogus reasoning!

    Expectations for Apple products are certainly well above and beyond that for any other product, whether in the same product area (e.g., Samsung Gear) or in any other product area (e.g., cars, appliances, TVs, etc.). With any other product, consumers would be thrilled that it does what it is advertised to do, and does it well. With Apple, it often has more to do with what is wished or rumored.

    1. Watchman: this is great sh_t to hear! I can only imagine that the Holiday season acts as a great “marker” that things have really changed for the better for you. Maybe a bit of a challenge too, with all the goodies calling for you and people gifting you with the wrong sized items? Merry Christmas!

    2. Way to go, Watchman! I myself have done nearly the same. Down about 65 lbs. from when I got my watch in late May. It’s a lot of fun digging clothes out of my closet that I thought I’d never be able to wear again.

  6. It sounds like the author is in fact lazy. He doesn’t mention activity tracking which along with notifications is the “killer app”. If you’re just receiving notifications and ordering Uber you’re being a lazy ass who isn’t moving around, exercising and living a better life. I lost 5lbs in the first 2 months of wearing the Watch simply from moving more to achieve the activity goals. I’d recommend against people buying the Watch if they aren’t going to track their activity and lead a healthier lifestyle.

  7. I agree with many of you that our Watches have certainly been great, and it is still a 1.0 item, but an Apple 1.0 item, which as someone mentioned above is a great thing to experience anyway!

    I also have to concur a little bit with what Dan is saying in that my expectations of what the watch would achieve after WatchOS 2.0 has not yet been realized. There have not been enough Apps written yet to take advantage of the new data Apple has allowed them to access.

    I love the activity rings and what they’ve done for me and surely many others – they create awareness, get you moving and keep you motivated.

    As a runner though, I still have to fall back to my Pebble watch for live running stats, and that’s something I don’t want to have to do. This is all due to a delay of info transmission between the iPhone and the watch, and while that doesn’t seem to happen with the Apple exercise App, it doesn’t work properly for the running Apps I use.

    I also cannot use or export the Apple exercise data to the number of additional sites I track my running data on.

    I will eagerly be waiting to buy the next version which I hope has GPS and a few other features that will enable it to work completely independent of our iPhones.

    Battery life has not been an issue for me and I’m still thrilled to wear it each and every day though, let alone the many other uses mentioned by others here. It’s highly functional, the next version should be even better, but I don’t regret buying this version at all.

      1. I haven’t but thanks for the suggestion. I will take a look.

        I know there are issues with Runtastic data being accurate, that’s why I havens’t used their App over the last couple of years.

        I do work with the developer of iSmoothRun, and he also is beta testing his standalone Watch App, but I really need the GPS data, otherwise even the Apple Watch exercise App is good. I use it on the treadmill and it works fine.

  8. I love my watch, everything it currently does is more than enough, keeping the phone in my pocket while seeing the texts emails and other stuff makes it worthwhile to have and keep. I will always have an Apple Watch from this day forward, I have had mine almost from when it was available..

  9. I love Apple products because they work and are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

    Please don’t just down vote but answer the question I have. I am older and set in my ways and wonder if the AW is for me.

    However, Not all Apple products are for everyone. I am wondering if the AW is for me. I love watches. But from what I am hearing concerning the Apple Watch, people who have them look at them CONSIDERABLY more times a day than they do normal watches or even their iPhones.

    I TEXT, but not moment by moment. Texting for me is an occasional thing, so are phone calls. I expect people that I work with to make decisions without having to consult me every minute. I don’t have to be nor do I like being a “micro-manager” having to know everything every 5 minutes. Details and constant ringing / dinging information is not a necessity for me and I even turn my iPhone off when it starts to ring too much. NO I don’t need to look to see who is calling. I just don’t need to have that many phone calls. I EMPOWER people I work with and even support them if they make mistakes.

    SO What benefit will an Apple Watch do me if I do not want to be disturbed constantly with too much information? I am confident in myself and those I work with.

    Do I need the Apple Watch?

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