With watchOS 3, Apple admits their first attempt was all wrong

“Apple’s new Watch software, watchOS 3, isn’t just new software, it’s an admission that Apple had it all wrong when it came to interactions on the first-generation Apple Watch,” Lauren Goode writes for The Verge. “It’s a rare thing for Apple to admit that it was wrong on something product-related, even subtly. But that’s what it did onstage [at WWDC].”

“The new software, which doesn’t fully launch until the fall, includes a bunch of new features and functions that are at once super obvious and incredibly thoughtful,” Goode writes. “There will be a watch face made up entirely of Apple’s colorful activity-tracking rings, and another that offers a shortcut to the Workout app. People can share their activity data with other Watch wearers, so there’s finally a social component.”

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last month:

Can we have an Apple Workout app that simply lists our monthly progress (how many miles we’ve done to date this month)? Is that too much to ask for? Go to the Nike+ app and companion website for ideas. (Hey, Jay, didn’t you come from Nike?! Cripes, at least keep the good stuff, will ya?) Beyond that, we’d love for iCloud to gain a Workout section that will do what the Nike+ website does, including a social component – the ability to share and compete with friends (yes, we know, Apple+social=GULP!)

watchOS 3 is faster and simpler with breakthrough health features.
watchOS 3 is faster and simpler with breakthrough health features.

“But the bigger changes are around the user interface. (This is where Apple really tried to reinvent the wheel with the Watch’s original interface, when the wheel was probably just fine),” Goode writes. “Apple is ditching the idea of app ‘glances’ on the Watch in favor of something more familiar to iPhone users: an app dock, accessible by pressing the physical side button. Press the button, swipe through recent apps, and launch and interact with them from there. And now, when you swipe up from the bottom of the Watch’s face, you’ll see a mini control center — something, again, that is familiar to iPhone users… Why wasn’t it like this before? I do not know.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re going to have to forget a lot of what’s by now become second nature and learn new ways to use our Apple Watches and that’s going to be FUN!!! We wouldn’t trade participating in this evolution of wrist-based computing for the world!

By the time the rest of the world gets their first Apple Watch, we’ll be like, “You have no idea, but enjoy!”

As we wrote last July:

Yes, future iterations of Apple Watch will be better than those preceding it. And, yes, we wouldn’t miss the unique experience of the first generation, original Apple Watch for the world!

Apple reveals watchOS 3; faster, simpler with breakthrough health features – June 13, 2016
Apple’s watchOS 2 makes Apple Watch even more useful – September 21, 2015
watchOS 2 is a good start, but developers want more Apple Watch access – June 12, 2015


  1. The original Watch software was an R&D effort in wearable technology, in plain sight with a huge and growing user base; they have gathered valuable feedback during the past year and implemented fundamental changes as a result of this carefully considered feedback.

    Well done Apple Inc.!

  2. I’m not surprised Apple has learned so much for the experience of millions of users, as opposed to whatever number they used to test prototypes. When you have a brand new product category, you have to start somewhere. We can expect further evolution of the interface and hardware. Saying their first attempt was ALL WRONG seems to be a bit of hyperbole.

    1. Yes the Watch was really a whole new category. It’s a joke to expect total perfection and clairvoyance on Day One, even for Steve Jobs. Like the iPhone, brilliant at first but then we all saw what it could be with an app store, apps, etc.. And of course it eventually became, and is still becoming. All technology is a learning and advancing art.

  3. Apple Watch has been an epic failure, certainly not something that will put up any meaningful revenue numbers. This new version of watchOS will do nothing to change this fact.

    1. About 12 million Watches were sold in year one. At an estimated average price of $500, that is a $6 billion business—three times the annual revenue of activity tracker Fitbit Inc. $1.5 billion more than Rolex’s annual revenue. Apple Watch accounted for about 61% of global smartwatch sales last year, according to researcher IDC.

      Source: WSJ, April 24, 2016

    2. Birdseed, maybe time for you to leave your parent’s basement and think about putting up some meaningful revenue numbers for yourself so you can afford an Apple Watch and see how great it is.

  4. I do two types of cardio eight times a week.

    When run or walk, I use three differnt trackers. Why? Just so I can compare the results between the three.

    All three will give me different calories burned and distance traveled. And yes, all use the same settings for weight, gender, ect. What’s more. when I run, I run the exact same route every time. But each tracker will give me a range of distances when I compare the same tracker to it’s self between days.

    No, I don’t expect perfection, but the ranges of differences between trackers and dramatic.

    I wish the Watch Workout app would let me see my data online in iCloud and I could print out charts showing my progress over time.

  5. As an original 128K Mac, AppleTV and now Apple Watch owner, I fully agree with your comment that nothing beats the unique experience of the first generation. I feel like I’ve already had two different Apple Watches and look forward to my “third” with WatchOS 3.

    1. Totally agree. I love the experience of seeing the product develop from 1.0 to its mature state. I also love the fact that with every Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and now Watch, that I’ve owned over the last 16 years, I can migrate everything to the new one. Ive basically had the same phone since 2007 it just keeps getting faster and more capable. It’s a great approach to design evolution.

      The guy that wrote this article is looking for clicks, and is needlessly negative. As Apple gains more user feedback the design evolves to suit the way people use their devices. I don’t understand why they’d be criticised for that.

    1. Any computational platform that ships with no Apps might as well ship with adhesive felt. That way it won’t scratch your desk when you use it as a paper weight. Or your wood floor, for that matter, if it is big enough to be a door stop.

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