Apple’s watchOS 3 user interface transforms Apple Watch experience

“Apple used the word ‘courage’ recently to describe its decision to remove the headphone socket from the iPhone 7,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac. “But what I personally found far more courageous was Apple effectively admitting that it got the original Apple Watch user-interface badly wrong, and completely revamping it in watchOS 3.”

“Glances never worked. They were supposed to be a fast way to see information from your favorite apps, and to go on to quickly open those apps when required. In reality, neither objective was achieved: data was slow to load, and so were the apps,” Lovejoy writes. “And the side-button for immediate access to contacts was simply the waste of a button. Using the Watch Dick Tracy-style for phone calls was never more than a novelty, and sending scribbles and the like to contacts was even more of a gimmick.”

“So Apple had the courage to abandon both. Glances are gone, replaced by the app Dock, and the side button has been repurposed to access it. These two changes have transformed my use of my Watch,” Lovejoy writes. “By keeping the most-used apps in memory, and providing instant access to them via the newly-repurposed side button, using apps has gone from a frustrating act of last resort to a quick and easy way to get stuff done. The result? I’m now frequently using eight different apps.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The last time Apple made such a dramatic UI improvement was Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X.

Ars Technica reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Great experience with very few hiccups’ – September 22, 2016
Mossberg reviews Apple’s watchOS 3: Quicker, easier, and more useful – September 21, 2016
CNET reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘The smooth wrist companion it was always meant to be’ – September 14, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Apple Watch finds its purpose in life’ – September 14, 2016
The Verge reviews Apple Watch Series 2: There’s something effortlessly cool about it – September 14, 2016
Apple Watch Series 2: Apple refocuses its smartwatch – September 12, 2016


  1. Has anyone used the GPS in the new watch with a bluetooth headset or car stereo? I am looking to use the watch as a power sports GPS. It is cheaper and more secure that mounting a $600 Garmin Sumo to your bike.

  2. Talking about UI improvements, what is with the hidden buttons in apps such as Mail (OSX)? To add a mailbox for example. Apple hid the “+” button and you can only find it by accident. When it does appear it becomes obvious there is room for it, it is not clutter, WHY HIDE IT? Very frustrating. Can’t wait for Apple to admit it got this UI wrong, too, and fix/restore it.

    Now I spend a lot of time telling Mac users how to use their Mac and when they forget (because the button is MISSING!!!) I have to tell them again after I Google it because I forgot.

    1. Yea. Lots of steps backwards when they went all preschool colors, lack of color and minimalist design to the point of buttons being hidden. Hey that’s all great and wonderful for the power users that have it all memorized, but if we keep getting 5-10% of Windows users migrating to the Mac, they need help learning the new interface. Even regular Mac users are puzzled sometimes.

      Why did they remove the option to have names under the icons in the Safari Toolbar. They are there when you customize it. So I guess you need to memorize all the icons right then and there.
      Stupid decisions. Not sticking to the old ways of making an OS user friendly.
      I’ve been a Mac user since the beginning so I have seen all the OS versions.

      One other thing, they need to have a large group over 45 years old test their software. Eyesight at that age is not that of a 25 year old. Don’t piss off the largest market buying your products.

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