So I’ve been writing a lot about Apple Watch lately. Obviously, you can figure out that I’m confident it has a bright future. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see some improvements, of course.
What would I like to see change in later versions of watchOS and the Watch hardware? Glad you asked:
- New watch faces. I don’t care if they come from third parties. In fact, I don’t necessarily think that opening the faces up to third parties would be a good thing. (See Android Wear.) Apple has done a great job with the faces it already has; I just want more variety. Especially in the digital faces. It’s silly that Modular is the only digital face that has complications, for instance. Or, if they want third-party input, go directly to watch manufacturers and let them consult on some new designs, like they did for Hermēs. Apple’s design team spent years studying horology to get to the faces we have now. Opening faces up to random Joe developer is bound to produce lackluster results. I want a dozen or so more good watch faces, not a million junk faces to sift through with one or two gems.
- More options on the current watch faces. More colors, the ability to use a third-party complication in the date slot. More fine-tuned removal and adding of detail. That sort of thing.
- Always-on watch face. Battery life is obviously going to make this one tough for a while, but I’m betting Apple will get there eventually. In the meantime, improved wrist raise detection would be welcome. Works for me 90% of the time, but it needs to be 100%, even if that means erring on the side of turning on sometimes when it shouldn’t.
- Contextual, or time-based complications. There are some complications I’d love to have just at certain times, or when I’m in certain places.
- Pinging your phone from your Watch is great. I never use that function, but I know people who use it every day, because they are always leaving their phone in different places. What I’d like to see is a haptic warning on the wrist whenever you get out of range of the phone. I know there are apps that are supposed to do this, but they are unreliable. I want it as a built-in feature.
- While we’re at it, apps like MacID are cool, but I want that to be built-in as well. Auto-lock my MacBook whenever get a certain distance from it. And I should never have to type my MacBook password when my Watch is in range.
- Faster processor, more direct communication without constantly waiting for the phone. Speed, speed, speed.
- More APIs for developers. Not so we can jam pack our apps with too many features, but so that new possibilities will foster new app ideas.
- Standalone Watch apps. And a way to pay for them. Seems silly how many good watchOS apps occupy a space on my iPhone for no reason, other than Apple’s rules.
- New sensors. More health benefits are always welcome.
- Customizing the Power button to do something other than favorites. For those of us who don’t use messaging very often.
- Get rid of Time Travel. It’s a gimmick, and I activate it accidentally more often than not.
I have no doubt that most of these and more are on the way for Apple Watch. In the meantime, take the negativity surrounding Apple Watch with a grain of salt, and if you haven’t taken the plunge yet, do some research and decide for yourself.