The Apple Watch is the company’s first entirely new product category since the original iPad. It is a huge gamble for Apple and a test of the wearable market.
Some six months after unveiling the device, CEO Tim Cook filled in many of the blanks, such as how much various versions will cost and how long the built-in battery will last.
Still, there are unanswered questions, the so-called Apple Watch problems:
1. Maps Are Static and Non-interactive
The built-in mapping toolkit creates “non-interactive snapshots” with up to five annotations using either standard red/green/purple pins or custom images.
There’s no scrolling around; the map snippet is only as big as the display itself. Tapping on the map will open up the Apple Maps app.
2. Images Are Cool; Videos Are Not
You can cache up to 20MB of image resources in apps, but everything else comes from the WatchKit extension (in other words, from your iPhone).
You can “create pre-rendered animations from using a series of static images” with options to loop infinitely or define a specific count… so basically, GIFs.
No support for videos, as best as we can tell, but you read the resolution, right? Why would you want that?
3. No Waterproof
Apple Watch will be just water resistant, and apparently, Tim Cook was overheard telling employees at an Apple Store in Germany that he wore his Apple Watch in the shower.
That is a change from when the device was first announced, and Apple told journalists that it was OK for sweating and washing your hands but not suitable for direct immersion.
Someone is bound to assume that because the watch can be worn in the shower, it is OK to wear it everywhere.
No doubt they will post a photo of their ruined Apple Watch and blame Apple.
4. No Custom Gestures
The interface is more or less locked to what Apple wants: vertical swipes scroll through the screen, horizontal swipes go between pages, taps indicate the selection, “force touch” opens up a context menu, and that digital crown scrolls through pages way faster.
Additionally, an edge swipe left goes back or up a page (“back to the parent interface controller,” if we’re being technical), and an edge swipe up opens the “Glance” view.
5. No Full NFC Compatibility
Unlike the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which have all three security elements in place to protect Apple Pay payments, including NFC support, tokenization and the fingerprint scanner, the older iPhone models compatible with Apple Watch don’t have NFC chips, and some of them don’t have Touch ID sensors either (except for the iPhone 5S).
To secure payments made with an older iPhone and Apple Watch combination, Apple will make use of the NFC chip in the Watch and use pins instead of fingerprints on devices that lack Touch ID functionality.
6. Battery Life
The truth with the battery life is slightly different than what Tim Cook quickly mentioned today.
The battery life of the Apple Watch is highly dependent on a lot of factors like installed/open apps, brightness, and open connections, but after many tests, an average of close to 8 hours is a more realistic figure.
Charging time to full, 2 hours. Not very good, but hey, who said that this is an Apple Watch problem?
7. No Real Security
One of the biggest questions about the Apple Watch is how Apple will prevent thieves from ripping it off your wrist and using it to clear your bank account.
Because the Apple Watch is connected to Apple Pay — making purchases as easy as a quick swipe — what’s to stop miscreants from abusing it?
The question wasn’t addressed today, but I understand that thanks to the sensors on the Apple Watch’s back, the device can tell when it is being worn and when it has been taken off.
When you first put the watch on, you must enter a code. When the watch is removed from your wrist, the watch locks itself and can’t be used for payments unless the code is entered again.
OK, now imagine this scenario: You’re mugged, and the mugger demands your money… your watch… and your code…
Finally, each Apple Watch comes bundled with a member of U2 who follows you around playing songs from their latest album. Apple Watch problems, Apple Watch problems, Apple Watch problems…