The Apple Watch has been greeted with some skeptical reactions so far, even from reviewers who are normally inclined to write favorably about Apple products. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber highlights two early hands-on impressions that he finds “worrisome” for the watch’s prospects and they both highlight some common areas of concern.
What both previews have in common, Gruber notes, is that they both found the watch to be rather unintuitive to use, which is in contrast to how easy it’s been in the past to use iPods, iPhones and iPads right out of the box.
“That feeling of not knowing exactly where you are or what’s going to happen is pretty disorienting for an Apple product — the steady iterative updates of iOS and OS X mean that it’s traditionally been quite easy to pick up a new iPhone or MacBook and understand how to use it,” writes The Verge’s Nilay Patel. “But the Watch is really different, in ways big and small.”
“Interestingly, Patel and I struggled with different things,” writes Stratechery’s Ben Thompson in another hands on. “He complained about confusing the external buttons, while I kept having trouble with understanding what ‘mode’ I was in, for lack of a better term. Specifically, it was weird that ‘glances’ could only be accessed from the watch face; the watch face, though, isn’t necessarily the ‘home’ screen — the array of apps is. But on that screen you can’t bring up glances. It’s a bit confusing.”
We haven’t had a chance to play around with the Apple Watch ourselves yet, so we can’t say for sure whether these complaints have real validity. It’s also worth noting that a quick hands-on session often doesn’t give you nearly enough time to really get to know how to use a completely new gadget.
Nonetheless, if there’s something for Apple to worry about in the weeks leading up to the Apple Watch’s release, it might be this.