Three months after its worldwide launch, the Apple Watch is still lacking in decent apps, including big-hitters like Facebook that might sway fence-sitters.
Tonight from 10pm UK time, Apple is expected to announce that it’s shifted between three and five million Apple Watches in the past quarter, the bulk of them being pre-orders from super-keen Apple fans.
However, despite solid sales, the Apple Watch is still a device that’s stuffed with unrealised potential. Most troublesome is the lack of decent app support, with the likes of Facebook, Google’s own-brand apps, WhatsApp and Snapchat still absent from the Apple Watch store.
Of course, that’s only to be expected with the watch still in its infancy, but a part of the problem is down to the limitations of a smartwatch. Most developers are still unsure how to deliver a satisfying experience on such a tiny screen, and with limited functionality. And many are still researching how consumers actually use their watch before committing – as a full-blown mobile device, or merely a notifications service, or somewhere in-between.
Despite lots of delays on getting the damn thing into stores, the Apple Watch was still lagging behind Android Wear and Pebble rivals when it finally launched for the second time this March. Thankfully Apple didn’t stop slogging away, and WatchOS 2 was revealed when the Watch was only a couple of months old, adding features that should have been there originally. The likes of a Pebble Time-style timeline, voice messaging, decent navigation and improved fitness tracking were much-needed features, and finally they’re being added to make the Watch more functional.
Our verdict on the Apple Watch, as with almost every piece of first-gen tech, is leave it well alone and wait to see how the second one fares. By then most of the kinks should have been ironed out and it’ll hopefully have a dedicated supply of decent apps to make it a worthwhile purchase.
That said, don’t expect the second-gen Apple Watch to be much different from the first. Hopefully the ability for apps to run directly on the device will persuade some more developers to jump on-board, but we’re expecting battery life and general hardware to stay much the same.