Technology

Apple Watch Apps: The Need for Speed

A variety of the new Apple Watch is on display in the demo room after an Apple event on Monday, March 9, 2015, in San Francisco. Pre-orders for the Apple Watch start April 10. The device costs $349 for a base model, while a luxury gold version will go for $10,000. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A variety of the new Apple Watch is on display in the demo room after an Apple event on Monday, March 9, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

 

(CNet) – It’s extremely early days for the Apple Watch, and there are already 3,000 plus apps on the App Store. These apps span nearly every territory and category, and many big-name brands. It’s an amazing launch effort for a new smartwatch. And yet, many of these apps that I’ve tried (60 or so, admittedly, not 3,000) have a common problem: they’re not fast enough.

Why? It could be a number of issues. Third-party Apple Watch apps — all but the 17 or so that Apple has authored — load as extensions to their iPhone counterparts. They’re limited, too: they can’t work without your iPhone being on and connected, they can’t use onboard sensors like the microphone (unless it’s for dictation using Apple’s own voice services) or the accelerometer, or the heart-rate monitor. They’re mainly simple dashboards or interfaces that are meant to be there until you get back to your iPhone.

I want to keep my phone in my pocket

These apps all take more time to load, on average, than I expected: 5 seconds, or 10, or more. A little spinning-wheel type icon made of white circles has been a familiar sight. Maybe my phone’s data, or the apps on my iPhone, created bottlenecks. I can’t tell. But the Apple Watch was designed for quick-glance ease of use: 5 seconds, 10 seconds at most.

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