The Apple Watch is a design monstrosity, an interface from hell

Noises heard from below ground in Palo Alto...

Now, I'll get pilloried for this, no doubt, by Apple fan boys - and note that I own lots of Apple kit (Macs, iPads, iPhones), so I'm no hater - but it has to be said, the Apple Watch is a terrible, terrible design that will go down in history as a huge flop.

I'm not talking about the physical appearance - though that's rather thick and clunky if we're honest (though no more than other current smartwatches). I'm talking about the interface and operation.

This is 2014 and we want elegance, we want consistency. The Pebble smartwatches are quaint in just having buttons, but OK. Last-gen, a little limited, but great battery life (thanks to the screen tech). The Android Wear smartwatches are purely touch driven and relatively elegant as a result, though current hardware is still first generation, obviously.

Apple, of course, will get it right, we thought - show us how simple, how elegant a smartwatch interface could be. And then we saw the first demos on stage at Apple's event. What???


A higglety pigglety amorphous mass of icons that is panned around, zoomed in an out, THEN a physical knob that zooms things in and out, THEN an extra side button for doing extra things to do with contacts, THEN the knob can be tapped to action something, THEN you can swipe up from the bottom of the watch screen to bring up a new interface, which can THEN be swiped left and right, THEN you discover that the touch screen is pressure sensitive and then harder long presses do something else, and.....

Steve Jobs is turning in his grave. He would have ushered out the design team behind this interface from his office in a torrent of expletives.

At least the appearance of the Apple Watch has made my future smartwatch buying decision a lot easier - Android Wear isn't perfect yet, but it's a hundred times more elegant than the monstrosity Apple just created.

[Oh, and I bet the hardware is a lot cheaper too. And will work with a hundred times more handsets.]

PS. Video demo of the Apple Watch interface, if you haven't seen it yet....


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