A Few Apple Watch Thoughts

  • Scratches show up on stainless steel easier than I expected. Thankfully it’s pretty easy to polish them out.
  • WatchKit apps have a lot better performance than I expected. Based on Twitter, I thought they’d be pretty much unusable.
  • Parts of the UI are a bit laggy, but I suspect that’ll be fixed in a software update.
  • The screen switching on automatically really only works when you’re standing with your arms at your side.
  • If I don’t wear the band fairly tightly, I miss taps.
  • I love not having everyone around me know when I get a notification.
  • Not having to fish my phone out of my pocket to find out why it’s buzzing is just as great as I hoped it would be.
  • I would really like a way to know who in my address book has an Apple Watch.

The Products Apple Doesn’t Have Time to Improve

If you haven’t been to the Safari Extensions Gallery in a while because it was terrible, never updated and impossible to finding anything, check it out again. Apple updated it at some point recently to make browsing categories and finding extensions easier. It only took them several years to do it. Of course there’s still no search, so it’s a little more like a feature page for a product than The App Store, but hey, maybe by 2016 or so we’ll get there1.

As happy as I am that Apple did update their site, I’m sort of surprised they bothered. The dearth of good Safari extensions compared to what Chrome has is a good example of Apple’s tendency to get something going, get kind of sidetracked and then not give it the attention it needs to succeed. FaceTime being pretty much stagnant since day it came out — besides the horribly named “FaceTime Audio” — is another good example. Why doesn’t FaceTime support groups? It seems a little odd it’s missing useful features that iChat video conferencing had ten years ago.

With extensions, if Apple thought they were worthwhile beyond claim feature parity for their browser, they would have launched them with a “Safari Extensions Store” that had the kind of search and curation their other stores have. Without at least that, they were never going to get the kind of massive third party community that other browsers have.

What makes Apple outstanding as a company is their ability to focus. What holds some of their products back is that the level of focus they have can mean things which aren’t considered central to their current plans or business get left to stagnate.

As disappointed as these things can make me, the truth is I know the reason Apple can make things I like so consistently is because of that focus. I know I prefer how they are to the spastic way other companies seem to always be doing fifty things at once. It would just be nice to see a little more interest in these semi forgotten products that they’ve already released.


  1. Or you could go to Safari Add-ons which is more usable for finding extensions, but in a less attractive package. 

My One WWDC Prediction

Like everyone else, I have no idea what Apple might announce tomorrow morning. Tim was clearly not blowing steam when he said they were doubling down on secrecy. So here’s my one prediction:

  • Helvetica Neue as the new system font for OS X 10.9.

I was hoping for Myriad Pro — It has similar proportions and I think would fit great as a direct replacement for Lucida Grande that looks better on retina screens, but I’m pretty sure it’s Helvetica Neue.