I gave up on my Apple Watch a few months ago. I was getting tired of charging it every night, and I hated how slowly the apps ran. For a device that held so much promise, the Apple Watch underwhelmed me to the point where I found it more useful collecting dust in my nightstand drawer along with a bunch of other discarded gadgets I've collected over the years.
As I wrote in my original review last May, the Apple Watch actually works best when you limit its features and only use it for basic functions like notifications and fitness tracking. It's cool, but I don't think it's worth the $350+ price for a lot of people.
But as a sort of New Year's resolution, I started wearing my Apple Watch again this week. I wanted to give it another shot, especially since I still have hope that smartwatches can improve a lot in the years to come.
Things were going well. I forgot how nice it is to get important notifications like text messages and calendar alerts, and I love using Apple Pay.
And then I got this, which brought back horrible memories of why I ditched my Apple Watch in the first place:
Steve Kovach/Tech InsiderI was stuck on that loading screen for over a minute! In that time, I could've used the Outlook app on my phone to blast through all my new emails. In theory, the Apple Watch is supposed to decrease your reliance on your phone, delivering relevant information to your wrist. But many apps simply take too long to load data from your iPhone through Bluetooth.
Here's another example. This is Sunrise, the calendar app I use on iPhone. It's still stuck on a meeting I had about 16 hours before this photo was taken:
Steve Kovach/Tech InsiderApple was supposed to fix this problem in a new software update that came out last fall. The update let developers store their apps directly on the watch, which in theory helps them run faster. But that hasn't been the case in my experience. It still takes a really long time for the apps to load data.
Part of this could be because developers haven't really taken the Apple Watch as seriously as they take the iPhone. As Quartz's Dan Frommer wrote last year, the Apple Watch feels like a "stalled platform" and no one has really figured out how to make a killer app for it.
For now, the Apple Watch is a nice thing to have, especially if you ignore a lot of the apps and just focus on the things the Apple does well, like notifications and Apple Pay. But as I recently rediscovered, the Apple Watch won't be a killer gadget until the apps catch up.