It seems to be a growing consensus that the first generation of apps for the Apple Watch left quite a bit to be desired. Disappointing as that may be, it’s not all that surprising. Programmers had only simulators to code to and the hardware itself uses new types of interactions that could not have been well understood without having the hardware in hand. Many of the apps turned out to be scaled-down iPhone apps — not, it turns out, the right way to go.
Marco Arment is a talented writer and an even more talented programmer; he’s the guy behind the podcast player Overcast. He writes interestingly about the discipline that the Watch has imposed on him, forcing him to think hard about the actual needs of his actual users — not what he thinks they should want, but about what they do want.
Of course, every programmer should think about that all the time. Most don’t. But on the Watch, they’ll have to, because the limited interaction space on the tiny screen will either force them into it, or fail.