LG G Watch R – 2 weeks into it
Have some decent time under my belt with this… some more thoughts:
- The GPS navigation implementation is utterly and completely terrible. It is seriously a hazard and will definitely get someone killed. There is no good way to look at the small display on your wrist while driving safely. I pretty much rely on the spoken instructions from my phone. The vibration on my wrist is somewhat useful tho.
- This leads me directly to my next observation about Android Wear in general…
things are done because you can, not because you should. A lot of the apps are “hey look at how cool this is” and not “hey that is really useful”. I think Apple is much better about this which is why their usability is generally considered so good. Will be interesting to see how the Apple watch plays out
- My interaction with the watch should be limited a few quick glances and maybe a swipe or two to dismiss. However, I find i spend all of my time just swiping away notifications! Weather, weather, time to someplace random, voicemail, stocks, email, facebook… argh! Thing is, I don’t care about most of those things (or at least care about them enough to see them on my wrist constantly). Also, and probably more maddeningly, after I have dismissed a notification, it shouldn’t come back, at least not for a long time. To repeatedly have to dismiss notifications (wanted or not) is adding insult to injury
- While it seems I can tell notifications from different apps to not come back, I can’t seem to do this for Google Now cards, even to the extent I can on the phone
- Also because of the constant notifications, there is always some notification peeking out on my watch… this really calls out the watch as a smartwatch. The face alone can pass for a normal watch, but with a notification there it obviously advertises itself as more. I have gotten many comments “hey what is that watch anyways” because of that. I find this annoying because i got the G Watch R *because* it did look so much like a normal watch and not a nerd watch
- As I think of it, part of the reason this is so annoying is that to make a notification go away is a 2 step process – click on the screen to make the notification appear then swipe to make it go away. The Pebble is a single button press. It may seem trivial, but for something you have to do this often, it is important
- The buttons on the Pebble seem very responsive and tight in a way that the touchscreen on the G Watch R does not. Not sure if there is slight lag or what, but the experience just doesn’t feel as good
- This may be trivial, but i really like changing the faces on the watch. On the Pebble this was trivially easy, requiring a single button press to cycle faces. On Android Wear it is much more cumbersome – requires a long press to go into change mode, then swipe to the new face in preview mode then tap it again to see it in full screen If you decide you don’t actually like it, repeat. This is silly, I know, but I like it.
- Another funny thing, for as much as I have raved about the display on the G Watch R, I actually like the selection of watch faces on my Pebble better. Not sure if it is people being forced to do more with less but all of the Android Wear watch faces all just kind of look the same. They all feel like variations of the same thing. There are lots of dumb/hideous pebble faces too, but there are many which I like and they all look very different from one another.
- The watch face on LG really is kind of big, I didn’t really bother me at first, but compared to my Pebble (and frankly my “regular” watches), it is feeling big
- The other comment on the display is related to the backlight. It is increasingly annoying, mostly at night and at the movie theater. It really shines out as a beacon and depending on how I am sleeping can be shining right into someones eyes. There is a “theater mode” but entering it is annoying and takes too many steps