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The problem with Apple Watch alerts

There are many things Apple could improve on the Apple Watch, and alerts are high up on the list.

But not all of this is Apple’s fault. It’s up to the content provider to know what kinds of alerts work on what device. It’s not good enough to repurpose content made for a phone or tablet on a watch, just like it’s not good enough to have your tweets automatically post on Facebook and vice versa.

Take a look at this alert I received this morning on my Apple Watch.

scott-kleinberg-tornado-apple-watch1While it’s useful to let the public know that a tornado outbreak is likely today, the “here’s what we know” part is an unfortunate presentation here because there’s no way to find out what we know.

scott-kleinberg-tornado-apple-watch2Clicking on the alert brings you to another screen that looks identical, except this one has a dismiss button. The only way to find out what we know is going to the Weather Channel app on the iPhone or iPad and finding the information there. While the watch did a great job letting me know that something needs my attention, the next logical step should be to be able to find out what they know because that’s what I was promised.

Part of this is Apple’s fault, as the functionality is much more limited on version 1 of the Apple Watch than I would like, but the messaging is all on The Weather Channel. And for a company that is able to create wonderfully pithy names for winter storms you’d think messaging would be an easy one to get right.

Although it’s not the point of this post, it’s worth mentioning that this alert came at 10:02 a.m., when all of my other tornado alerts came through around 6 or 7 a.m. This is way late for the magnitude of the event. But again, that’s another post.

So my message is to content creators … what flies in one place won’t necessarily fly somewhere else. And I really don’t care how convenient it is or how small your team is … this is the new norm, where everyone is using a different type of device and therefore they have different expectations. And rightfully so. The biggest selling point I always talk about on the Apple Watch is how it allows me to keep my phone in my pocket more often and concentrate on my wrist. in this case, now that I’m aware of the situation there’s no further information that I can get without using another device, and that’s unfortunate.

I did mention earlier that this is version 1.0 of the Apple Watch. It’s normal to blame everything on either El Nino, Kim Kardashian or version 1.0. As time goes on, I’m less understanding about the version 1.0 part. The Apple Watch was in the works for many years, according to several reports. So this version 1.0 should be better than so many others. But that said, version 2.0 is likely this spring or summer, so my hopes are going to be much, much higher this time around.

And whether or not you have an Apple Watch, be careful out there if you’re in the path of severe weather.

About Scott Kleinberg

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