Tag Archive for ‘Watch’

Apple Watch Milanese and Leather Loop Bands Fall to $99 ➝

I bought a black Leather Loop for my wedding a few years ago and have worn it a dozen or so times since then. It’s a nice band and I find it even more comfortable than the Sport Loop. For dressier occasions, it’s just perfect. But my favorite watch band remains the Woven Nylon style, which I’m still a bit irritated that Apple discontinued.

With this price drop, though, I think I might pick up the Meyer Lemon Leather Loop for myself. And maybe buy one of the Milanese Loops for my wife so she can have a more dressy option.

➝ Source: imore.com

AutoSleep ➝

I started using this app recently to track my sleep habits. I had previously used Sleep++, but as far as I know, that app requires you to wear your watch in order to record data. When testing the app, I determined that I really don’t like sleeping with a watch on.

AutoSleep is much more flexible, letting you choose whether you prefer to wear your watch to sleep or not. If you do, it uses the data collected by your watch to track your sleep. But more importantly for me, if you don’t wear your watch to sleep, it keeps track of when your watch is placed on its charger and combines that with data from your iPhone’s motion tracking chip to intelligently guess when you’re sleeping.

While I don’t expect this method is quite as accurate as tracking your sleep entirely from your watch’s data, it can certainly give you an idea of your sleep trends and offer suggestions about how you can improve. If you’re looking for a sleep tracking app, AutoSleep seems like the absolute best in the market.

watchOS 5

I watched this year’s WWDC keynote live from the comfort of my living room. My plan was to take notes during the event and share my thoughts on the various announcements throughout the week. I didn’t expect to be completely blown away by the iOS 12 segment, which I shared my thoughts on yesterday. From that point forward, my plan to take notes went out the window. I just sat back and enjoyed the show.

As a result of that, I’ve decided to rewatch the entire keynote and actually take notes this time around. The following is my miscellaneous thoughts and commentary on watchOS 5 — the second most important Apple platform in my life:

  • Competitions seems like a great new feature. I can see my wife and I using these to keep ourselves motivated to stay in shape. And I really like how the progress updates are displayed, with points based on your move ring progress and small charts comparing each person by day.
  • I’m glad they’re finally adding proper support for Yoga workouts. I don’t do yoga as much as I used to, but this might be the motivation I needed to get back into it.
  • The Hiking workout will be a welcomed addition to the workouts app, too. I’m not much of a hiker, but I could see myself using this if my wife and I went on vacation to a mountainous area.
  • My wife loves running, but due to some health concerns, she had to take a break from it over the past year. But now that her heart is functioning properly again, she’s slowly started reintroducing running into her life. And I expect she’ll appreciate the new Outdoor Run features coming in watchOS 5.
  • Automatic Workout Detection is going to be an incredible feature. After owning an Apple Watch for nearly three years, I usually make sure to start a workout on my watch. But about 10% of the time, I completely forget. This solves that problem entirely.
  • Walkie-Talkie demos well, but I don’t expect I’ll ever use it. How is this better than just sending an iMessage?
  • Great additions to the Siri Watch Face including Siri Shortcuts and third-party apps. I haven’t used the Siri Watch Face during my day-to-day use because all of my most important information is kept in third-party apps. But now that third-party apps can populate the Siri face, I think I’ll give it another try.
  • Dropping the need to say “Hey Siri” sounds like a neat idea, but I’m worried that there will be too many false positives. What if I’m just checking the time or glancing at a notification during a conversation and it picks up on something I say?
  • More interactive notifications looks like a great improvement to the watch experience. Especially considering that notifications is one of the killer apps for the device. Giving developers more control over what notifications look like and what users can do with those notifications is going to be great.
  • WebKit on Apple Watch. This is kind of insane and I never thought Apple would ever do this. But I have to say, it’s really lame when someone sends you a link in Messages and you have to pull out your phone to read it. Being able to do that on your Watch is going to be pretty neat.
  • I think Podcasts on Apple Watch is going to be the next killer feature. It’s something that users have been clamoring for since day one and I expect it’s going to sell a lot of watches.
  • Background audio for third-party apps is a huge deal and will give developers of podcast apps the ability to compete with Apple’s offering. I just hope Marco Arment has it ready in Overcast on watchOS 5 launch day.

The enhancements in watchOS 5 weren’t as impressive as iOS 12, but the update is filled with solid improvements that will go a long way toward improving the experience.

Apple Announces Its Spring Collection of Watch Bands ➝

A lot of great options in this new lineup. The Tahoe Blue Sport Loop, Gray Stripe Woven Nylon, and Lemonade Sport Band are high on my list. If I could only buy one, I’d probably go with the Sport Loop, if only because I don’t own a Watch band in that style yet.

MacStories Reviews Activity++ ➝

Jake Underwood, writing for MacStories, on David Smith’s newly announced Activity++:

Activity++ is very similar to Apple’s own Activity app. And for those unfamiliar with Smith’s “++” branding, the app could be confused as a tool which adds more functionality to the stock Activity app. I’ll strike that down right now – while Activity++ does offer improvements to both the iPhone and Apple Watch Activity apps, these improvements aren’t related to new functionality.

Activity++ will make its way onto your devices because of its convenience. On either platform, the app presents activity data in digestible sets of information that are accessible and void of any clutter. Don’t think, however, that the data is simple; rather, consider that Activity++ has a form of presentation superior to Apple’s own Activity app.

I installed the app yesterday morning and have been very happy with it so far. I find the “streaks” visualization to be much more enjoyable than the way Apple’s Activity app displays similar data.

Watch Apps Worth Making ➝

David Smith:

What doesn’t work is easiest to say. Apps that try to re-create the functionality of an iPhone app simply don’t work. If you can perform a particular operation on an iPhone, then it is better to do it there. The promise of never having to take your iPhone out of your pocket just isn’t quite here yet. The Apple Watch may advance (in hardware and software) to a point where this is no longer true but the platform has a ways to grow first.

Neven Mrgan’s First Week Without an Apple Watch ➝

“Glances, for instance, don’t respond for four to six weeks after ordering.”

The Future of the Dumbwatch ➝

Marco Arment:

The Apple Watch isn’t just a watch, interchangeable like any other. It’s an entire mobile computing and communication platform, and a significant enhancement to the smartphone, which is probably the most successful, ubiquitous, and disruptive electronic device in history. Once you’re accustomed to wearing one, going out for a night without your Apple Watch is going to feel like going out without your phone.

I’m not all-in on the Apple Watch, but I’m also the guy who’s spent the past decade wondering why someone would wear a (dumb) watch in the first place. If there are people out there that still wear traditional watches then clearly smartwatches will succeed. It’s just the logical successor to what we all think of as a watch today. The current high-end watch makers are either going to fail or realize that it’s time to embrace smartwatches and start manufacturing their own.

Once people get a taste for a feature it’s hard to go back to a product that was built without it. It’s like cruise control in cars or an ice maker in your freezer — they don’t seem like a big deal until you live with them for a while. If you take those features away, the chore of having to keep your foot on the peddle during long car rides or the need to continuously refill ice cube trays will feel archaic compared to what you’re used to.

And, the same will be true with watches. Once you live with a watch that has applications for communication, the weather, news, etc. you’ll feel hindered every time you leave home without it or make the decision to wear a dumbwatch for a day. It’ll likely take several years before the majority of watch wearers feel that way, but it’s inevitible. In a decade, releasing a watch without smartwatch features will be like a releasing a computer without the ability to connect to the Internet — there’s likely a niche market for such a product, but nobody you know would even think about buying one.