Home / Technology / Apple Watch Diary: Transforming a user-interface in watchOS 3 was Apple’s genuine act of courage

Apple Watch Diary: Transforming a user-interface in watchOS 3 was Apple’s genuine act of courage

Apple used a word ‘courage’ recently to report a preference to mislay a headphone hollow from a iPhone 7, and many fun was poked during a association by those who missed a reference. But what we privately found distant some-more bold was Apple effectively revelation that it got a strange Apple Watch user-interface badly wrong, and totally revamping it in watchOS 3.

Glances never worked. They were ostensible to be a discerning approach to see information from your favorite apps, and to go on to fast open those apps when required. In reality, conjunction design was achieved: information was delayed to load, and so were a apps.

And a side-button for evident entrance to contacts was simply a rubbish of a button. Using a Watch Dick Tracy-style for phone calls was never some-more than a novelty, and promulgation scribbles and a like to contacts was even some-more of a gimmick.

So Apple had a bravery to desert both. Glances are gone, transposed by a app Dock, and a side symbol has been repurposed to entrance it. These dual changes have remade my use of my Watch …

I said recently that I literally couldn’t remember a final time we indeed non-stop an app on a Watch as it was so tediously delayed to do so. Instead, we used my Watch for usually 4 things:

  • Glancing during Complications on a Modular watch face
  • Notifications
  • Replying to content messages
  • Apple Pay

Those 4 things were adequate for a Watch to acquire a keep, yet we could see no advantage to me in upgrading to Apple’s glossy new hardware. What we do love, though, is Apple’s even shinier new software.

By gripping a most-used apps in memory, and providing present entrance to them around a newly-repurposed side button, regulating apps has left from a frustrating act of final review to a discerning and easy approach to get things done. The result? I’m now frequently regulating 8 opposite apps. Effectively, a giveaway ascent to my Watch has total 8 ‘new’ facilities – facilities that were always there in speculation yet were formerly too delayed to use in practice.


I listen to a lot of podcasts (This American Life, Freakonomics Radio and a whole garland of Radio 4 shows, in a main), so keep Now Playing in my dock. The Watch now creates it unequivocally easy to skip behind 15 seconds if we missed something or my mind was wandering, and while pause/play is unequivocally easy on the BW P5 wireless headphones we was assimilated into using, infrequently it’s even some-more available to postponement on a Watch. That would never have been loyal before.


The Music app itself now comes into a own. It’s a some-more available approach to start a playlist while out and about, and we frequently use a Quick Play symbol as an present approach to start some music.


Still on a strain front, we adore a preference of being means to fast Shazam a strain lane in a bar or coffee shop. we formerly used to use Siri on my iPhone, yet this is many easier. Siri is unfortunately invalid for identifying strain on a Watch.


I also adore that Shazam can arrangement lyrics on a Watch. I’m not customarily a fan of regulating tiny screens to arrangement some-more than a glance’s value of info, yet it’s good when Shazamming a strain to also be means to fast slick a lyrics.


I’m not many of a selfie guy, yet it’s always improved to column a iPhone adult to equivocate motion-blur when holding photos in low light, and regulating a Watch as a remote-control is many some-more available than regulating a self-timer.


I adore a preference of navigating by wrist-taps. It’s many some-more pleasing than walking along staring during your phone screen, and a lot safer in rough areas. You can demeanour like we know accurately where you’re going while gripping your courtesy on your surroundings.

I know London well, so many places we can get to within a few streets though maritime assistance, afterwards usually use Apple Maps for a final few blocks. I tend to set a destination on my iPhone, as it’s easier on a incomparable screen, and to do that in advance. When we get tighten adequate to need a help, we afterwards set it going on my Watch.06

Dark Sky is my elite short-range continue app. we generally use it to confirm either or not I’ll need a cycling jacket, and to see either we competence be improved off withdrawal a tiny progressing than designed to equivocate a sleet shower. Here a advantage of carrying a info on my wrist rather than my phone is some-more marginal, yet interestingly it’s been one of a things that has many sole friends on an Apple Watch when they see it in action.


I have a lot of friends in other countries, and Skype is my default approach of gripping in hold with them. Mostly we usually keep a app in a wharf to safeguard it’s open so I’ll accept call alerts on my Watch. we find that differently it can tumble out of RAM.


Finally – and this is a large one for me – we now use my Watch as a remote control when listening to strain on a hifi. My MacBook Pro is my strain repository, AirPlaying strain to a accumulation of speakers in opposite rooms. In a living-room, I control strain directly from a Mac (where it lives in a evening), yet in other rooms it’s good to have a Watch as a remote control.

Around 90% of my listening is from Apple Music’s For You playlists, that has dual implications. First, we won’t always know a name of a artist or track, and a Watch will uncover it to me. Second, if we don’t like a track, we can use a Watch to skip to a subsequent one.

The usually thing blank for me is Love and Dislike buttons for Apple Music. we do try to religiously like/dislike tracks, as that’s because Apple’s For You recommendations are so good for me, yet we can’t do it from a Watch.


One tiny criticism: we never change watch faces, so for me a ‘swipe left/right’ UI is totally wasted. A crony (thanks, Greg!) celebrated that, even if we do, it’s doubtful to be something we do so mostly that a ‘top level’ gesticulate is justified. I’d cite to see a appropriate gesticulate used for something some-more useful – maybe appropriate right to entrance your most-used app and left for a one we used many recently?

Oh, and a kind of total enrich and complaint, we guess: now I’m actively regulating a Watch so many more, I’m anticipating that we bake by a lot some-more battery power. International transport excepted, a Watch always used to absolutely make it by a day for me, yet I’ve twice run out of energy given watchOS 3.

But that aside, I’m blown divided by how many disproportion watchOS 3 has made. we unequivocally feel like Apple usually gave me a giveaway ascent to a whole new model.

You can review progressing pieces in my Apple Watch Diary array here.


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