David Smith after a year of wearing Apple Watch

This post originally appeared on NotedTech on 26 April 2016.

David Smith:

I remember being rather skeptical of Apple’s original marketing of the Apple Watch as “our most personal device ever”, but a year later I must say that it would be a hard case to make that something that has been physically attached to me for 83% of my life is anything other than personal.

Thankfully, David is someone that will dig into numbers. In this case, it’s seeing how many hours a day he’s worn his Apple Watch since first putting it on a year ago. I know I’d love to see what my numbers reveal. Since using Sleep++, I’m sure I’m in the 20+ hours a day category.

[Updated] Watch faces

One thing I do like about the Apple Watch is the ability to easily change your watch face. Very quickly, the Watch can go from being a simple time piece to something very personal. As I’ve now spent 48 hours with a Watch, I wanted to share how I’ve set up my Watch faces. I’d also love to hear comments on how you set up your faces.

Complications

Before I begin, note that the complications are likely to change as I try more apps for Apple Watch. I know I’ll drop some of these eventually. But for now, these are the ones I’m using:

  • Battery – Temporary while I learn how long my Watch will last during the day
  • Activity – The main purpose for buying the Watch was to help me be more active. So having this visible at all times is a must.
  • Date
  • Weather – Makes it real quick to see how things are outside
  • Calendar – Being able to see when my next meeting or event occurs at a glance is great.

Now that I’ve listed all of the complications, here are my Watch faces.

Utility

Apple Watch Utility face

This Watch face is my main one. I like the overall appearance of it, as it feels like the kind of watch face I’d want even on a mechanical watch.  I have this one when I’m not working (and sometimes when I am). I have the Battery complication in the top left, Activity in the top right, Date with the day of the week inside, and the weather along the bottom. When I drop the Battery one, I’ll move the weather to that corner (even though it’ll only show the temperature) and replace it with the calendar at the bottom.

Modular

Apple Watch modular face

This is my current Watch face during the work day. The center complication is the calendar because of the amount of data it can show. It’s a bit odd to see the time off-center, but I will let that slide given the amount of data all of the complications can show.

Color

Apple Watch color face

I thought I would use this one more, but I don’t use it as much anymore. I do like how it’ll show color more than the Utility face. When I go out and want a little fun with the Watch, I’ll use this and tweak the color.

Astronomy

I do miss complications when using this Watch face, but this is a fun one to sometimes switch to at night.

Timelapse / Photo Album

Apple Watch photo album face

These are my evening Watch faces for when I don’t need to see data but want to see something personal, especially with the Photo Album face. I look forward to creating some Live Photos next week and making Watch faces out of them.

There are other faces I don’t use. I don’t have anything to say on them really. The ones I just listed are my favorites thus far. But I’ve not had my Watch for months like some people, so I’m sure this will change the more I use it.

Update (Dec 1)

Having had some more time with my Watch, I’ve cut down on some of the faces that I was using before and added a few new ones.

Utility, as mentioned above, is still the same, but it is now my main Watch face.

Modular, while still the same, is hardly used anymore. It’s nice, but I find it doesn’t provide me as much useful information while I’m working at my desk. If I was working elsewhere and not always near my computer’s calendar, then maybe I would find it more useful.

I’ve made some new additions to my faces.

Simple

Apple Watch simple face

As the name implies, this is a simple face. I use this when I’m out or at meetings. I think it removes enough distractions to allow me to focus on where I’m at without feeling the need to always glance at my wrist.

Modular (2)

Apple Watch sleep modular face sleep++

This is another Modular set up. However, I use this one specifically for when I sleep. The center complication is for the app Sleep++ by David Smith. When I’m ready for bed, I’ll switch to this complication, set my alarm, go into Airplane mode, and then tap on the center complication to take me to the Sleep++ app to start tracking my sleep. The other complications, including the weather and sunrise/sunset, seem appropriate for this watch face.

Initial thoughts from this week’s Apple event

This post originally appeared in NotedTech on 12 September 2015.

Once again, in what doesn’t seem like a full year, we’re looking back at another iPhone event. This time, though, Apple packed in quite a lot of information about products across its device lines. 

It wasn’t until I rewatched the event yesterday that I was able to get all of the details and finally start thinking about everything that was announced. Here are some of my initial thoughts.

APPLE WATCH

While there is little new that Apple announced regarding Apple Watch, what they didmention was pretty nice. New bands and models, especially the gold Sport models, have the potential to bring more people to the Apple Watch. If you’ve seen the rose gold aluminum case with the lavender sport band, you understand what I mean.

It’s nice to see Apple adding more options to the ‘entry level’ Watch. This keeps the Edition model for those that actually care if their Watch is made of gold or just looks like gold.

IPAD PRO

Since it debuted, the iPad has been perplexing for many and has seemed like a product with no clear vision for some. Is it a productivity machine? Is it just for consumption? While Apple has tried to show that it can do both, the iPad has yet to make in-roads into the enterprise market and creative industries.

The iPad Pro has the potential to change that. With a larger screen, a highly accurate Apple Pencil stylus, and enough processing power to run two full iPad apps side-by-side (thanks to iOS 9’s new multitasking capabilities). The possibilities of being more productive with this new device, while very familiar to existing iPads, have me wondering if the recent partnerships with IBM and Cisco were pre-requisites to the iPad Pro’s launch. These partnerships give Apple a foot in the door of corporate IT departments, and this new iPad could be the iOS device to open that door wider.

It also made perfect sense (for Apple at least) to have Microsoft and Adobe showing off their software on the larger 12.9-inch display. 

I personally find myself using my iPad every day. It’s a great device for when I want to do things while I relax. Reading when I’m off work? Playing a game? Creating a new backing track in GarageBand? It’s perfect.

The problem lately has been with iPad sales. It doesn’t have the same upgrade cycle that smartphones do. I know many people that are still using an iPad 2 (from 2011) or iPad 3 (from 2012). And they’re perfectly happy with their devices. I don’t see the iPad Pro pushing a lot of people to upgrade. What I do see is the iPad Pro reaching people that normally wouldn’t want an iPad, much like the iPad mini caught a new segment of tablet users. We’ll have to see how people react once the iPad Pro launches in November.

APPLE TV

Apple says the future of the TV is apps. While that includes bringing downloadable games and other similar apps to the big screen, I think there’s more potential than that. Apple TV already has support for networks like HBO and Showtime. Having support for third party apps now makes it even easier for other networks and stations to start bringing their content to Apple TV users. And this is without a new streaming TV service like what Apple supposedly is working on. 

This in itself, added with the existing capabilities of the new Apple TV, make me feel like it is a vital addition to someone’s living room. Already, my family uses it for 90% of our TV watching, either through content in iTunes, using Home Sharing from a nearby Mac, or AirPlaying content from an iOS device. Add apps with support for more cable networks and shows and you can definitely say goodbye to cable.

IPHONE 6S

The iPhone 6s rumors seemed to all come true. New 12 megapixel camera, A9 chip, potentially 2 GB of RAM, newer and faster wireless technologies, and Force 3D Touch. But seeing all of it, including how 3D Touch is being used, as well as Live Photos, makes the iPhone 6s a definite buy for me. Then again, I’m still using an iPhone 5s. Anyone running an older iPhone than the iPhone 6 should definitely consider this upgrade.

I didn’t think 3D Touch would be that big of a deal. But with how Apple has implemented it for additional functionality without compromising the current Multi-Touch system is impressive. It’ll be something that I probably could describe better once I’ve used it. I’ll tell you all about it after September 25, when iPhone 6s starts shipping.

Overall, I think the Apple event went pretty well. It flowed better and was more interesting than their WWDC Keynote in June. I’ll just call that a temporary hiccup in their otherwise well organized events. And if Apple decides to surprise us with another event next month, perhaps with Mac news, let’s hope it goes off as well as this event did.