I’m pleased to introduce a new weekly series highlighting how different people are using Apple Watch, what apps they’re using, and how its fitting into their lives. Since Apple Watch is an intensely personal product, each person will find different ways to use it. Like sharing iPhone homescreens, I hope this will help you discover apps and tips and tricks along the way.
Without further adieu, let’s look at our first Watchscreen, that of Lewis Smith (Twitter, Web). Lewis is a fantastic developer with great design sensibilities. He created the excellent World Time Widget (which I reviewed) as well as a Progress fitness app, and Tagger photography app. So, Lewis, show us your watchscreen!
What watch/band combination do you have? Why did you choose it?
I have the silver sport watch with the blue band. Originally I was going to get the black one, but I thought the silver one would go with more bands. I didn’t like the look of any of the sport straps apart from the blue one, so that decision was easy!
How is Apple Watch fitting into your life?
Very well, I especially love the fitness tracking and being able to control music/podcasts from my watch while I’m running. The navigation function is a lot of fun too.
What watch faces & complications are you using and why?
I mostly use Utility with Activity and World Clock complications. I then switch between the timer and calendar complication depending on if I have a lot of meetings or not.
At night I switch to the Astronomy face and put it onto the moon, it makes for a nice switch to the feeling of it not being at work any more. Occasionally I use the solar face too, especially around sunrise and sunset.
[I like this idea of having a different work/not face, especially on days when I work from home. It helps me visually shift from work to family mode]
What Glances do you use and why?
- Music controls
- Overcast – Nice quick access to podcasts while I’m jogging [that is a seriously great app]
- Shares – I like to keep an eye on the FTSE as it’s a proxy for all my investments. As long as it doesn’t tank, I’m happy
- Dark Sky – I’m trying this out. To be honest the weather is pretty consistent in this part of Mexico (I’m British, but we’re living here for six months) and the forecasts are not that detailed, but I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I think it would be better in the US or UK.
- Tagger – This is my app for helping photographers. It shows the start and end of the ‘golden hour’ so you can capture the best light for photos
- Heartbeat – Just for fun / casual interest. Honestly I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with this information!
What’s your strategy for getting the right notifications on Apple Watch?
I was fairly on top of notifications anyway, I hardly ever have them turned on apart from for Messages. I’ve started using the VIP feature in mail though, which is especially nice for the watch.
How are you using Apple Watch’s health and fitness features?
I’m finding this stuff really addictive! I have goals set for calories, exercise and steps and I’m increasing them every week. Once you get a good run of days going, reaching those targets becomes a huge focus of your day, so it’s definitely working – I’m moving a lot more than I used to! I can’t imagine using a fitbit or anything like that any more. It’s really the best thing about the product.
How are you using Apple Watch’s communication features?
Not that much. I like sending quick messages to my wife. It’s nice getting iMessage notifications on there too.
How do you organize your apps and why?
I don’t have that many. I wish you could get rid of a few of the Apple ones! I don’t have a particular strategy to be honest, other than to have the apps I use most around the centre.
What Apple Watch apps are you using most and why?
Overcast and Runtastic are the ones I’m using the most. Overcast is great although I think there’s room for improvement on Runtastic. I also use my app Tagger if I’m out taking photos with a digital camera, it can quickly make a note of my current location and I can add to my photos later.
What apps do you think best leverage the uniqueness of Apple Watch? Why?
Honestly, at the moment I find the current set of Apple Watch apps quite underwhelming. I’m looking forward to WWDC and seeing what we can do after that. I actually made Tagger from scratch with the watch in mind and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I think anything that gets the job done as quickly as possible is the way to go.
I think the best thing for most developers to do is to focus on notifications. Making your notifications actionable is a great way to help keep your phone in your pocket and make great use of the watch. Omnifocus, for example, is great for this and so is Swarm.
What app would you like that you don’t have yet?
I’d like some improvements to Runkeeper (although I’m settled with it now) and to be able to use that on its own instead of in parallel with the work out app, which I have to do at the moment.
If you could change only one thing about Apple Watch, what would you change?
I’d like there to be a complication that shows if I’ve done my current hour’s standing, or for this to be more clear in the Activity app. With the exercise and move goals I know I can top them up at the end of the day, but I get realty obsessed with knowing if I’ve done my current hour or not as I can’t get that back, and it’s not easy or quick enough to check!
What else would you like to share?
I’m looking forward to an abundance of 3rd party bands and generally the future of the product. I also think it’s worth mentioning that IMHO they’re gonna sell a lot more of the biggest sized phones in future. The biggest screen size was daunting before because it’s just so cumbersome, but it’s going to be much more appealing if you can leave it in your pocket or bag and take care of basic functions on the watch when you’re out and about. I know I’ll be getting the 6s+ in September! [Another reason there will be an Apple Watch Halo Effect]
Thanks Lewis (Twitter, Web)! If you enjoyed this, check out his blog, Itinerant Developer.
Check back next week for another watchscreen! You can subscribe to this site via RSS or Tumblr or follow MarkDMill on Twitter.
If you enjoyed this, you might also want to check out the weekly review of Apple Watch I’m doing for the first few weeks I’ve had it:
- Week 1: You Can’t Put Delight In a Spreadsheet
- Weeks 2-3: Its Form Is Its Function
- Week 4: A Foundation for the Future
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3 thoughts on “Watchscreen: Lewis Smith, iOS developer & photographer”
Thanks for featuring me Mark, it was a fun thing to do. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series 🙂
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