Each week, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and tips or tricks they have. This week, I’m excited to feature Julia Mayhugh (Twitter). Julia has developed and designed software for twenty years, contributes to WatchAware, runs a meetup for women coders in Denver, and is a co-host of the WatchAware podcast (which I would recommend for dedicated analysis of all things Apple Watch).
So, Julia, show us your watchscreen!
What watch/band combination do you have? Why did you choose it?
I have the 38mm stainless steel with the white fluoroelastomer band. I’m 5’3″, so the bigger band was out of the question, though I do like the bigger screen. I chose the white band because I think it almost looks good with everything. I’m still waiting on the full-swing arrival of 3rd party accessories to make my second and third band choices.
How is Apple Watch fitting into your life?
I’ve come to rely on it. It has provided a measurable improvement in my ability to be more organized, on time, less stressed, better connected.
What watch faces & complications are you using and why?
I have a selection of faces that I’ve been using in different contexts. I’m kind of fascinated by the idea of a mobile interface that changes based on temporal and geographic context. Obviously, one has to change faces manually right now, but even having the ability to do so is great, and I think it would be an interesting addition if the watch could someday be configured to automatically change faces depending on where you are or what time of day it is.
[Love that idea. I had a similar concept about notifications that change based on your schedule or context]
What Glances do you use and why?
I feel like I don’t use glances to their full potential, partly because scrolling between more than one or two glances elicits too much cognitive friction. Eventually being able to activate glances using Siri will most likely change that for me (promised in WOS2). The few that I use frequently are the utility screen, the Activity glances, Overcast and Yahoo Weather.
What’s your strategy for getting the right notifications on Apple Watch?
I am ruthless about curating notifications both on my watch and phone. If I think I might want notifications from an app when I install it, I might enable notifications for a trial period, but then if I ever receive an annoying notification from that app, I turn its notifications off immediately. I find that having this rule of immediate adjustment on first offense makes it easy to stay on top of them.
How are you using Apple Watch’s health and fitness features?
I have been very actively using the fitness features to improve my overall activity level and fitness awareness. I love a day with 3 complete circles! I thought it would have worn off on me by now, but I’m still enjoying the game of it. I’m really looking forward to 3rd party apps being able to contribute to activity data in OS2, because that will open up even more options to fit in different kinds of activity.
How are you using Apple Watch’s communication features?
My favorite feature is responding to texts that just need a quick answer. I love how easy it is to just quickly pick a response from the list of potential responses. I also occasionally answer calls from my wrist and check my email (just to check the subject lines). And I do exchange silly drawings and heartbeats with my husband. It’s a cute way to let someone know you’re thinking about them.
How do you organize your apps and why?
After playing with a couple different organization schemes, I settled on organizing the apps by color for the time being. It might sound crazy, but I find it helpful. Maybe my memory is activated by color. When I am thinking of an app, it’s easier for me to picture what color it is, than the app name. Also, it makes it pretty easy to find new app icons, because they appear on the perimeter and usually contrast visually with the surrounding color. However, most of the time, the best way to open an app is using Siri.
What Apple Watch apps are you using most and why?
What apps do you think best leverage the uniqueness of Apple Watch? Why?
There’s a lot of great apps doing this, but a few that stand out for me recently (besides those I’ve already mentioned)…the Camera (remote shutter), the stock Remote app, ETA, MacID, Re:Quest, Shazaam, Stocard and Workflow.
[Not exhaustive, but from top to bottom, left to right, here are some other apps that might interest you: OfficeTime, Drafts, Runkeeper, TL;DR Email, Spark, AroundMe, Twitterrific, Calcbot, Due Reminders, Momentum Habit Tracker, 7-minute workout, Run 5k (GPS & Pedometer), 1Password, Calc, Etsy, Deliveries, Camera+, Fantastical, Meetup, Clear, Dispatch Email, Hooks Alerts, Retale Deals, and Babbel]
What app would you like that you don’t have yet?
I’ve been dreaming about a kind of proximity app that could be used with arduino sensors to notify you of things in the physical world that need your attention, based on configurable thresholds. Example: what if all the lights in your house could turn on and off purely based on your location in the house? Of course all the pieces for this kind of intelligent environment are coming together now, but their seamless integration still needs to be worked out.
[I expect to see a lot more movement in this sector from Apple, perhaps when Apple launches its TV service as that is a natural hub for IoT]
If you could change only one thing about Apple Watch, what would you change?
A lot of what I’d change about it we’ve been promised for Watch OS 2 (native 3rd party apps, custom complications, 3rd party sensor access), and I think the rest are issues that are bound to be resolved in future models of the watch, such as the obvious: longer battery life, thinner size.
If you enjoyed this, you might also want to check out the weekly review of Apple Watch I’ve been doing:
- Week 1: You Can’t Put Delight In a Spreadsheet
- Weeks 2-3: Its Form Is Its Function
- A Foundation for the Future
- The Future of Apple Watch (WWDC & beyond)
- Two Months with Apple Watch