Watchscreen: Bernard Desarnauts, CEO of Wristly Apple Watch research

In this watchscreen series, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and any tips or tricks they have. This week, I’ve asked Bernard Desarnauts (Twitter) to share his screen.

desarnauts-headBernard has tremendous experience with new-market products and is the CEO and co-founder of, a market research company dedicated to Apple Watch. If you have an Apple Watch and have not yet joined their research panel, I highly recommend that you join! Each week they survey over 2,000 Apple Watch owners and their data was cited by Tim Cook. If you have not read their insights on Apple Watch, I highly recommend you do. They are consistently fascinating.

So, Bernard, show us your watchscreen!

Why did you decide to get an Apple Watch?

I had been wearing a Fitbit wrist-based activity tracker for over two years and was sold on the benefits of it for my own personal lifestyle. I am like many, positively motivated by seeing my real time activity progress towards my goals. So once Apple announced the Watch in Sept 2014, I had not doubt that I would procure one immediately and actually more importantly I left my job at the time and began fleshing out business and product ideas around it.

What watch/band combination(s) do you use and why?

I have the 42m Apple Watch and the classic black Classic Buckle band. Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 22.27.35Unlike many others Ihaven’t bought any other band yet. However I had to replace mine once due to some unusual blemish and Apple took care of it no problem.

How is Apple Watch fitting into your life?

I think that has been the biggest revelation of all regarding the Apple Watch, you actually measure your satisfaction with the Watch as much or more for that you actually do not notice it but if you go without it, you are missing it. As we uncovered as early as June, the Watch is really not about “killer features and functions” but much more about many moments of individual and personal delights. So to answer your question more directly, the Watch fits in my everyday life seamlessly. I even took it to a beach vacation and swam with it every day. While it is not “water proof” it is “water resistant” and perfectly fine for casual exposition to water beyond showers etc.

What watch faces and complications are you using and why?

desarnauts-faceI played a lot with these faces in the first week but very quickly settled on my current face with date, temperature, moon cycle and activity complications. I also added my monogram which is one of my delightful feature of the watch. Seeing the Hermes watchscreen is a testament of where Apple is going with this capability.

What Glances do you use and why?

I have very few Glances active. It’s been well reported that the quality of 3rd party apps is very low due to the OS constraints. This will change also hopefully with the new OS.

What notifications do you receive on Apple Watch and why?

I keep these to a minimum as well. I usually opt out for all notifications from any new app until I realize I need it. As a result, very few apps beyond messaging and calendaring make it for me. From a news standpoint I only kept the notifications from the Guardian, timely and beautifully designed.

How are you using Apple Watch’s health and fitness features?

I check my heart rate out of curiosity but am religious about my activity rings. I also use the default Apple Workout app to track my biking. Currently I can’t run any longer as I have a knee in need of surgery.

How do you organize your apps and why?


Ha ha – watch app face has been a fun side project for us at Wristly. We actually built a prototype of a Watch app that we called WatchShots and I own the domain. We thought – as people do with their Smartphone that there would be a cottage industry of designing these faces but also more importantly sharing them to suggest app usage. So far, 3rd party apps and the very low usage of them hasn’t taken off.

I have organized my Watch face (which btw I access not very frequently) as a regular shape and I’ve positioned my most frequently used apps in the edges…

[And for those of you who are OCD about the two apps missing…Bernard is just a tweet away]

What Apple Watch apps are you using most and why?

Besides Activity, Workout, I use Fantastical a lot as well as the Passbook app. Occasionally the timer app too.

[Other apps on Bernard’s watchscreen that may interest you: Twitterrific, Overcast podcast player, MiniStats data tracker, Authy, and 1Password]

What app do you think best leverages the uniqueness of Apple Watch? Why?

The timer is a great example of a beautifully designed super simple app. It works.

What apps have you discovered that others may not know about?

I am a fan of printed photo books and I am using a very cool app for that called PictYear. With PictYear I can create a shared album with friends and together we decide the best shots, organize them and then simply get them printed at a click of a button. The companion Watch app makes it quick to review and add the photo to your common album. This is a great and fun way to make keepsakes from fun week-end trips or other special events in our lives.

What app would you like that you don’t have yet?

We are working on a couple of App ideas… one of them would fit in that category but we’re not ready to share more on this yet.

If you could change only one thing about Apple Watch, what would you change?

I think I would change the name of it. I think by calling it a Watch, Apple has created a mis-positioning for this product. It is really not about being a Watch in my opinion nor is it about being a small screen for notifications. The watch for me combines the brains of the smartphone with the awareness of the real world.

What are some tips or tricks that you’ve picked up that others may not know about?

If you have clumsy fingers and have a hard time to start an app from the honeycomb, simply move it so that the app you want is in the center and then wheel the Digital Crown to open it.

What are other thoughts you have about Apple Watch as informed by your research at Wristly?

It’s really liked if not loved by normal people and misunderstood by the Silicon Valley and other tech pundits. I’d predict we will start seeing a wave of innovation around it shortly

Anything else you’d like to share?

Once again would love to suggest to your readers who have the Apple Watch to join our research project and add their voice! Thank you in advance.

Thanks Bernard (Twitter)! If you enjoyed this, I do highly recommend you check out Wristly (Web, Twitter), read Wristly’s Insights and, if you have an Apple Watch, join his research project! I’ve really enjoyed the surveys each week and they take less than 5 minutes to do.

Check back  for another watchscreen or look now at previous watchscreens. You can subscribe to this site via RSS, Tumblr or by following MarkDMill on Twitter.

If you enjoyed this, you might also want to check out some of my top-rated reviews of Apple Watch:

Recommended App: CopyFeed

Every so often, I recommend an app that I think belongs on anyone’s iPhone or Apple Watch. Today I’m recommending CopyFeed, the best clipboard manager for iOS that I’ve ever used. There are many clipboard managers, but CopyFeed stripped away everything to its bare essence to create an incredibly fast and easy way to manager multiple clips.

CopyFeed makes it incredibly easy to get data into it: just go to the CopyFeed widget and it automatically stores the text without you needing to do anything else. There’s also an action extension for more situations. To get back at something you previously copied, go back to the widget; when you tap the text, it copies it back to the clipboard. No need to switch apps, no need to switch keyboards (though it has one too!) and you can juggle copying multiple pieces of information simultaneously without pain and without fuss.

I’ve used other clipboard managers before, but CopyFeed blows them all out of the water for its ease and simplicity of design. Get CopyFeed today for just $1.99. It’s worth every penny for all the double-clicking and tapping it will save you.

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