The Apple Watch is the ultimate portable device. It’s great for tracking your activity, managing notifications, and more.
You can even use the Apple Watch to listen to music. There are three ways to do this: with the iPhone, with music synced to the Apple Watch, or by streaming directly to the Apple Watch. Here’s how to play music on the Apple Watch.
Early on, I wondered why Apple didn’t offer the ability for third-party watch faces to be installed on the Apple Watch, but then I thought back to a very brief experience I had using the Pebble smartwatch. The thousands of watch faces available for free download were mostly horrid. They made the Pebble look like an early Linux interface. If Apple opened up the Apple Watch to third-party watch faces, the store would most likely be flooded with crap.
Of course, Apple’s approach is a bit different than Pebble’s. You would still need an Apple developer account to distribute a watch face, and this would limit many of the crappiest looking faces. However, that might also limit some nice faces by people who can’t or don’t want to pay the $99 per year for a developer account.
I had expected some branded watch faces, similar to the Nike and Hermès faces that are only available with specific watch models. (And the Explorer face, only available on the cellular Apple Watch 3.) Perhaps that’s what Apple will allow: a limited selection of watch faces from certain brands.
It is a tough call; it dilutes the image of the Apple Watch, but it does allow for more customization. If Apple does allow custom watch faces, it will be interesting to so what users choose.
Time is linear, but the way we measure it is circular. As the earth rotates, causing the sun to seem to rise and set, days pass according to a familiar rhythm. When the sun is high in the sky we call at noon; when is on when it is on the opposite side of the earth we called at midnight. These two markers are what clocks have long used as reference points.
The round shape of clocks and watches is no accident. It attempts to reproduce this movement of the sun around the earth, this rise and fall and repetition of day and night. Of course there are other ways to measure time: water clocks, hourglasses, and digital clocks, for example, all track time, some with a visible element showing its passage (such as water clocks and hourglasses) and others, like digital clocks, that display time just as a set of abstract numbers.
As the Apple Watch has reached maturity, it’s time for Apple to reconsider the shape of the device. While the rectangle with rounded corners is good for reading text, it doesn’t make one think of a watch. To be fair, this isn’t a watch; it’s a wrist computer, and the shape of the device suggests that much more than it does a timepiece. While there are some iconic square or rectangular watches — think of the Cartier tank watch — most watches are round. There is something relaxing, reassuring about a circular device on the wrist. It is linked to the tradition and history of watches, and to the circular movement of the sun and the way we represent time.
I use a round watch face on my Apple Watch most of the time; I’m not a big fan of digital time displays, and, as a friend of mine has said, a digital watch tells you what time it is, but an analog watch — or one with a round display — tells you what time it isn’t. And I find that I can more easily have an idea of what time it is just by glancing at a round face. I don’t have to read numbers and interpret them; the hands alone show me what time it is (or isn’t).
Samsung’s smartwatches are circular, and they look more like watches and less like computers. I think Apple should copy this; not that copying the round shape not that making a watch that is circular would actually be copying Samsung, it would just be aligning the Apple Watch with standard timepieces. Yes, reading emails might be more difficult, but as the last few years have shown, the Apple Watch is not a device that many people used to read text on. Its health and fitness features don’t need to be rectangular; notifications don’t need to have a rectangular display; and most apps would easily accommodate the round shape.
I can’t help thinking, as my as I look at my Apple Watch today, that this device is almost as clunky as those old Casio calculator watches with the tiny buttons, and that, in a few years, will look back at this and snicker. A round Apple Watch, especially if it was thinner, would look much better, it would make the device look less like a computing device and more like a timepiece. Even though that timepiece would have some very advanced computing features, why couldn’t it look less like a wrist computer and more like a watch?
To answer this question, I asked dozens of tech experts and prolific bloggers to reveal what is best about this watch and what to look for by asking them a simple question:
‘If you had to pick only 3 reasons to get an Apple Watch, what 3 reasons would you choose?’”
Lots of good reasons to buy an Apple Watch. The one that finally convinced me to wear it all the time is one that none of the experts mention: the ability to unlock my Macs without entering my password when I’m wearing the Apple Watch. I don’t know how many times I have to unlock one or both of my Macs each day. The Apple Watch lets me do this automatically when I press a key. It’s a real time-saver, and it’s allowed me to use a more secure password on my computers. (Yes, I made a compromise with a not-entirely-secure password in the past because it was so annoying to type a long password a dozen or more times a day.)
And the guy who says:
Don’t buy an Apple Watch. It’s overpriced and the battery life sucks.
I don’t understand. I get to the end of the day with my watch around 75%. If I do a walk using the Workout app, it might be a few points lower. This said, if you have cellular on all day, you won’t make it even halfway through the day, but I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about.
This lack of depth in behavioral research shows in the Watch’s reward design. It’s not just that the Watch doesn’t take into account the recent stuff — the old stuff Skinner produced isn’t reflected, either — but Apple hasn’t participated in the kinds of verification studies that might give someone confidence in their approach to fitness. As long as Apple isn’t making a specific health claim, it doesn’t have to verify its device is accurate with the FDA. Only a few studies exist on fitness trackers’ accuracy, Patel says, which makes it challenging for both patients and doctors to trust a smartwatch’s data. And the rewards aren’t set up in the ways we know are most effective. The Watch is ultimately a weak tool. It might be effective for some people, but there’s a lot of behavioral research out there that suggests it could be much more effective for many more people.
This is an interesting point. The Apple Watch is not in any way “scientific;” it’s based on some simple ideas that won’t confuse people, and that are easy to put into practice. And that can be easily displayed.
Look at the three activity rings. Tim Cook famously said, “Sitting is the new cancer,” which, among the verbal mistakes he has made ranks pretty high on the list. He could have said “Sitting is the new smoking,” which would have made sense; an activity has effects that can then translate into disease. But claiming that sitting was, in and of itself, a disease, is truly foolish.
So there’s the stand ring. You have to get up and move around for a minute or so each hour to make it progress. It’s not that hard. But, if you’re in a wheelchair, or otherwise disabled, you can’t remove the stand ring. You can turn off stand reminders, but that’s all.
The activity ring? It’s set to 30 minutes; no more, no less. For some, 30 minutes might be a lot; for others, it’s hardly anything. It should be adjustable, as the move ring (the one that represents calories).
Of course, you’ll notice, as did the author of this article, that the move ring will count calories even when you’re not moving, not doing any activity. I notice that, when I lie in bed reading in the evening, or watch something on TV, it increments even if I’m not moving.