Watch gets treated the way Apple should treat the Mac. Improvements every year. I’m coming up on a one year anniversary for Watch Series 3 LTE and I keep running into features I didn’t know about a year ago.
Yes, there are so-called smartwatches and fitness bands with better battery life, but Watch can get a full charge in three hours a day, and the tradeoff is the umpteen gazillion things Watch can do that other wearables cannot.
Here’s a quick list of features I found in just the past month.
List View – Watch puts app icons into a beehive honeycomb Grid View mess that makes it impossible to find an app you want in a second or two. List View makes it easy and alphabetical. Force Touch the display. Choose List View.
Control Center Tips – Swipe up from the bottom to toggle Do Not Disturb, Theatre Mode, Airplane Mode, Find iPhone Mode, Flashlight, and to eject water from the speaker.
Time Travel – There is more to the digital Crown than meets the eye. Rotate the crown to go back and forth in time (Calendar events, not T.A.R.D.I.S). Open Watch app on iPhone, select Clock, turn on Time Travel.
Flashlight – This deserves its own heading because it is so useful. Swipe up to view Control Center, tap on the Flashlight icon, and Voila! A flashlight. Swipe left to get a strobe and a red alert mode.
Secret Taps – This is a good way to communicate– silently– with another Watch user with Digital Touch. Open Messages, then a message to whomever, select the last icon– Digital Tap. Tap some Morse Code and your recipient gets just a tap. Press and hold to send your heartbeat.
Siri Everywhere – Siri works better on Watch Series 3 but you can get to Siri one of three different ways. Raise your wrist and say, “Hey Siri…” Press the Siri icon on the Siri watchface (which I don’t use– the modular watch faces give more complications), so just press and hold the digital Crown.
Complications – This bears a repeat. Complications, along with alerts and notifications, is the secret sauce that makes Watch so good. Complications is a horology term, but Complications on Watch is even better. Husain Sumra has a good list and instructions; because Watch complications are, well, a bit complicated to figure out, but well worth the effort.
Apple seems intent upon upgrading Watch and iPhone every year, but not the Mac or iPad. Since Face ID is a thing on iPhone X expect to see it on future Macs and iPads. For me, I’m not buying another Mac or iPad until Face ID shows up.