My Current Apple Watch Face

plush-design-studio-503363-unsplash.jpgIt’s been a little over 100 days since I upgraded my Apple Watch to the Series 4. Like many Series 4 watch owners, I was pretty excited when Apple announced new faces with even more complications, but it didn’t take long for me to realize more complications didn’t make creating the perfect watch face any easier.

Even months later, a number of complications haven’t been updated to support the new watch faces, some of the complications don’t work the way I had hoped, and there’s also the issue of 8 complications being visually overwhelming.

That being said, I think I’ve finally landed on a watch face that works for me, and I actually am using the ever cluttered Infograph face with all 8 complications. Even better, I’ve gotten out of the business of different watch faces for different activities on a regular basis. Goodbye separate faces for workouts, work, and weekends. Switching faces is strictly reserved for special occasions when I want to have a nicer looking face.

The main function my watch serves is to provide me with an overview of how my day is going with a quick glance. For those of you who’ve been following my home screen posts, my watch essentially replicates the top row of apps on my home screen.img_58f7e21be1c0-1

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In the top left corner, I have the date (via Better Day). The top left is reserved for the calendar. I’d honestly prefer to have the calendar displayed on along the top dial, but Apple made an unfortunate decision to link the top center complication with what’s displayed on the dial and also lock the digital time complication to that same spot. Unless I suddenly start reading analog clocks as quickly as digital ones again, which is pretty unlikely, I’m stuck with giving up arguably the most prominent complication location to the digital time. In the bottom left I have the Activity complication, and on the bottom left is Dark Sky. Within the watch dial itself are the complications for Things, Workout, and Waterminder.

Now, this watch face isn’t pretty, although it is the prettiest combination I’ve come up with. It is, however, exactly what I need my watch to be – quick access to see and do the most important things in my day – what’s going on and what I need to be focusing on. Complications on the outside of the dial are for quick status checks. Complications on the inside are for action items.

The only thing I wish I could add is Streaks, and I’ve toyed with replacing Waterminder with it as I’m also tracking hydration within Streaks, but being able to both quickly see and track what I’m drinking from Waterminder’s interface on my wrist seems to be the key to making sure I actually use the app, and as you can see by the fact that I hadn’t tracked anything by almost 9:30, I need all the reminding I can get.

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

September Apple Updates

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September is quickly becoming a contender for my favorite month of the year – not only because it’s my birthday month, but because it seems like Christmas comes early for Apple users. This has been a big release month for Apple, so I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about the good and bad.

iPhone XS

Last year I upgraded to the iPhone X, so I really didn’t NEED to upgrade to the XS. The keynote sold the iPhone XS as a minor “S” release. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great phone, but it is admittedly a hard sell for most early X adopters like. That being said, I’m on the upgrade program, so upgrading was still on the table since I could either keep paying for my X or pay the same price to switch to the XS.

I opted to switch to the Gold XS (which is really more rose gold) and couldn’t be happier. I had considered going with the XR but the larger phone was a no-go for me. Like all the reviews say, the camera on the Xs really is better. Face ID seems snappier as well (maybe even as snappy as Touch ID), and can we just talk about the gold color? I smile every time I pick up the phone (5 times an hour according to Screentime). It is a beautiful phone.

Side Note: I absolutely hate the naming scheme of the new X line. I am forever correcting myself from calling it the “ex S” and not the “ten S”. Apple missed a great opportunity to keep the X but switch to numbers. X2 would have been such a cool name.

Apple Watch Series 4

I was getting increasingly annoyed with my Series 2 watch. There were days when seeing “I’ll tap you when I’m ready” for the 5th time in one day or waiting for the Workout app to catch back made me want to throw it across the room, and I also found myself waking up to a nearly dead watch more and more frequently. As far as I was concerned, Apple could have released a watch with only minor spec bumps and I’d have bought one.

Thankfully the Series 4 Apple watch is no minor spec bump. I got a 40mm Gold Aluminum (sans LTE) model. Again, I don’t know who at Apple is deciding the gold finishes, but like the iPhone XS, the gold on this one is a more rose gold – which I prefer. The extra 2mm are barely noticeable on the wrist (and I have tiny wrists), but boy do you notice them when you’re using the watch. All of the touch targets seem massive (and way easier to hit) compared to the Series 2. I also appreciate the speed jump. No more waiting for the Workout app to catch up before I can begin a workout.

iOS 12

iOS 12 seems like it was a release made just for me. I’m always trying to reduce the time I have to spend using my phone. (Note the use of ‘have’ there. I’m fine with wanting to use it, but I don’t like having to be tied to my phone.) iOS 12 brings revamped notifications meaning my phone bugs me even less often. It brings Screentime and Downtime offering insights into how I use my phone, which apps are pestering me most, and the ability to dim apps I don’t want bothering me (and their badges) during certain hours. And of course who can forget Siri Shortcuts. I’ve already made a handful for seemingly mundane tasks I do on a regular basis (checking the boyfriend’s hockey schedule, starting a Headspace meditation, launching my shopping list, or viewing my the day’s office schedule). One of my favorites is a shortcut for creating appointments in my calendar, which creates two events (one for the actual appointment on my personal calendar and another to block off the time in my work calendar).

MacOS Mojave

Mojave is a smaller update, but there are still worthwhile changes. Let’s just get the elephant out of the room and say Apple’s key feature, Dark Mode, is terrible. Just turn it on, open a website, and you’ll see why. (If anyone tries this, I apologize for burning your retinas.) Quick actions in the Finder are nice, but I’ve admittedly not had much of a chance to use them yet. I do appreciate being able to mark up an image quickly though. The one feature I can’t wait to use is the ability to scan or snap a photo directly to your Mac. Airdrop and the scanning feature in Notes on my iPad were already saving me from having to walk a few steps to the office scanner, but now I can cut out another step and scan from my iPad directly to my computer.

 

Photo by Michał Kubalczyk on Unsplash