I bought an Apple Watch (Series 0, as we, the watch-nerds, call it now) in March this year, a full 11 months after it was released in April 2015. I plan to not upgrade to Series 2 for now and will be using this version of my favorite piece of technology every day for at least one more year. The other day, I read Mayur Dhaka’s tweet about wanting to know more about how current Apple Watch owners set their devices up (he’s going to join the bandwagon soon and couldn’t be more excited). My friends, Matt Birchler and Michael Rockwell talked about their Apple Watch setups and I’ve been meaning to share mine too. Prior to WatchOS 3, I used my Apple Watch as just a fitness tracker and notification purger and never paid attention to third-party apps other than a couple of run-tracking ones (iSmoothRun was the best at that time). But, after WatchOS 3 hit the Apple Watches out in the wild this September, my usage of my Apple Watch has changed a lot. Here’s how I use mine today.
This is the part of my Apple Watch that I look at and interact with at least 18 of the 20 times I actively use my Apple Watch during a typical day (I counted!). And my watchface setup has come a long way from the pre-WatchOS 3 days. While I used only one watchface in WatchOS 2 (switching between them was a pain and there weren’t many good complications out there), I use two watchfaces as part of my primary setup now. After trying out every watchface under the sun (not many options right now, unfortunately), I have zeroed in on using the Modular and the Analog Activity watchfaces full-time.
The Modular one, of course, because I love complications. No other watchface gives me the kind of complication-customizability that the Modular watchface provides (hell, I even wrote about wanting even more complications on this watchface). Also, I like digital clocks more than analog ones. The complications that adorn my primary watchface are,
Date and time are a must to keep track of where I am located presently with respect to the timeline. I love the snarky ol’ Carrot Weather and with WatchOS 3, their complications and customization options have become much more useful than the stock weather complication I used till WatchOS 2 (even though the weather doesn’t change much in the city I live in, Carrot’s snark is always fun to read). The Alarm complication helps me set quick alarms for various tasks during the day. The Activity complication helps scratch my ring-filling itch. And, the Todoist complication helps me be on track with regards to my daily goals (it also helps add tasks quickly using my voice and mark them as done. That said, I’d really want the developers to add the option of adding tasks through Scribble, one of the best features of WatchOS 3).
Towards the end of my work-day (and a couple of times during it), I move to my other watchface, largely to set timers when I’m walking around reading from my Instapaper queue (hence, the Timer complication) or when I hit the elliptical at home for a quick 15-minute workout (the Workout complication helps quickly launch my previous workout, which, in most cases is the same as the one I’m getting ready to perform) or check my heart-rate stats for the day (I’ve used Cardiogram and HeartWatch in this complication spot and I find Cardiogram to be a better app, overall). And of course, seeing all three rings filled towards the end of the day take center-stage on the watchface gives me a feeling of exhilaration and strokes my ego.
Lauded as being the best thing Apple did with WatchOS 3, the dock surely takes the Apple Watch experience (and app-launching experience) up a notch. I still don’t use a lot of apps on my Apple Watch but keep a couple of apps that I use regularly and don’t have complications for on my watchfaces in the dock.
- Runtastic Pro
Messages, with Scribble, has become far more useful on WatchOS 3 and when I’m out and about, makes a very convenient way to initiate or reply to conversations. Runtastic Pro is, hands down, according to me, the best run-tracking app on the Apple Watch right now. I use it regularly to track my runs and love the in-run stats that it shows (distance, time, pace and heart-rate zone). I used the stock Workout app for a while but found the active calories it counts to be a bit off. Also, though it has improved leaps and bounds over the one they shipped with the Apple Watch in 2015, the stock Workout app still lacks the option to export runs to other services. I used to keep the Now Playing app in the dock but Runtastic integrates that functionality into their watch-app, making that app/glance redundant.
Frankly, it’s a mess. I don’t think I opened it even once after I installed WatchOS 3. I did open it today to take a screenshot and this is what it looks like.
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