Tuesday, September 13, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

watchOS 9

Apple (MacRumors):

Apple today launched watchOS 9, which brings new features and enhanced experiences to the world’s leading wearable operating system. Apple Watch users now have more watch faces to choose from, with richer complications that provide more information and opportunity for personalization. In the updated Workout app, advanced metrics, views, and training experiences inspired by high-performing athletes help users take their workouts to the next level. The Sleep app includes sleep stages, and for users diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), the new FDA-cleared AFib History feature provides deeper insights into a user’s condition. The new Medications app makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly manage, understand, and track medications.

Alex Guyot:

What leaves me feeling so conflicted is that, ultimately, all of the above features were pretty bad. No one used the Friends interface, Time Travel wasn’t particularly useful, third-party Glances were kneecapped by their lack of interactivity, and communicating from an Apple Watch has always just been way more work than pulling out your iPhone. Apple was right to kill all of these features in their time, but I still can’t stop missing the days when my Apple Watch was searching for more variety in purpose than it exists with today.

[…]

This direction has led to years of remarkably tight annual updates. Everything (with the exception of watch faces) in each new version of watchOS is solid. Every improvement is well thought out, helpful, and useable.

I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. Each year, Apple delivers a high quality and effective watchOS update. I just don’t think this operating system is as finished as these updates seem to imply that it is. There was merit in the ideas of early watchOS, even if the execution wasn’t quite there yet.

Alex Guyot:

At this point in time, I struggle to understand why Apple keeps stuffing significant new features into the Health app. Especially in the modern era of iOS where we can delete unused first-party apps, I wish Apple would be less afraid to just spin up new apps on iOS that match their watchOS counterparts. The Medications interface in Health is entirely different from the rest of the app, so it’s already like Apple is hiding an app inside of a different one. It would be far less confusing and more convenient for users if Medications was a first-party iOS app just like it is on the Watch.

[…]

The camera lookup feature is impressively accurate. I tried it against a variety of items that I found in my house, from pill bottles to spray bottles to ointments. Never once did the app fail to identify exactly what the medication was, as well as the strength and unit of measurement if defined on the container.

Alex Guyot:

Banner notifications make watchOS feel like a software platform again rather than a high-end Fitbit. The ability to create and edit calendar events and reminders, and to discover and follow new podcasts, aid in this vibe shift as well. I hope we continue to see more features like these in the coming years.

Joe Rossignol:

In a new support document published today, Apple detailed specific features that are disabled or affected when Low Power Mode is turned on[…]

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