My (over)-Optimized Apple Watch

I’ve had almost 2 weeks now with the new Apple Watch Series 3 (w Cellular), and wanted to share some quick thoughts. Overall this really does feel like the first “real” Apple Watch, in much the same way that the iPhone 4 was the first “real” iPhone (decent enough camera, retina screen, etc., M.G. Siegler would probably agree.)

It complements the AirPods amazingly well, especially the music/now playing controls when you raise your wrist. The speed improvements are terrific, especially for Siri. But for me, a lot of the fun is still in the watch faces and complications. So I had some fun over-optimizing them.

6 faces of my over-optimized Apple Watch

Loving Complications

This has been mitigated by a couple of recent improvements. Siri’s amazing speed improvements opens up fast access to many features. And the improved home screen makes it easier to find apps you’re looking for. My favorite new complication is “Now Playing”, though it would be even better if it had playback speed controls and stand-alone versions for podcast apps and Audible, which I know are API limited and I hope/assume Apple fixes asap).

Because I loved complications so much, it always felt like such a painful choice to decide which ones would make my “main” face. With watchOS 3, Apple addressed some of this complication FOMO with significantly easier to switch watch faces.

Faces = Spaces

I created one for productivity and communication, one for health and working out, one for time and time keeping, one super simple one for weekends or stress-reducing, and left the Siri face to try out. Was also key to make them each visually distinctive so I quickly knew what I was looking at. Here’s my first pass.

Minimal: My main face when I don’t want too many distractions, and it’s got an elegantly simple aesthetic. Just need time, date, and Wunderground complication.
Time face. Lots of hands, plus easy complication for stop watch, timer, alarms, and sunrise/sunset. This feels like my nerdiest horologist face.
Siri face: This is a new face, so I figured I’d try it, no real room for complication customization, but a good reminder about how good Siri is, and kind of a fun way to insert some randomness.
Productivity + Communication: With complications to task list, calendar, phone, email, and messages I always feel connected. But really this is a more helpful way to triage contact notifications if I really need to. Green because that’s the default messages and phone color, so creates an easy visual recognition.
Health + Fitness: I love the complication to start a new workout, and find it much faster than opening up workout app and more reliable than Siri for non standard workouts (e.g “open Soccer workout”). Plus the circles, heart-rate, sleep and breath functionality are interesting and I’d like to use them more. This face is a bit aspirational ;)
News + Media: To see what’s currently playing, or easily click into news (and stocks, which I really never look at but coule be fun and felt like it fit here). Orange because Audible and Overcast are orange, so easy association.

I’ll test this out for the next few weeks, but so far I’ve found its a pretty informationally dense way to glance information from the Apple Watch, and remember what options I have just by swiping through the Faces / Spaces.

3x Entrepreneur. Founder/CEO at Previously Founder/CEO at Boundless and YouCastr. NYC, by way of Boston, Frankfurt, Chicago, Hanover, Miami.

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