Apple Watch: Personal Assistant

WorkoutAs we dive deeper into our multi-post review of the Apple Watch we are going to explore the three different ways to quickly interact with the information that is most important to our daily lifestyles. The Apple Watch is positioned between you and your iPhone to help filter the information overload that can happen in our digital lives.  The Apple Watch can act like a personal assistant and keep us up-to-date on important information while leaving the not-so-important information for later viewing.

Glances is a new feature introduced with the Apple Watch that allows the user to get a quick glance at useful information. From the watch face, swipe up on the watch face to see glances, then swipe left or right to see different glances. This is a simple and easy way to access app data without launching the app.  The OS X counterpart to this feature is “Quick Look.” Most applications has a Glance feature that can be turned off and on via the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.  Some of our favorite Glances we use everyday; Current Weather, Mass Transit Information, Calendar Events,  Activity, and the Music Controls Glance.


In a recent study scientists have discovered that sitting to much can be as deadly as smoking tobacco. This study and the popularity of the “Fitbit” are some of the catalysis that has kick the fitness tracking trend into high gear.  The Apple Watch has built-in sensors that can measure your daily activity throughout the day and provides a visual ring of your activity in the Activity app.  The Move ring shows how many calories have been burned. The Exercise ring shows how many minutes of brisk activity you have completed and The Stand ring shows how often you have stood to take a break from sitting.  The Activity app works in conjunction with the Workout app that monitors your favorite workouts and helps setup milestones and goals with detailed summaries. The Workout app tracks; Runs, Walks, Cycling, Rowing and Stair Steps. All the Activity and Workout data syncs with the Health app on your iPhone.

NotificationsThe third feature of the Apple Watch‘s personal assistant trifecta is Notifications. Apple Watch Notifications are an extension of your iPhone’s Notifications Center but it’s also the place where you have the most control of the information flow to The Apple Watch.

Using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone you can adjust which Notifications show up on the Watch. You can mirror your iPhone settings or make manual choices for each application. Deciding which Notifications to display on your Apple Watch is a hard choice but a necessary one to make your personal assistant an effective tool.

When mirroring Notification Setting from your iPhone make sure you have the Sound option turned on for any Notifications you want a Haptic alert or “buzz” to your wrist.  The Sound option is the trigger for the Apple Watch’s new Taptic Engine.

For example you could set your Apple Watch Mail Notifications only to notify you when you receive email from your VIP list. All other emails can be viewed in the Apple Watch Mail app or on your iPhone.  Notifications on the Apple Watch can be accessed by swiping down on the watch face (the opposite of the Glances view).  Any missed/new Notifications will be noted by a red dot at the top of the Watch Face. When your iPhone is unlocked or Apple Watch is not in contact with skin or locked Notifications are displayed on the iPhone. To clear all your Notifications “Force Press” on the Notification Screen and then choose “Clear All.”

These three “personal assistant” features and just the beginning on how the Apple Watch can maximize your daily lifestyle and workflow by giving you access to the most important information you need.  The Apple Watch also features Siri, Calendars and Location Based Reminders that help us stay on top of our crazy schedules and be more productive. We will investigate these features in future Apple Watch Posts.


Categories: HamWeg U, Rant/Rave, Tutorials

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