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Why Siri Face is All I Need from Apple Watch – MacStories

What should a wrist computer ideally do for you?

Counting time is a given, and activity tracking has become another standard entry for that category of gadget. But we're talking about a computer here, not a simple clock with a built-in pedometer. The device should present the information you need, just when you need it. This will include messages to be safe, but also basic data such as weather forecast and today's date. It should be integrated with the various shooting services you trust to keep your life and work going – calendars, task handlers and the like. It doesn't have to be all business though – throwing some surprise and joy will also be nice, because we can all use some extra sparks of joy throughout our days.

Each of these different data sources extends through such a device presents a dilemma: how do you fit so much data on such a small screen? If necessary, a wrist display is small and limits how much information it can offer at the same time. This challenge makes it extremely important for the device to provide contextual data ̵

1; suitable for the occasion – and dynamically – constantly changing.

Operating a constant stream of relevant data is great, but a computer tied to the wrist is always close at hand, could do even more. It can act as a control center of various kinds, providing a quick and easy way to perform common actions. Sets a timer or alarm, turns smart home devices on and off, adjusts audio playback, and so on. Each of these controls must be presented at the right time, tailored to your normal daily needs.

If all this sounds familiar, it's because this product already exists: Apple Watch. However, most of the functionality I have described does not apply to the average Watch owner's experience, because most people use a time that does not offer these features – at least not many of them. The watch experience closest to the ideal wrist station I have thought of is only possible with a single face: the Siri face.

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I have used the Siri face almost every day since It first became available in watchOS 4. Although I like how several other perceptions look, no one can compare to the pure use of the Siri face; The infographic face is the only one that comes anywhere, thanks to the many eight complications. Yet, even with the Infograph, you are limited to the same eight things at all times.

The Siri face currently contains 20 first-party source data sources – a number that continues to grow – ranging from activity to calendar, news, now Play, images, wallet and more. Even if you can switch sources you don't care about, there is no limit to how many people are turned on. If you choose, all 20 sources can be activated simultaneously, feeding the data to the face at times the system thinks is most relevant.

These 20 data sources are just the built-in options, but as of the fall, third-party developers have been able to integrate their apps with the Siri face as well. CARROT Weather does this to present the current weather conditions, including special rainfall descriptions; AutoSleep shares data on last night's sleep, as well as a suggestion for activating Lights Off mode; Things and GoodTask both show tasks coming soon. Wonderful ensures that you stay on your scheduled events.

The Siri face can also host two dedicated complications; Add them to a vast array of first and third party data sources, and there's no other business face that comes close to competing. The only drawback to other faces involves information density. The Siri face cannot fit as much data on the screen at once as a face as Infograph, but it has the potential to be much more varied in both the app sources it contains and the types of data it presents.

To help illustrate my point and mark the practical benefit of Siri face, I will go through my average day with Apple Watch.

A typical day with Siri Face

Every morning I wake up, put my watch on, and – especially during those winter months – immediately check my wrist to see the forecast from CARROT Weather. I use one of the Siri face complication traces for CARROT Weather, but often I see a card from CARROT on my wrist first thing in the morning, so one or the other, I know right out of the bat how the weather looks.

For the next part of my morning routine, I go to the kitchen to start a kettle to cook for coffee. After putting my contacts on, I look down on my wrist and press the card that always shows on top of the Siri face when you wake up: a home card that activates my "good morning" scene. "Good morning" turns off my white noise machine and turns on all the lights in the apartment. Usually at this point my boiler boils and I slope ground coffee into the French press before putting in the boiling water. I turn to the clock again and roll down a few cards if necessary to find what I'm looking for: a timer card that starts a 4-minute hour. Four minutes is just how long I put coffee steeply in my French press before pushing the plunger and enjoying a delicious caffeinated brew. A good bonus is that once the timer has started, I can see its progress immediately via the live update Timer card on the Siri face.

Having gone early in the morning, my use of Watch and the Siri face is far less regimented. Two very important features throughout the day are keeping me on top of my two-dose and calendar events. I use Reminders as my primary task manager, not because I love it, but because my current task needs are simpler than they have been this year, and I appreciate deep system integration reminders. I also use the first party calendar application across all of my devices, and like everything about it, except for the lack of natural language input. Both reminders and calendars fill the Siri face with upcoming chronological tasks and events, so you can look at your wrist to see what's coming soon, and browse with Digital Crown for a quick overview of your day. It captures the spirit of Watch & # 39; s once-touted Time Travel feature and does something far more useful and provides time-relevant information to keep the day on track. You see everything on your agenda for today, plus a preview of the next day by scrolling to the bottom to see tomorrow.

The reminders and calendar integrations are good examples of the Siri face's core strength: the ability to provide useful connection with what's most important at the moment, and what will be important soon. With short tasks and upcoming events, the practical benefits are obvious, but this focus on highlighting the most important is also evident when considering programs such as Wallet, which provides quick access to your relevant timely passages. My wife and I often go to movies and I always buy our tickets through Fandango and save them to Wallet. Once stored, Wallet will display these tickets on the Siri face later in the day and move them forward and in the exact time I need them.

Another time-specific Siri facial source is CARROT Weather, which fills your face with relevant information on precipitation events, so you know before you go out whether to take an umbrella or not. The other CARROT data point I check is often sunset time, which is available right on my wrist when I look for it.

Finally, in the area of ​​time-related cards, before moving to an urban area, selling my car and making my primary means of transport, I was dependent on the gym as an important exercise source. Every day I was going to the gym around the same time, so the training program taught my routine and started surfing a card on the Siri face to start a one-touch workout.

There are some other Siri facial sources I take advantage of daily: activity, news and photos. Activity shows my ring progress for the day, a data point I care enough to see it, but is not so strict that I need my rings visible all the time via a complication. News is an app I first asserted in disinterest when it debuted with watchOS 4, but now I actually check it at least once a day – often more – to look at the main headlines around the world. I probably wouldn't think of opening News without the app's card being visible on my wrist, but I'm glad it is.

When it comes to joy, the photo card on the Siri face quickly falls into the "surprise and delight" category. With a rotating selection of your different Memories from the Photos app, I'm always happy to look at my wrist and see a picture of my wife, or our former foster children, or beautiful Central Park, or one of dozens of other captured memories that brings joy to my day. The photo card shows only an excerpt of one image on the Siri face, but when you click it, you are taken in full view and the ability to swipe over to show the rest of the collection, like how News works on Watch. Almost every time a new memory pops up on my wrist, I take a second to pause and enjoy it; The memories provide a pleasant respite from an otherwise provided Watch experience.

In addition to all the Siri facial exclusive features I've covered, I use Watch every day for all the basics that other faces can handle as well: alerts, adjust my AirPod's volume in Now Playing, check the date through a complication, and ask Siri to do things like making a reminder. And of course, my most common watch use is just checking the time, and the Siri face's digital reading is exactly what I want for it.

Everything reflects my daily use of the Siri face and Apple Watch. There are other things I use the Siri face for it is less common though. During the football season, I loved to see details of the Dallas Cowboy's upcoming game every week on the Siri face, a data point enabled by the TV app's favorite team feature. In addition, every time I couldn't see a live game, I could just check my wrist to get frequent scores on the score. For sports fans, a favorite team's schedules and live points are amazing additions to the Siri face.

Another non-daily, yet useful, data source for the Siri face is music. One thing Music does is fill your face with cards on the days your weekly custom playlists are updated – New Music Mix, Favorites Mix, Friends Mix and Chill Mix. I almost never listen to those playlists though, so these cards are not meaningful to me, but I can see why other users will appreciate them. What I like is when the music cup suggests albums or playlists that I might want to listen to. Occasionally I see cover art for an album I have played as a card on the Siri face; I don't always want to listen to this album, in which case I just ignore the card, but many times I've been grateful for the suggestion and dropped the card to play it. Like the Memories feature of images, music suggestions have a kind of surprise and joy to them, and I get to enjoy something that I would not otherwise have thought of.

Siri face intelligence depends a lot on patterns in your life, so if your schedule is not very routine, you probably won't find the face cards as useful. But if your average day is quite predictable, it will in a while learn it and current cards that are relevant to your daily needs. Another disclaimer is that the best Siri face experience depends on disabling data sources you don't care about. Unfortunately, there is no way to manually train the face's intelligence by marking a card as relevant or irrelevant, so if there are cards that seal your Siri face that you will never see, you must open the iPhone's Watch app, navigate to the Siri face, and shift the appropriate data sources. Personally, I have disabled Breathing, Stocks and Weather (because I use CARROT Weather).

In a March 2015 event, one month before Apple Watch launched, Apple's VP of Technology was Kevin Lynch dependent on the device in what he called "a day in the life of Apple Watch." Lynch went through a full day of heavy watch usage – he demonstrated using the device to see the stock prices and sports points, the message in WeChat, pay for groceries, like Instagram photos, check Twitter, fly an American Airlines flight, greet one uber, unlock a hotel room door, identify a song with Shazam, open a garage door and more. Apple Watch was presented as a kind of Swiss Army knife with clear watches, capable of doing everything and everything. However, when the first clocks made it to users, the reality was markedly different: underpowered hardware combined with slow iPhone-dependent apps and a clunky watchOS user interface to make the original Watch too small, but to tell the time, get alerts and track activity .

The hardware has become better over time and apps are now better than ever, but even with several revisions over the years, watchOS still cuts in many of the basic user interfaces.

IOS- as a model for opening apps via a home screen – either the watch list or the honeycomb grid – remains impractical and ineffective for the wrist. The Watch's, however, works better, but only because it is a removed selection of installed apps; It gets functionality by sacrificing the scale. Complications are another decent option for transferring app data and quickly launching applications, but they are also limited in number. When you have more than a handful of watchOS apps you care about, you are forced to use the home screen – and the common use of the home screen is a terrible experience.

Fortunately, watchOS's shortcomings are easily reduced by Siri's face. It virtually eliminates the need to visit the home screen, make quay trips just as rare, and includes a potentially unlimited range of data sources that are largely for the same purpose as complications, but with increased flexibility – providing the data you want whenever you want Have it, plus one-touch access to the entire app.

If everything you need from your wrist computer is a clock that gives alerts and traces physical activity, another clock face will do. If you want the kind of comprehensive, powerful Watch experience that Apple promised back in 2015, the Siri face represents the best realization of that vision to date.

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