As of Christmas 2016, I am an Apple Watch Series 2 user and I really do like the watch, but it is not perfect.
After doing my iOS 11 wishlist, I’ve decided to next branch into my watchOS 4 wishlist.
I have only used watchOS 3 onwards and not either watchOS 1 or 2, to give you some context before I get started.
Compared to my iOS 11 wishlist I do not have a concrete Top 10 things I want added to watchOS, but I do have a Top 6 list, but a lot of little things I want to see added.
Top 6 List:
- watchOS App Store (like iOS App Store is separate from Mac App Store)
- Adaptable Watch Faces
- Watch Face Store
- Xcode update to create watchOS apps without iOS app involved.
- Improved Siri.
- Improvements to Home/App Selection Screen.
Without further or do, here is my watchOS 4 wishlist.
- Minor improvements needing to sitting and standing. It takes 1 minute of moving around to trigger your stand goal for that hour but sometimes you have to walk around for 2-3minutes before you get it.
- Be able to view fine details about previous workouts on the watch without needing to view your iPhone, even if it has to be paired to iPhone which stores all the data.
App Store (2):
- Have an App Store app on the watch to search for apps that work on the watch, with searching done via Scribble or dictation as the upfront option.
- Have an indicator when searching apps in the Watch iOS app that they only have a watch app and not an iOS app.
- Be able to show the battery percentage from your iPhone on your watch, at the very least in the battery app if not also option for a separate complication.
- Customizable Breathe app faces and not just restricted to the same light green and light blue pattern.
- Include a weekly view option.
- Be able to scroll through your entire calendar history and future in month view, which is currently limited to current month for dates along with yesterday and today for events.
Control Centre (3):
- Allow Control Centre toggles to be re-arrangeable. So if you swim a lot or go to the movies/theatre a lot, put the water lock toggle at the top.
- Have the option to access Control Centre via a swipe up from the bottom of the screen, either on any screen of the watch or just the watch faces only.
- Move the Music Now Playing screen to be a swipe over from Control Centre which keeps it a) consistent with iOS (if it stays that way in iOS 11) and b) easier to access even if you don’t have a music complication on the watch face screen.
- Option for dock when launched to either show last accessed from dock, or go to start of the list as the default option.
- Be able to develop watch apps that do not require an iOS app to be produced to work from. Required in an entirely new version of Xcode.
- Make it compulsory for watchOS apps that do not require an internet connection, to work without needing to be connected to the watch.
- Ask for Siri commands to run things on your Apple TV. E.g. “Open Netflix on my Apple TV.”
Home Screen (3):
- Support for folders on the watch. Tell if you are in a folder or not with the middle button being a back button and a grey background like in the Dock.
- Have the option for an alternative layout which is more like the square iPod Nano that many turned into a watch.
- Support for 3D Touch on all native apps on the home screen, which can act as a shortcut. E.g. start a 3 minute timer immediately, or jump to a specific area of the watch app, which is faster to get what you want which is the purpose of the watch. Also good for apps that are not in your dock.
- Include a notes app on the watch so you can either read notes or write short notes to look back at later with scribble or dictate notes.
- Be able to sort emails into folders so you do not need to do it later when you get back to your computer or on your phone.
- Be able to download maps offline for certain areas so you can use the GPS in your watch for navigation without needing an internet connection from your phone.
- Be able to turn off turn-by-turn driving directions if you set it up on your phone as I personally find it distracting.
- Have the option to playback music via the watch’s speaker.
- Option to use digital crown to control volume on any screen that is not using it for scrolling or other navigational purposes. If they add Time Travel (without the flux capacitor of course) back from watchOS 2, then this would not be needed.
- Be able to save more than 250 songs or 2GB of music to your watch for offline use and have more granular controls like what songs within a playlist you want to sync etc.
- Be able to use the volume controls on headphones including Apple EarPods and not make them useless when your watch is paired to your iPhone.
Nightstand Mode (1):
- Be able to use any songs from your watch saved offline to use as an alarm tone on your watch.
Notification Centre (1):
- Have the option to access Notification Centre via a swipe down from the top of the screen either on any screen of the watch or just the watch face.
- Improve the phone call quality via Bluetooth by possibly using peer-to-peer Wi-Fi instead or via Bluetooth 5 in future watch hardware updates.
- Reduce the amount of delay found with using watch when on a phone call while talking to people.
- Include a Podcast app on the Apple Watch that can easily stream episodes from your phone to it, and option to select which ones you want manually to be saved offline on your watch.
- Option to wake screen for a specified time between 15 and 70 seconds.
- Bring back the Time Travel functionality which was in watchOS 2.
- Be able to customize the alert tone sounds on an app-by-app basis. Alert via 7Tennis app back in January sounded the same as an activity app alert, which sounds the same as a text message alert.
- Option for always on watch face, even though I personally don’t see it as a massive issue.
- Option to provide taptic feedback when you go out of range of your iPhone losing connectivity.
- Offline Siri support.
- Siri song detection by Shazam support.
- Display web results if absolutely needed which can be loaded on your iPhone, while you get your phone out of your pocket.
- Make Siri less reliant on web search results and more informative like Google Assistant and provide accurate results.
Watch Faces (5):
- A modular watch face that has the time in the middle of the screen and complication in the top right.
- A new variant of the X-Large watch face but fits the entire time across the whole width of the screen in the middle.
- More extensive customisability with all the existing watch-faces, when it comes to colours. E.g. watch band is one colour, tip of watch band is a different colour and clock itself is yet another colour.
- Option to chronologically organize widgets based on prioritizing what needs to appear wear. For example, on the modular watch face I have a 3 wide slot for activity, but what if I want that to be replaced with the Music widget but only when I am listening to music.
- More modular watch faces available, including the clock not needing to be in the top right, 2 lots of 3 slot complications on the same watch face.
Watch iOS App (1):
- Include a section within the app relating to app updates that are either a) iOS apps with watch extensions that need updating or b) stand-alone watch apps that need updating.
- Widget update so it works based off current location.
- Force Touch option within the weather app for currently selected location to view the weather radar, with digital crown support for zoom.
This brings my list to a total of 46 features I want to see happen to the platform at the time of publishing. This list doesn’t sound like a massive one compared to iOS, but that is because a) the watch does less than a phone and tablet, b) I am being more reflective on what I use on the watch day to day and c) the changes I do want although may seem minor for people that do not own an Apple Watch, but in day to day use they can be drastic, such as changing alert sounds.
Software updates do not tend to have anywhere near as many leaks compared to hardware updates, but substantially less for watchOS, tvOS and macOS updates, compared to iOS which is used by billions of people daily.
The rumours that have been making the rounds however include:
- Support for skiing and snowboarding activities in the workout app.
I would fully expect that this update will work on all Apple Watches sold to date and the next iteration being Series 3.
This means the original Apple Watch (Series 0), updated original model with the S1P chip (Series 1), Series 2 with water-resistance and GPS and Series 3 likely out soon.
And that brings this post to a close, and I’d like to ask you the readers:
“What is missing from watchOS that will make you either enjoy using your Apple Watch more, or decide to get one?”
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