watchOS

Chirp — Twitter, back on Apple Watch by Adrian Galli

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There has been some publicity that a lot of app developers are pulling their Apple Watch app. This has lead to a lot of hyperbole about the Apple Watch being a failure. I’m not going to get pulled into all that but I think it in worth mentioning that my opinion is most developers are still trying to figure out what their role is in the Apple Watch development arena. Some apps try really hard to be a full replacement to their iOS counterpart and that isn’t really the point. Apple Watch is really designed for quick interactions—ten seconds not ten minutes.

Twitter pulled their app from watchOS some times ago. It was disappointing to lose the watchOS app version for me personally because before as I would get Twitter notifications, I then need to pull out my iPhone. When Twitter had a watchOS app, I could read, favorite, retweet right from my watch. It was pretty slick. It is really what Apple Watch is all about: quick, unobtrusive, yet powerful interactions.

Funny thing is, Twitter is really designed for Apple Watch. With a maximum of 280 characters per tweet, it is perfect for quick reads and quick interactions. If there is more to the tweet, a link for example, then Handoff with another Apple device leads one into the meatier content.

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Will Bishop brought Twitter back to Apple Watch with his Apple Watch-only app. Quick and simple, he built in much of what a Twitter app can do to watchOS. One can view their Timeline, Trending items, Mentions, Messages, List, Likes, one’s profile, and search, with a final menu item for Settings. A Force Touch will bring up the option to tweet and it supports Scribble so hashtags and mentions are easily input. (One can of course use Dictation but imagine some of the more complicated handles may not be recognized well.)

That list makes for an unexpectedly powerful app on one’s wrist. However, Mr. Bishop did a great job of making sure it didn’t get complicated.Clean and simple interface, powerful tools, intuitive and expected user experience, and to give it some polish, haptic feedback and sounds.

It is worth mentioning that it is a free app, however, there is a ‘pro’ version which unlocks some of the features above. His pricing method is based on the honor system so one can give a little as $2 for the pro upgrade or up to $5. He includes a ‘tip jar’ for additional support. I’m a big fan of this because it encourages me to give more when I can and give more to the best apps that really deserve it. It is also worth mentioning that Will Bishop is a sixteen year old in Australia and clearly on his way as a great developer. I encourage everyone who downloads Chirp to pay for the 'pro' version because I strongly feel talented, young developers should have the support they need to build an outstanding career.

After using it for a couple week, the only thing on my wishlist is interactive notification support. That may be easier said than done but this app is v1.1 currently (6.25.2018) so who knows what will be coming down the pipeline.

Download: Chirp

Price: Free, $[2, 3, 5]

WWDC 2016 by Adrian Galli

Apple's twenty-seventh year of the famous World Wide Developers Concerence and this years was no disappointment.

Not only have I worked for Apple for thirteen years, the technology that Apple innovates drives my business and personal life in ways I could not begin to communicate in a blog post. WWDC is always an exciting time of year for us in the technology industry and with Apple's four pillars of software development, iOS, macOS (formerly OS X [ten]), watchOS, and tvOS, there is more engagement than ever.

iOS 10 Today View

iOS 10 Today View

iOS 10 is the biggest advancement in the most advanced mobile operating system since the dawn of iOS. With rich notifications and widgets right from the lock screen, raise to wake, and more interactions using 3D Touch, iPhones and iPads are becoming even more powerful and this opens huge doors to developers.

The biggest announcement, I think, is the availability of Siri api. Third party applications can be designed to integrate with Siri like those built by Apple. Image: "Hey Siri, I need a Lyft to Midway Airport." Or: "Hey Siri, I'd like a flight on Delta to London, departing August 17th, in business class." With Apple Pay, one can then pay in moments after Siri find the appropriate response to the query. I can't wait to see what developers do with Siri.

macOS has been the core of the Mac for 15 years. It is an incredibly powerful, intuitive, and secure operating system that runs every Mac. Sierra, the name for macOS 10.12, has great power behind it. Siri, again, is no doubt my favorite feature with integration with the desktop operating system.

Siri, at its core function, powers a voice interface for all of Apple's major products now and can be access from all of these devices: Apple Watch, Mac, iPhone, iPad, AppleTV. If you don't use Siri, you're missing out on the power, ease of use, and fun.

With a longer list of great features like Picture in Picture, an upgraded Photos app, Apple Pay for web, Universal Clipboard (also part of iOS), Tabs for all [multi-window] applications, and advances in the integration with iCloud Drive, macOS will power the next generations of Macs.

Apple Watch was released a little over a year ago. It rarely leaves my wrist and has quickly become one of my favorite tools. Not to be relegated to "gadget status," I find I'm free from my iPhone. I used to drag my iPhone from room to room in anticipation of a message or a call or needing to know some piece of data like weather. But with Apple Watch, my iPhone rests nicely on the coffee table or night stand for hours while I'm at home and Apple Watch fills in while I'm free to move about and not taking my most valuable computer with me. 

watchOS 3 Dock, Breathe, Activity Watch Face

watchOS 3 Dock, Breathe, Activity Watch Face

watchOS 3 builds on a powerful and ever tiny computer for your wrist. The speed, up seven fold, the interface tweaked to allow quicker access to you most used apps, and new input methods for text that give freedom when Dictation isn't a viable option. Securely unlock your Mac while wearing your Apple Watch or use Apple Pay for the web to buy things quickly and securely online. Apple brings a whole new set of features to watchOS just for people who utilize wheelchairs and stress a relieving app to help lower said stress. The evolution of Apple Watch is just at the beginning. 

Lastly, Apple TV, the device that let me cut a major expense (cable) out of my life. Video on demand, iTunes purchases, Apple Music, Siri, games, and more, make the AppleTV a favorite TV and gaming console. Now supporting four controllers, developers have new opportunities for gaming and users have more opportunities for fun with friends and family. 

Check out all the new features in the online previews and be ready for the free upgrades in the fall. This is sure to be an awesome year for Apple technology.

www.apple.com

Images courtesy of Apple PR