The Complication Drawer & Last Five
As a member of the wonderfully named Wristly inner circle (join here if you have an Apple Watch), every week I complete one of their surveys. You can read all their fascinating insights here on medium. Anyhow, one of this week’s questions was what you’d like to see in the next Apple Watch software or hardware update.
This got me thinking. Overall, I really do like my Apple Watch. It’s a tiny convenience machine. It is however, new. New is often the antagonist of refinement and you really don’t know what’s right until you also know what’s wrong. This takes time.
Complications, those little extras on the watch face are tremendously convenient, not just for seeing information at a glance, but as a rapid mechanism to interact with the information. In Watch OS 2, third party complications were introduced, and this took them to the next level. Unfortunately though, due to watch face real estate, it means hard decisions as to which ones take pride of place. There never seems to be enough slots.
So here’s an easy improvement I’d like to see. A right swipe gesture to slide in an instant complication drawer. It has to be instant. The modular face, but without the time seems perfect for this. I like the modular face for its utility but I don’t like it as a timepiece (oddly enough I prefer the utility face which doesn’t have as much, ahem, utility). This simple gesture would give the best of both worlds, along with seven more complications. These complications would make life on the Watch much less, ahem, complicated.
This brings me to launching apps. The current crown press is fine for selecting from a large number of apps, but for quick selections, it’s a cognitive burden & just a bit too fiddly diddly. Sometimes when I want to do something quickly, I can’t be bothered.
You can double press the crown to go the last app, but, really, one isn’t enough. I would just like to swipe left and see the last five apps that I have used. Five would be plenty. You could of course scroll too, but this lowers touch precision. Plus, I want it to be fast and simple. Fast. Instant fast.
I’d probably go further and exclude any app that has an active complication (they are already fast shortcuts in themselves), or maybe implement something similar to Siri suggestions on the iPhone. It has to be instant though.
The Tiny Convenience Machine Made More Convenient
Two swipes. That’s it. You can already swipe up and down, why not left and right? Super quick, very complementary and friction free.