If you've got a new Apple Watch, or are anxiously awaiting its arrival, here are four things you'll want to try....
If you’ve invested in a Philips Hue or Elgato Avea iPhone-controlled smart lighting set up, you can now download an Apple Watch app that sets the mood from your wrist. Turn lights high to read the small print or drop them low with a nice color tone when you want to create a little more intimacy – no remote control required. You can anticipate the release of a deluge of Apple Watch-controlled solutions in June, when the first HomeKit-equipped devices ship.
The app lets you explore your lighting presets (including those you’ve made for yourself) through a series of icons on the Watch display, with Brightness and vividness sliders that let you tweak the setting.
Support for geofencing means your lights will turn on as you walk through the door. You get to choose the lighting set up using “Scenes" on your watch, turn lights off, on, and dim them, too.
I imagine many iOS users already have some form of AirPlay-enabled music system around their office and/or home, so most every Apple Watch user will inevitably be using their device for iPhone-free music playback.
The fastest way to play a specific track is to ask Siri to play the song for you. Alternatively you can browse through your music by simply tapping the song duration in the top left corner of the Now Playing screen, where you can scroll through Artists, Albums, Songs or Playlist listings using the Digital Crown.
Once you’ve selected your music you must use Force Touch to play it through your AirPlay system: with Music open press firmly on the display and select AirPlay, then choose the output system.
Digital Touch is Apple’s great new feature that lets you use haptic feedback to send your nearest and dearest a little Sketch, a tap on the wrist or even use the built-in heart rate sensor to share your heartbeat with them. (Though they also need to be wearing their Apple Watch).
Press side button to see a list of your closest friends, then select the one you wish to touch using the Digital Crown. If they have a Watch, a small icon depicting a finger will appear underneath their icon. Tap this and you’ll be able to sketch, tap or hold two fingers on-screen to send a heartbeat. (I’m a big fan of this feature).
Your iPhone is already the camera that never leaves you and Apple’s continued improvements in software and technology -- in combination with third-party developers, including the mighty Pixelmator -- mean the Apple Watch's future as an SLR-equivalent camera seems assured.
So what does the camera-free Apple Watch bring to this? A remote shutter, that’s what. You see, while you’ve always been able to use the iPhone volume control as a manual shutter to take pictures, now you can also use the Digital Crown on your iPhone. That’s going to be useful to family shots, for making macro images, and for situations in which you may use your iPhone with a pedestal.
Launch the Camera app on Apple Watch and you’ll see a preview of what your iPhone camera sees on your Watch display – you can use a timer or tap the central button to capture the image. The only pity is that you can’t (yet) use the Digital Crown to scroll and zoom while trying to get the perfect picture, which would be incredibly useful for taking up close still life images.
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