With the Apple Watch rumored to arrive in March, Apple is readying up the software required to pair the iPhone with the Watch. A major role will be played by an Apple Watch Companion app, that will run on the iPhone, and allow you to manage your Apple Watch.
Here’s a detailed look at what we know about the Companion app so far:
The Apple Watch’s home screen by now must be familiar to all readers. It’s a diagonally aligned grid of circular icons, and the Companion app will let you organise apps on the Home Screen, with a virtual view of the screen on your iPhone.
You’ll be able to configure the clock, and related functions on the Apple Watch from the Companion app.
- You can enable or disable 24 hour time.
- See your iPhone’s timers and alarms on the Watch.
- See a red dot on your watch face every time you get a notification.
- Set a monogram, which is a 1-4 letter string, that appears on the monogram complication. (A complication is a special function shown on the watch face like a stock quote, weather etc.)
- You can also configure the Stocks complication. There’s a choice between seeing its current price, points change, percentage change, and market cap. By default, the stock on your iPhone is chosen, but you can change that. You’ll see stock info in Glances as well.
- Users can enable or disable Taptic Engine that prompts users to turn when using Maps’ turn-by-turn directions.
The Apple Watch doesn’t have a keyboard, so its primary input is voice dictation. You can configure the following Messages settings with the companion app:
- You’ll be able to choose if you want to receive Messages notifications from your Contacts, everyone or no one at all. Additionally, there are settings to set repeat alerts, and enable or disable read receipts. By default, these settings are the same as on your iPhone.
- When you respond to a message with voice, you can choose to send a transcript of that, or send it as an audio message.
- You can set a 4 digit passcode for your Apple Watch.
- You can also unlock your Watch automatically when your iPhone is unlocked. Note that this will only work when you’re wearing the Watch.
- After 10 failed passcode attempts, you can ask the Watch to delete all data.
- Using Apple Pay with your Watch requires a passcode, and the Watch to be worn on your wrist.
Activity and Fitness
The Apple Watch is also a fitness tracker, and you can configure many of its fitness related settings from the Companion app:
- Toggle reminders to stand if you’ve been sitting for too long, goal completions, achievements and weekly summaries.
- Configure progress notifications, that informs you of your activity in the last few hours.
- Enable or disable the heart rate monitor and fitness tracking.
Apple’s known for putting a lot of emphasis on accessibility features in its products, and the Apple Watch is no different. Accessibility features can be accessed with a triple tap of the Digital Crown. There are a lot of Apple Watch Accessibility settings in the Companion app:
- VoiceOver speaks the contents of the screen for users who are visually impaired.
- Zoom can be used to magnify content on the screen. Double tap to zoom, two fingers to pan around and double tap while dragging to adjust zoom level.
- Other accessibility settings include Reduce Motion, Reduce Transparency, Grayscale display, Bold Text and more.
- You can add up to 12 contacts as Friends, who will show up in the Friends Screen on the Watch. These serve as shortcuts to call, message or send sketches.
- You can choose to store some of your photos on your Apple Watch, so that you can see them even when your iPhone is out of range.
- You can see information about the Watch, like storage space, the number of songs, photos, and apps on the device. Additionally, you can view the serial number, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi details in the About screen.
What do you think about the Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments below.