Thoughts on Watch Faces

I'll probably write something more about the Apple Watch over the next few weeks.  However, there's one thing that I've found that I particularly love about it.

That thing is the Utility watch face.

As with many of the faces that come with the Watch, it's possible to configure it in many different ways, and with a lot of elements.  For example, I can add numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock, or have them all the way round.  I could add numbers around the outside for the seconds too.

Instead, I have Utility saved in the three configurations that are depicted here.

The fullest configuration is for weekdays. At the top right, it tells me how I'm doing at staying active.  At the top left, the temperature outside.  Along the bottom, it tells me when and what my next meeting is.  My meetings for the day had all finished when I took this screenshot, and the watch is telling me so in big capitals.

At weekends, when I (hopefully!) have no meetings, I use a second configuration.  This doesn't have the calendar, but it still tells me about my activity level, and the outside temperature.

The final configuration is for evenings.  There's nothing to distract me at all in this one–it just tells me the time and date. I'm done with activities and going outside, and so I just don't want to know.

Although there's a huge amount of information that I can potentially have on my watch face, I find a minimalist approach to be a better experience. It turns out that, for me, a lot of extra information can be distracting. When I glance at my watch, I usually just want to know the time. I don't want to know when the sun is setting, or what the time is in New York, and I certainly don't want to think about meetings when it's the weekend. The watch has all that information, but I don't want to see it unless I specifically ask for it.

As an aside, the date and the second hand are picked out in a configurable highlight colour. I've left it as the default orange, which I feel is pretty much perfect.

That's that. I'm also planning to write about notifications, and the workout app. That'll be after Thinking Digital 2015 though. See you then.

iMovie '08

It's been broadly well received, with the very notable and vociferous exception of iMovie '08 which has suffered from the severe disapprobation of the commentariat (thanks to Alastair Campbell for that term, by the way). iMovie power users everywhere are up in arms about all the stuff that is missing or different, compared with iMovie '06, the previous version.You see, the thing is this. Apple ditched the whole way of thinking and working that underpinned the previous version. Someone at Apple decided, correctly in my opinion, that iMovie '06 was too hard to use for your average non-technical user. They decided to change the direction of iMovie to cater for this kind of user - which arguably is who the iLife apps should be targeted at.Apple's aim, therefore, was to make it very quick and easy to import a movie from your camera and edit it. Having done this, it they wanted it to be very easy to publish the movie so that people can watch it.... There's more than enough bloat already in the world of software.I expect things like iDVD publishing to be added incrementally over time, as non chargeable updates to iMovie '08. I don't expect to see timelines, timecode, audio track editing and other complicated stuff coming back.... It was too hard for consumers to use, and too limited for the prosumers.For the machinima that I've been involved with, I used (read: battled) iMovie '06 for a while, but subsequently upgraded to Final Cut Express, and have never looked back.

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Making presentations into movies

Well, I have finished and delivered my virtual worlds presentation, and by all accounts the feedback was very positive. So now I am contemplating how I might take the presentation, with all its video, pictures, meaningful use of transitions, and the accompanying talk, and make it available for people to download, or even view online.Keynote is very good at exporting. You can export presentations to PDF; to Flash movies; Quicktime slideshows and movies; Powerpoint; and other things. However I seem to be pushing these functions a little further than they seem naturally to want to go.Unfortunately there's no recording from the event itself, and so in order to produce a downloadable version, I will be required to reprise my talk that accompanied the presentation. So, here are my options for making a downloadable self running presentation, with audio: Run through the presentation, recording the audio and screen capturing the slideshow with its transitions, etc.Record the audio track. Export the presentation to a Quicktime movie at five seconds per slide. Convert it to a video format that will be editable in Final Cut Express, and edit it so that the slides fit in with the I could go with...

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