Glimpse is an Apple Watch app news addicts will love (with reservations)

By , Jan 13, 2017

Every once in a while a Watch app comes along that brings something ostensibly new to the table. Glimpse, a project that sets out to relay real-time content from your iPhone straight to your Apple Watch’s watch face, is one of those notable additions. The app is home to a handful of social networks and about twenty prolific news outlets, which subject to your taste can selectively refresh on your iPhone and welcome you with new content every time you glance at your watch face.

The promise and potential of Glimpse is uncontested, but so are the flaws in its execution as of today. So before you speed to the App Store, think over the following items to find out if Glimpse has been tailored to you.

First off, setting up Glimpse and getting it to generate content on your wrist is going to require some groundwork due to the limitations of watchOS. To give you a quick idea of the installation process, Glimpse will ask you to synchronize a specific photo album on your iPhone’s Apple Watch app first, create a new watch face drawing on that album second, and pick your news sources or log into your social media accounts third. When this is completed, the app will click into gear and you are ready to go.

What you will like

Glimpse needs to be given credit for originality and effort. Furthermore, it does work as advertised, which makes me feel generous enough to start with the positives.

Once in place, it is definitely satisfying to tilt your watch up and down and continuously see new stories appear. Since this is in essence a photo album watch face, the same rules apply and you can even just tap the already light up face to skip and go ahead to the next story. As soon as your iPhone has downloaded a good amount of stories, chances are you will understand the appeal of the app and feel more temptation than usual to have a casual peek at your watch.

What’s more is that on account of the social media profiles embedded, you are not only up to date on news stories but in addition constantly no more than one glance away from the newest posts on your Twitter timeline. For news addicts and people suffering from fear of missing out on their socials, this watch face has their name written all over it. Want to follow up on a story appearing on your wrist? Screenshot the face and your iPhone is going to bookmark the article for your reading pleasure. Cunning.

What you won’t like

As juicy as this sounds, sadly Glimpse comes with some adverse implications.

The first nuisance is that you will have to kiss goodbye the album you had synced to your watch previously. If you want to give Glimpse a shot, you will not be able to store other photos on your timepiece any longer.

Issue number two is arguably more than a nuisance: because of the nature of Glimpse, all photo stories generated on iPhone (to be relayed to your watch) will end up in your Camera Roll. Yes there is a button in settings to Clean Image Archive  and rid your Photos app of them, but this means serious, regular maintenance work and you will probably get tired of it quickly, which will result in these stories polluting your Photos app (as seen below). No good.

Finally, news channels to follow and social networks are limited and chosen somewhat arbitrarily.

For all its potential, I do hope these are teething troubles. If you value your news and social media a lot more than photos (and order) on iPhone or Watch, the benefits might outweigh the drawbacks for you. If you can wait, perhaps sit tight until a meaningful update drops.

Glimpse Watch Face requires iOS 9.0 or later. Find it for free in the App Store.

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  • Iskren Donev

    I can’t wait for Apple to open up the Apple Watch API even more and let developers run wild. As much as I love my Apple Watch, I still think that there’s a ton of untapped (pun intended) potential.

  • MvP77

    I tried this app when I got my watch a couple months ago and stop using it because of the reason shown. Great app, but the clutter is horrible.

    • Steffen Reich

      yep. You would think there was a better way of doing it but I’m afraid there’s just not at this point. It’s a shame because it drips with potential.