Artificial intelligence may very well take over the world one day, but I find it absolutely fascinating, regardless. The concept of teaching computers how to “think” brings an entirely new level to technology, not only in relation to programming, but in how we interact with it as well. The issue is that, once they become sentient, computers will in theory no longer be content doing as we command, but instead turn on humanity and kill us all.
Anyway, the App Store has yet to feature an app for controlling a maniacal robot from your Apple Watch, but there are some apps that utilize a form of artificial intelligence, and we’re looking at a couple of them today.
The twisted set of apps run by an A.I. with a distaste for humans (perfect for taking over the world, now that I think about it) known as CARROT has come to Apple Watch. In this instance, the contrary computer is predicting the weather, mocking humankind as it grovels in the wake of thunderstorms, blizzards, tornados, and whatever Mother Nature brings its way.
The app excels at detailing the weather when compared to Yahoo Weather or Apple Watch’s stock Weather app, providing more details in both the Watch app and its Glance than either of these competitors. If you’re looking to get laughed at when its raining outside, or if you want to check the weather in Gotham or on the Moon by unlocking these and other secret locations, CARROT Weather is available for $2.99, and you can read more about it here.
If I’m being perfectly honest, most weight loss and healthy living apps that log your meals and exercise are a pain. Once you enter all your personal health data, reporting meals becomes even more monotonous. With counterintuitive searches for what I ate during your last meal, trying to choose the best match, and counting the portions, I’d rather just delete the app. Lark changes that by carrying a conversation with you in a chat-like manner, giving advice where needed and reporting your latest health information.
Setup is a breeze, with most of your data being pulled from Apple’s Health app, and entering your meals is easy, particularly on Apple Watch, since mini Lark takes voice input and analyzes it for food items. You can also just sit and chat with Lark as it gives tips about exercise and encourages healthy living. It’s really a unique experience, and I was quite impressed with the app. Lark is free, so I highly recommend giving it a try.
Anyone who’s been on the Internet for long has likely heard of Pandora, the music streaming service that tailors your personal radio station based on similar artists and songs you vote up or down. Although I prefer Spotify’s choose-precisely-what-you-hear method, it has yet to offer an Apple Watch app, and Pandora seems to do a better job of choosing what songs to play next without getting repetitive or too off topic.
In case you haven’t tried it, the Apple Watch version of Pandora allows you to control music playback, thumbs up and thumbs down songs, switch stations, and even add new ones – all from your wrist. Music playback occurs through your iPhone, so you’ll want to pair your Bluetooth headphones with that instead of your Watch. For those of you who may have moved on to a different music service, now might be the time to dust off your Pandora account, at least until your favorite streaming service comes to Apple Watch. Pandora Radio is free with ads and a few skips an hour, while Pandora One removes these limits for $4.99 a month.
With a recent redesign and move to a freemium app model, Calcbot is now available for WatchKit to turn your shiny new Apple device into a nerdy calculator watch from the ’90s. Really though, it’s a nicely designed app with just enough features to keep things simple but functional. It includes a basic math calculator, a unit converter, and a tip calculator, all of which are easy to use quickly while still getting the job done.
I used the tip calculator on my Apple Watch at a restaurant not long ago and it worked well – easier than pulling out my phone and hunting for the app. If you’re looking for more functionality, Calcbot provides a plethora of additional features in the iPhone version, although many of these are locked behind a $1.99 in-app purchase. As far as I can tell, however, all of the Apple Watch features come without a purchase, so if that’s all you’re looking for, Calcbot is a free download from the App Store.
Should you know of any outstanding Apple Watch apps that are beautiful, functional, practical, or all of the above, shoot me an email with a link at [email protected], or a leave me a comment below. Now I’m off to code a bot that’s intelligent enough to write next week’s App Watch for me…