I like to think of myself as a power user when it comes to my apps and devices, and although that term isn’t always applicable, I’ve spent hours in Workflow trying to craft recipes that will save me precious seconds later on, and I enjoyed doing so if for nothing other than the self-satisfaction when I get to run a handmade workflow and watch it perform beautifully.
Today’s App Watch has a couple power user apps to help streamline your day (and an app to make you a powerful user), and I hope, once we’re done, you’ll be as excited as I am to use these apps in the future.
Apple left a few of its stock iOS apps off of Apple Watch, including Notes, which could have been useful for quickly taking down thoughts or referring to something previously written. Despite this shortcoming on Apple’s end, Drafts 4 is an excellent text-editing app that has received the Apple Watch treatment, introducing a convenient way to read and take down notes.
If you’re unfamiliar with the iOS app, Drafts is a powerful app that integrates with Workflow, Evernote, and several other services to use x-callback-url actions to automate various tasks. If that seems over your head, don’t worry – the app makes a great text editor for markup or simply plaintext. In fact, I’m writing this article using Drafts on my iPhone, and it’s fully compatible with iPad as well.
The Apple Watch app is naturally much simpler than all that, but it makes quickly viewing existing notes, prepending and appending text to them via dictation, or creating entirely new notes all easy tasks. You can unleash the power of Drafts 4 on your device for $9.99.
A couple weeks ago, I featured CARROT Weather for its unique, if not diabolical, Apple Watch companion app that offered more glance-able information than many other weather apps I’ve tried. With CARROT Fit, the human-hating AI is back to lash us meatbags into a non-spherical form.
Fit takes users through a “7 minutes in hell” workout, which includes a variety of tastefully-named exercises designed to induce sweat and melt fat. Be careful not to end your workout early, or you’ll enrage your computer overlord, which will require extra work for appeasement.
The Apple Watch app displays the current workout, your time left to complete that workout, and resting times in between workouts. Initiating a workout must be done from the iPhone app, unfortunately, but having the current activity displayed on one’s wrist is much more convenient than having to check a phone periodically during the workout.
CARROT Fit is another great member of the CARROT line of the world domination-minded AI, and you can purchase your digital overlord for $2.99 in the App Store.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been truly happy with a mail app. iOS’s stock Mail application works and has received some nice features in the last couple years, but it lacks many power user features. Mailbox concentrates on reaching “inbox zero” which encourages a clear inbox, and its snooze features and Mac version are nice, but the app still has its issues. Google’s Inbox sorts email into categories and brings other polished features to iOS, but it’s Gmail-only and doesn’t have a unified inbox view.
Just when things were getting rather dark, Spark burst from the ashes to become my favorite mail client to date. It’s iPhone- and Apple Watch-only for now, but we’re likely to see a Mac or iPad release before long. I could go on for countless paragraphs talking about the various power user features of this app but will instead focus on the WatchKit app.
The initial view poses three main buttons for viewing new items in Spark’s Personal, Newsletters, and Notifications – three smart inbox cards into which Spark sorts incoming emails – and scrolling down reveals the usual inbox, pinned (flagged), archived, and sent sections. Tapping on any of these shows a list of the emails they contain.
Viewing an individual email shows its entire thread (if applicable), and users can reply with the “thanks” or “got it” canned messages, an emoji, or dictated text. There are also buttons for snoozing the email to a later date, archiving it, or deleting it.
While email might seem cumbersome and useless on an Apple Watch, Spark does an excellent job of providing quick, relevant options directly on users’ wrists in a beautiful package. This is definitely an app I’ll be using a lot in the future, both on my iPhone and Apple Watch, and I highly recommend you give the free Spark app a try.
If you’ve found a particularly nice Apple Watch app you think I should feature on App Watch, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.