Many say that watches are useless now that we have cell phones and just as many don’t even wear one, , but I still say it’s much easier to look at your wrist if sighted or do voiceover gestures on your Apple watch, than to take your phone out of a pocket to get the time; and a smartwatch can do so much more.
What makes smartwatches most useful are complications; having apps display and update bits of data on the screen. Many iOS developers have added watch apps to accompany their iOS offerings, and many of those also have complications combined with those by Apple; there’s a wide range to pick from. Anything from moon phase to temperature to next calendar appointment to counted steps for the day, or sports scores, , and many more; before discounting watch complications as useless, think of your daily routines and consider when getting a piece of information meaningful to your activities more conveniently might help your day be more efficient. They’re somewhat like a screen of widgets, or how people using several monitors on their systems have updating windows open on their second or third screen. It’s the closest voiceover users will probably ever get to that use of multiple screens.
Right away I found the modular watch face was my favorite because it had the most, 5 complications. I’d heard people rave about the different faces and wanting more, but I’m too much of a Vulcan to enjoy such frivolity as say Mickey mouse. Then watch OS 3 came out and people liked that you could switch between faces much easier than before, 2-finger swipe right or left, but I still didn’t care; until I figured out that I could delete all the other faces and only have multiple modular faces with different complications. That was cool, I could have 3 watch faces, all modular, so 15 complications all easily reachable even with voiceover, the productive part of my mind was very happy.
Before I wished there had been a watch face with more complications, this solves that now.
Yes, the phone can practically do anything that the watch can, but the watch is way more convenient whether you’re blind or sighted, and putting dynamic bits of information on a smartwatch is very helpful when pressed for time. Time until the next bus, workout stats while at the gym, data that changes very rapidly right on your wrist; whereas it would be much more cumbersome to either have to dig the phone out of your pocket, oh wait no pockets in gym shorts, or change between different apps on your phone once it’s out.
I think augmented reality is way more important than virtual reality, especially for blind people, and the Apple watch can go a long way towards helping with that. Beyond the complications, tactile feedback is my second favorite feature. Getting turning directions tactilely is great when a loud truck or bus going by makes spoken GPS directions difficult to hear. Speaking of difficulty hearing, there are already cool articles about how deaf and deaf blind people are using Taptic taps to communicate when they need to quickly, like in public
Another case, though it shouldn’t exist, is some times the watch app is accessible to voiceover, whereas the iOS app is not; in my case it’s the app of my financial institution, but that’s a whole different story.
. As time goes on, only our imagination will limit us from creating ways for our Apple watches, and for many including me it’s accessibility features, to improve our dynamic lives even more.