A Blog about Hiking-, Fitness-, and Health Technology

Apple Watch (Ultra) Apps

My Ultra is the first watch I am using for more than counting steps and telling time.

I’ve been wearing an Apple watch pretty much since the first one came out. Apart from a short, work-related time with a Google Pixel and a corresponding Android capable watch.

Unlike my father’s watch, which he got on his 18th birthday and didn’t take off until he died, these devices are a little more short-lived. I solve this tech junk problem by always donating old tech and not having to have every new version on my wrist or in my pocket.

But the Watch Ultra appealed to me since day one. Like a starry eyed child, I stopped at the Apple Store several times and looked at them, held them in my hands. That’s what I wanted.

Then my Telekom contract ended. Telekom was happy because I’ve been on an old “all inclusive” contract for years, which was discontinued just a few months after it was introduced due to a lack of profitability. I had to act so as not to lose it. And there it was: the Apple Watch Ultra for one Euro. Grabbed it.

Apps

With the Ultra, I finally have a screen that’s big enough to double as more than one display. Your Watch 7 or 8 can do it all, but I’m old and my eyes suck, so this is a first for me. LTE also helps as I leave my phone at home more and more often and only wear the watch.

Drafts

I couldn’t function without Drafts . “Text starts here” is the tagline, and it’s spot on for me. I use it as a quick notebook which, thanks to so-called “Actions”, can then turn this text into stuff in other apps. While on the go I have my own “workspace” into which all spoken notes go, which are then converted into text. Every evening, an action runs that moves all texts with the word “diary” as the first word to Day One , the rest goes to NotePlan . I still have an old subscription with NotePlan, todays $9.99/month wouldn’t work for me.

CityMapper

An app for public transport and long-distance transport (the latter within limits) in many cities in Europe and the USA. I like the app because (unlike many apps from German providers), it lets me know well ahead of time if buses or regional trains are delayed or cancelled. Unfortunately, the version on the watch can’t switch the loaded district, but other than that it does without the phone, which is great.

ShellFish

Very nerdy. ShellFish is an SSH app that also works on mobile and watch. Using a few small scripts on my server, I can display complications on the clock or my cell phone lock screen . This is very useful, for example, if you want to know when a video is transcoded, or if I want to see the status of the Mastodon Server .

what3words

I often have to communicate locations. what3words overlaid the world in a 3x3m grid and gave each box a three word name. For example, the German Medical Center in Limassol, where I was until recently, has ///liver.grannies.freefall as an address. It’s easy to remember and give over the phone. And because something like this works better if you do it in your own language, these addresses are available in many languages. For example in German this location would be ///verheimlicht.auftreten.eigenheit and in Greek ///συνήλθες.ψήνω.ωραιότερο or ///ሊሰበስብ.በመውሰድ.ከተሰሩ in Ethiopian.

AutoSleep

I don’t like Apple’s sleep function. As a medical shift worker, it doesn’t make sense for me to have a set bedtime, and Apple builds most of its stuff for Silicon Valley nerds who have to get up at 8 am to wait in line for two hours at the hipster boba-tea stand. AutoSleep doesn’t care when I go to bed, and as long as I get my seven hours of shuteye, it doesn’t nag. Also, it’s not a subscription, it’s a one-time fee of a few shekels, which is rare and worth supporting.

Cachly

I like to go geocaching ( my profile ). If you don’t know, and spent the 2000s under a rock, it’s more or less a worldwide scavenger hunt. Cachly is a 3rd party app that has better maps and tools than Geocaching’s own app, and works on the watch. Especially awesome: the “Proximity Alert” that gives me a quick nudge when I walk past a cache.

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