This hidden Apple Watch function is best than I imagined


Apple Watch getting FaceTime caller notification Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Traits

A couple of days in the past, I bravely admitted to my colleagues that I depend on an Android pill for my day by day work. “Nadeem, has anybody instructed you about PCs,” one in all my editors replied. “Good god, man, who damage you?” remarked one other senior editor. They’re not unsuitable, whereas I stay as shameless as ever in my experimental desire for work machines.

The “Android ecosystem” — I do know, it’s a stretch to make use of that time period — has a widely known consistency and cohesiveness downside. Apple, then again, retains fortifying its ecosystem with such intricate interaction between gadgets that after you’re locked in, there’s a particularly excessive practical barrier to make an exit. The walled backyard, child!

With the discharge of its newest iOS 17 and watchOS 10 releases, Apple is making an attempt to lift the barrier even greater with FaceTime on the heart of all of it. Particularly, the power to look at video voice mails straight on my watch. It is a new perk that wants iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, each of which are actually out as a public beta and might be launched extensively within the coming months.

A type of candy surprises

FaceTime voicemail.
Voicemail log for FaceTime calls on Apple Watch Nadeem Sarwar / DigitalTrends

On my aspect of the planet, WhatsApp is the king for video calls. FaceTime, effectively, it’s a luxurious iPhone homeowners take pleasure in, identical to iMessage. However there’s no inexperienced versus blue bubble warfare right here. As such, the overwhelming reliance on these communication pipelines is minimal in comparison with the U.S.

However there’s one function in watchOS 10 that caught my consideration whereas combing by way of the discharge notes. “If somebody leaves you a recorded video message on FaceTime, you may view it immediately in your Apple Watch,” says Apple. It’s fairly self-explanatory what it does, however witnessing it in motion makes you actually suppose how far smartwatches have really come.

The method is pretty easy. When you couldn’t attend a FaceTime name, iOS 17 lets the caller report a video message, identical to an audio recording that lands in your voicemail. Now, when you’ve got an Apple Watch in your wrist, you will note the missed name alert and the video message, too.

Faucet on it, and you will note what the caller meant to say or present you. The cellphone app in your Apple Watch will hold the video message neatly saved within the Voice Mail part. Simply just be sure you search for individuals round you earlier than you hit the play button.

Watching video call message on FaceTime.
Apple Watch Collection 7 exhibiting video message Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Traits

The Apple Watch’s tiny display screen doesn’t supply a lot legibility to the particular person sitting a number of ft away, however the sound would possibly simply find yourself publicly broadcasting some private particulars of your life to a room stuffed with strangers. Fortunately, I realized the lesson in a moderately humorous vogue, as the primary FaceTime video message I performed on my Apple Watch had a child whining on the prime of her lungs, drawing some bizarre appears from a pair sitting subsequent to me. Lesson realized!

Ever since, I’ve stored my AirPods Professional paired with the Apple Watch in order that I don’t draw any extra consideration from fellow cafe dwellers or disturb somebody’s second of zen. However personally, I discover it extraordinarily handy that I don’t have to tug my cellphone out of my pocket to test my voicemails.

Distraction? Or perhaps, a savior?

Synced call alerts.
Missed FaceTime name alerts on the iPad and the iPhone Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Traits

I’ve a love-hate relationship with my cellphone. On one hand, I’ve to control all of the social notifications, particularly Twitter, to comply with the breaking information cycle. Then, there are communication apps similar to Slack and Microsoft Groups that get me by way of a day of labor. For somebody who’s a part of a information desk, there’s no skirting round for me.

However with it additionally comes the barrage of junk notifications — from the bajillion memes associates ship in Instagram DMs to household banter in WhatsApp teams. Each time my cellphone’s display screen lights up or I really feel the acquainted vibration on the desk, I instinctively attain out for my cellphone to test it. And no sooner that occurs, I normally find yourself misplaced in a maze of notification banners and idle web browsing.

Having a watch on my wrist serves as a potent deterrent.

Having a watch on my wrist serves as a potent deterrent. As I glide my arms throughout a keyboard, a fast look on the lit-up display screen tells me what notification it’s, and pressing, I don’t work together. Or at the very least I strive my greatest. However who am I kidding? It’s a dropping battle.

The ultimate resort is making a Focus mode to successfully mute all of the notifications. As soon as enabled, I set my cellphone apart, and the Apple Watch turns into an extension of my iPhone. I normally wait an hour or 40 minutes to unlock the Apple Watch, scroll previous the banner of notifications, and get again to work.

FaceTime Message on Apple Watch.
Watching a video message for a missed FaceTime name on Apple Watch Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Traits

Name alerts occur to be a type of filtered notifications. Fortunately, with the arrival of watchOS 10 and iOS 17’s video message function, I can already see myself testing my voice and video calls messages with out having to succeed in out to my cellphone and getting misplaced in a barrage of alluring notifications.

It actually helps that I can revert to voice calls straight from my Apple Watch. To additional sweeten the deal, watchOS 10 can be including help for group voice calls, additional shrinking the rationale for selecting up your iPhone when the watch can deal with your communication wants with out condemning you to the smartphone distraction hell. I can already see lots of people utilizing this function within the coming months as the subsequent main iOS and watchOS updates roll out.

Sure, there’s a value to all of it

FaceTime video message feature
Document video for missed FaceTime calls Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Traits

As handy because it sounds, you could be deeply invested within the Apple {hardware} ecosystem for any of this to work. In my case, I’ve AirPods Professional in my ear, an Apple Watch Collection 7 draped round my wrist, an iPhone 14 Professional, and an iPad Professional on my desk. All of it’s tied to my Apple account, however reaching that cross-device concord value me over $3,000.

In fact, relying on the particular Apple system in your stock, the ultimate value be much more — or much less — for you. However let’s simply arrive at a median worth of $2,000 and broach the query: Is that quantity definitely worth the comfort of watching missed FaceTime video messages on a watch? Hell no!

The one sane argument could be the everyday “sum of its elements” argument. Splurging that good-looking quantity on a bunch of Apple gadgets additionally brings a number of dozen perks that you’d in any other case miss out on.

Log of voice messages
Accessing video message log within the mail of Apple Watch Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Traits

In fact, it helps that Apple’s {hardware} is top-notch, the software program is rewarding, and all the pieces works in seamless practical concord. Having the ability to watch video messages for missed FaceTime calls on proper in your wrist is only a recent cherry on prime, amongst a bunch of different fruits that Apple serves annually with main OS updates.

It’s ironic that all of us chase that dream Apple {hardware} ecosystem, however the seamless syncing additionally means you get all of the notifications delivered throughout all of your gadgets on the similar time. I see the alert on my cellphone and iPad or Mac. My Apple Watch exhibits the identical name alert. And my AirPods blast the notification into my ears. It’s an excessive amount of.

However with just a little assist from Focus modes and watchOS 10’s cool new trick, I’m a tad much less overwhelmed with the flood of synced notifications. For now, I’m simply extraordinarily completely happy that my dear watch is saving me from the “distraction monster” that’s my iPhone.

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