It's my birthday today! To celebrate, I give you a gift: a redesigned Watch app for Pack!
Like many developers, I was excited by the ability to write an app for the new Apple Watch, so I wrote one before the Watch was actually available: Pack 1.1.
And like many developers (e.g. Marco's Overcast), once I actually had a Watch and used my app on a real device, I realized that my initial design wasn't all that good.
I had thought that scrolling a long list of items to pack, like on the iPhone, would be annoying on the Watch. So I split the packing list up between two screens: a list of categories (or other groupings), where you tap on one to drill down to the items within that group.
In practice, that was cumbersome. Scrolling long lists is actually really easy and fast with the digital crown (or even swiping), and realistically most packing lists aren't all that long, especially as you get towards the end of packing. Having to go back and forth between categories was a pain.
So for version 1.2, I redesigned the Watch app. I collapsed the two screens into one simple list, with headings for groupings.
I also added a Force Touch menu to change the grouping (between by item name, category, or person), and to mark all remaining items as packed (or mark all as unpacked).
I also found, as many others have, that going to the app home screen is less preferred as a way to launch apps. The best way in most cases is to use a Glance from the watch face. So I also added a Glance to Pack, which indicates the number of items still to pack. Now one can simply tap that to launch the full app.
Here are all the changes in version 1.2:
Quickly following the 1.1 update, which introduced the Watch app, here's version 1.1.1 with an important fix:
The Apple Watch is available for pre-order and in-store tryout today, and will be delivered starting April 24 for those who stayed up late enough to get their order in quickly. Did you order yours? What did you get? Let me know in the comments.
Personally, I ordered two Watches: a 42 mm for myself and a 38 mm for my wife, Jenn:
Ordered Apple Watch Sport 42 green & 38 blue via web Store at about 00:10; confirmation at 00:14 says delivery 4/24-5/8.— David Sinclair (@dejus) April 10, 2015
Also available today is an update to my Pack iPhone app, to include an Apple Watch extension to help you even more quickly and easily pack for trips.
The Watch app for Pack is very simple: the idea is that you choose what to pack on your iPhone, then you can put the phone in your pocket while actually stuffing your clothes etc into your suitcase, and just tap on your Watch to mark things as packed.
This will be much more convenient. I've used Pack for my own travel for several years (as a pre-release prototype), and while it is quite easy to mark things as packed, having to take my iPhone out of my pocket while I have my hands full of clothing can be a little inconvenient. Being able to just tap my watch will be so much easier.
Since I don't have a Watch yet, I've only been able to test this in the simulator, but Apple has tested and approved it (after a couple iterations of fixes and clarifications), so I'm confident that it'll work well. I'm sure I'll add further features in a future version, based on my and others usage. If you already have a Watch, please try it and let me know what you think!
Here's a brief looping demo of the Watch app in action:
The Apple Watch will be available soon... how soon we should learn on Monday with their special event. So lots of developers have been announcing apps to run on the Watch — see WatchAware's excellent site for a good showcase.
I don't want to be left out from the fun. So a few weeks ago I spent a few hours over a weekend adding an Apple Watch extension to my latest iPhone app, Pack — a simple app to help you quickly and easily pack for trips.
Apple isn't accepting Apple Watch apps yet, but I'll be ready when they do. The Watch app for Pack is very simple: the idea is that you choose what to pack on your iPhone, then you can put the phone in your pocket while actually stuffing your clothes etc into your suitcase, and just tap on your Watch to mark things as packed.
This will be much more convenient. I've used Pack for my own travel for several years (as a pre-release prototype), and while it is quite easy to mark things as packed, having to take my iPhone out of my pocket while I have my hands full of clothing can be a little inconvenient. Being able to just tap my watch will be so much easier. And yes, you can bet that I'll get my order in for an Apple Watch as soon as pre-ordering is open. (I haven't finally decided which one, but probably the Space Gray Sport model, or maybe one with the green sport band, since green is good.)
Here's a brief demo of the Watch app in action:
Pack is a very simple packing list, so you can get packed quickly and easily.
There's no need to maintain separate lists for each trip. There's no need to guess and enter unnecessary details like weight or cost for each item. It has a clean and elegant appearance, without blinding you with wacky colors and images.
Pack comes with a catalog containing hundreds of items as a starting point. Quickly add, edit or delete them to make your own personalized list.
When preparing for a trip, simply skim through the list, checking or unchecking items as needed for this journey. When ready, flip over to start packing, crossing off items as you put them in your suitcase.
The Choose and Pack lists can be arranged by item name, category, or person name, and can be filtered to show only packed, packed at the end, or all.
Pack is free to use, and includes an optional one-time in-app purchase to unlock all of the app's premium features:
Purchasing also helps support further Pack development.Learn more about Pack.