Tech special: Adding bite to the Apple Watch
Choose from a range of apps to make your Apple Watch more than just an extension of your iPhone
Let’s face it. It’s the app that makes the gadget. But, how do you apply this theory to the Apple Watch? After all, what makes it a dicey buy is that all apps are not native to the gadget itself. The phone gets connected to the watch via Bluetooth and apps run from the phone, making the watch a mere extension of your phone. So is Apple Watch a worthy buy? The app library for the watch is not extensive, although we must say that the gadget has been in the market for a couple of months only. And, we did manage to shortlist a few apps to make your Apple watch a better functioning gadget.
Shazam helps you recall your favourite song. Download the app, place your mobile close to the source of music and it will identify the song for you, along with details of the album, singer and the lyrics. While doing this would have been uncomfortable with something as bulky as the iPhone 6, all you need to do with the Apple Watch is face your wrist in the direction of the music. Shazam also allows you to watch videos, buy music from iTunes, find out what’s topping the charts world over. Better yet, it finds new music to suit your taste.
Calcbot is a basic calculator but it also acts as a unit converter and tip calculator. So, no more converting different currencies in your head when on a trip abroad — the app automatically updates the current currency rates and helps you do a quick and accurate calculation.
A full cookbook, time keeper and a log of all your cooking, Epicurious gives you all this on your wrist. If you love experimenting in the kitchen, or juggle other tasks while making a meal, this is a great app to have on your Apple Watch. Epicurious gives you over 30,000 recipes to choose from. You can check out the ingredients, full recipes and pictures of what the finished dish should look like. It even gives you a list of vegetables that are in season, based on the location calculated via GPS. Go handsfree if you are in the kitchen and use the app via voice commands, without the fear of smudging your phone with spices or curries. The app features an intelligent kitchen timer. You can choose from over 40 ingredients from five categories including steak, vegetables, chicken, seafood, egg etc., and the timer will tell you how long they take to cook. It will remind you when it is time to flip something over or switch off the heat. The periodic timers keep you alerted about what your food should like and how to go about setting these in the best possible way.
Runtastic keeps track of multiple types of workouts with regard to time, distance, pace, elevation change, calories etc. It maps the workout in real time with built-in GPS. It lets you maintain a personal training diary and metrics to measure your progress.
The app displays all the information you need on a single page by letting you configure your dashboard according to preferred training statistics. You can even control the music you wish to listen while running.
HDFC is the first company to introduce a wearable banking app for Apple Watches. It eventually plans to extend the same to Android-based wearables. At present, the watch-based app gives you access to 10 banking functions — including access to basic account information, allowing you to pay utility bills online and sending requests for a new cheque book. To block a card, all you need to do is go to the app, choose the Hotlisting option, choose the specific card to be blocked and reason for blocking it. You can even put in a request for a new card. You do not need an additional app. Your watch gets connected to the mobile banking app through your iPhone and works seamlessly. They have even added an extra security step for all your transactions, wherein you have to first enter your customer ID and password and set up a watch banking, four-digit PIN the first time you log in.