I have been using the Siri watch face with watchOS 4 as my primary watch face since iOS 11 shipped. Ordinarily, I am not a digital watch face guy. I grew up looking at analog watches and I’ve been primarily using those on the Apple Watch since it first arrived. Nevertheless, I like the idea of a smart watch face on the Apple Watch giving me more timely information, so I went in with the Siri watch face. Also, I spend a lot of time at the sharp end of the stick when it comes to Siri, so I had to give it a try.
The idea behind the Siri watch face is to contextually give users the information most relevant to them at the time. The face itself is the time with a few complications and a scrolling list of information boxes below that you can move throughout using the Digital Crown. Tapping on any of these boxes brings you into the source application. Tap on an event, for instance, and you go to the calendar app.
There are a lot of Apple applications acting as a data sources for the Siri watch face. Using the Apple Watch face you can get information as to when the sun will rise, the weather forecast, and upcoming appointments. It runs much deeper than that, however. Data sources can also include reminders, alarms, timers, the stopwatch, your wallet, workouts, meditation/breathing reminders, HomeKit notifications, what’s now playing on your media device, photos, and even news.
For the two complications, I use the one on the right to display the current date and the left one for OmniFocus.
There are a lot of applications feeding data into the Siri watch face. One of the first things I did was customize that. If you go into the Apple Watch settings application on your iPhone and tap on your Siri watch face, you get a screen that gives you several options to turn these data sources on or off. I left most of them on but turned off photos, because pictures on that tiny screen don’t make sense to me, and news, which I found to be too much of a distraction.
I have had a few pleasant surprises using the Siri watch face. I like the way it displays upcoming appointments. They are easy-to-read, and they disappear automatically as the day goes on. Rotating the Digital Crown up gives you future Siri chosen events and spinning the opposite direction brings up prior entries and if you’ve played audio recently, the last playing audio. This gives you an easy way to restart podcast or music from your wrist.
I’ve often been tempted to add the timer and alarm complications to my analog faces, but that complication space is so valuable. With the Siri face timers, stopwatch, and alarms only appear when in use so I get them when I need them and only that. Finally, the now playing entries are great for getting back into whatever audio you played last.
Overall, the convenience of the Siri watch face is enough to get me to stick with it despite my preference for analog faces. I’m going to keep using it for the foreseeable future. If you are going to use it, take the time to go into the settings application and customize the data sources to your preference.
My biggest wish for the Siri watch face is to see third-party applications get on that data source list. For instance, why can’t I get upcoming OmniFocus deadlines or Carrot Weather reports? Hopefully, that comes with future iterations.