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📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺 The watchOS 7 issue

📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺
📱💻 Finer Tech Newsletter ⌚️📺 The watchOS 7 issue
By David Chartier • Issue #69 • View online
Alright everyone, I promised you a watchOS 7 issue, and it’s finally here. Apple made a big splash with announcements like new fitness features (as usual) and sleep tracking. But there are a lot of other goodies packed into this release, and I found some good ones for you below.
My plan for the next issue (#70, just before Christmas) is to also be larger than usual, with a healthy dose of tips for macOS Big Sur, iOS/iPadOS, and watchOS.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this issue on MastodonTumblrMicro.blogTwitter, or email. If you know people who would enjoy my newsletter, I’ll owe you a beverage if you recommend it to them.

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💡 Tips
⌚️ View full complications while customizing them
A full-size preview of the Reminders corner complication for the Infograph Watch face
A full-size preview of the Reminders corner complication for the Infograph Watch face
When you customize a Watch face in watchOS 7, you’ll see a full-sized preview of your options, complete with sample data. While finding the complication you want might take a little more scrolling now, I appreciate the more accurate preview.
⌚️ Open Control Center from within apps
Control Center being pulled up over Reminders
Control Center being pulled up over Reminders
I’m not positive this one is new in watchOS 7, but you can open Control Center from within any app. For a while in watchOS, you had to first exit back to your Watch face.
While in any app, simply tap and hold for a beat at the bottom of your Watch face. You should feel a light tap and Control Center will kinda peek up from the bottom. Swipe it up to access it.
It’s tough to tell in my example above, but I’m pulling Control Center up over Reminders (yes, I have a todo list for some longer quests I want to get done in Destiny. What of it 😄).
Shout out to David Ianni for sending this one my way
⌚️ Set up an Apple Watch, Schooltime features for family members
Apple finally cut one cord in watchOS 7 by allowing a family member to set up Watches for others in the family who don’t have iPhones. The feature is pitched mainly to parents and their children, and Apple has an instruction doc to walk you through it.
There are a couple limitations to consider. First, some apps and features may work differently or not at all, depending on whether the child is within WiFi or has a cellular plan on the Watch. Something like always-on location tracking would obviously require a cellular plan. Second, features like heart rate notifications, fall detection, and activity tracking have limitations based on the age of the child or family member (described at the bottom of the linked doc). Also, Apple Pay using a credit, debit, or transit card in the Wallet app is not available with Family Setup, for some reason.
Finally, I want to mention the new Schooltime feature in watchOS 7, which I just learned about when researching this. It’s a way to set scheduled limits on using apps and notifications throughout the day, while still allowing things like emergency calls and texts from trusted contacts. Of course, Apple pitches this feature to parents with children, but anyone can use it to automate some focus time in their day.
⌚️ Get a soundboard on your wrist with Thwip
Ok, this isn’t a watchOS 7 feature, but it’s still a good time. Thwip is a free soundboard on your wrist for all those times you need a bad pun drumroll, an air horn, or a whomp-whomp trombone.
⌚️ Siri can translate in 10 languages without internet or your iPhone
This one thoroughly impressed me. You can now ask Siri to translate anything in 10 languages, no internet or iPhone connection needed. To test this, I toggled Airplane Mode on my Watch, made sure it had no iPhone connection, then asked Siri “how do I say ‘how are you’ in Chinese?” Pretty cool.
Supported languages as of this writing are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
⌚️ Shortcuts can be complications
Shortcuts have arrived not just on Apple Watch, but on your Watch faces, too. When customizing your complications, Shortcuts are now listed alongside all other compatible complications for your current Watch Face. Tap ‘em and let the automations fly.
One catch I’ve found is that the Apple Watch doesn’t distinguish well between Shortcuts it can and cannot run. For example, I have a simple shortcut that does a voice-to-text search dictation in YouTube on my iPhone or iPad. Even though YouTube doesn’t have a Watch app, the Shortcut tries to run, then errors out because ‘YouTube is not installed.’ Your mileage will likely vary.
⌚️ We can finally delete Control Center buttons
If Control Center on your Apple Watch feels a little cluttered, you can do something about it now. Sure, we’ve been able to rearrange those buttons, but now we can remove them altogether. Simply scroll all the way to the bottom and tap Edit.
Deleted buttons are moved to the bottom under a More section, in case you ever want to bring them back.
🔗 Good links & reads
22 Free Workouts You Can Do at Home Right Now
🎼 Lofi Christmas music
If you want some lofi, chill, lyric-less Christmas music, YouTube has you covered. The video below is a good live channel we put on sometimes.
lofi christmas radio ❄️ beats to chill/drink hot cocoa to ☕️
lofi christmas radio ❄️ beats to chill/drink hot cocoa to ☕️
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Ghosts of Segregation
🤩 Thanks for reading
How did you like this issue? Was it useful and bite-sized enough? Are there certain kinds of tips or apps you’d like to see here? Let me know what you think on MastodonTumblrMicro.blogTwitter, or email.
Did you enjoy this issue?
David Chartier

Quick tips to help you get more out of your apps and Apple devices, served with a side of non-news good links across tech and culture.

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