Friday, 25 September 2015

David Smith is a fantastic developer who creates some of the apps I use everyday. I use Pedometer++, the fantastic step tracker available on iPhone since iOS 8 and iPhone 5S. It leveraged iOS 8’s HealthKit, and the various motion tracking capabilities of the iPhone 5S, and Smith managed to make a great product over the course of one summer.

And that’s not all. In the same period of time, he also made a third-party keyboard for emojis, one that had a much better interface than Apple’s, and was faster and slicker to use. So it’s not a surprise that Apple sherlocked him with the release of iOS 8.3.

This time, it’s with watchOS 2’s native apps (with access to the various hardware features of Apple Watch) and third-party complications that Smith has mastered to create a great app. It’s called Sleep++, and it’s a great sleep-tracking app for Apple Watch.

This (understandably) might turn a few heads at first. Tim Cook said a while back that you’ll need to charge it every night. But David Smith has come up with a way to, yes, wear Apple Watch 24/7. Here’s how David does it:

The TL/DR is to charge your Apple Watch in the morning while you get ready for your day (take a shower, get dressed, etc) and then again in the evening while you get ready for bed (brush teeth, put on pajamas, etc). Then put your Apple Watch in Airplane Mode while you sleep.

You should read the whole piece, but that’s the gist of it. I’ve been trying out Sleep++ and this method since I got my Apple Watch on Tuesday, and I can say it’s quite solid. Smith says in his piece that he only uses only about 50% of the full charge in a day. Since I first got my Watch, I’ve been using the hell out of it, even installing apps while out and about. Because of this, I usually end the day with about 15-25%. Obviously, this means I have to charge it for longer before I go to sleep, but that’s not really an issue for me, yet.

The Sleep++ Apple Watch app.

The Sleep++ Apple Watch app.

I put my Watch in Airplane Mode, and in the usually six or so hours I sleep, I get pretty good (simple) feedback. Dark blue periods in Sleep++ are times when you’re sleeping well, and the light blue breaks in between are ‘restless’ periods in sleep.

The data is simple and easy to glance, but it can be expanded to give more information. The design is simple, and not what you’d call ‘beautiful’, but it’s like any Underscore v1 product: fast and functional, and I expect David Smith is already working on a new update with more to come.

Sleep++ is free on the App Store, but you should support its development by removing ads for just $2.

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