Apple Watch widgets sound great, but hopefully live activities are coming too

Looking at notifications has always been a big part of the Apple Watch, but there’s a new type of notification that isn’t actually on the Apple Watch. Live Activities, the new type of notification designed for frequent updates, debuted in iOS 16 for all iPhone lock screens and iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island. Live activity alerts are great on the phone, but they amplify how outdated they can be. be the data on the clock.

For example, Apple Watch includes a Siri face that allows you to see the sports scores of your favorite team. While watching the New Orleans Saints lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers last season in the NFL, I compared the live activity from the TV app on the iPhone to the Siri watch face data feed on the Apple Watch. That’s where you establish your favorite teams, after all.

The live activity on the iPhone was fantastic. The score was updated in near real time as the stream played, and you could always see the current score without needing individual notifications for every score change. However, the data feed on the Siri watch face was best described as broken. It would eventually reach what it once was a punctuation during the game, but the game ended long before the score was updated to show later scores or the game result.

official NBA iOS Live Activities support

I don’t remember that the sports data feed on the Siri watch face has always been so blurred. Maybe it hasn’t held up in the years since it was introduced, or maybe it was just having a bad day. Happens. But the best way to see real-time sports scores on the Apple Watch would be to turn on score update notifications on the iPhone. That defeats the purpose of live activities.

And that is only an example. Adoption of Live Activity hasn’t happened at breakneck speed, but apps that work with Live Activities are well received. Flight updates, food delivery updates, and rideshare ETAs are all helpful and would be welcome on the watch.

However, the Apple Watch aggressively reserves battery life, and third-party apps can’t really do more than push notifications and provide a data timeline for occasional complications. However, turning the watch into a window for live activities that you enable would be worth it, no matter what battery hit it took. My guess is that it’s less about any battery thump and more about when to prioritize support. Live activities are still less than a year old on iPhones.

watchOS 10 concept

While there’s no word on the fate of Live Activities on Apple Watch, we think watchOS 10 will introduce a new widget system that can be overlaid on top of any watch face. The usefulness will again be based on how up to date the widget data can be for third party apps. In the example of the sports scores data feed on the Siri watch face, it’s not even a third-party data feed delayed by update limitations.

Thankfully, we’re just a few days away from the first watchOS 10 preview. While I don’t expect to see live activity on the Apple Watch just yet, I do expect data to flow from the servers or the iPhone in a more relevant time frame. .

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