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A Proposal for Screenshots in WatchOS 3

In a footnote in my review today, I noted:

Pressing the crown and side button at the same time used to take a screenshot. In WatchOS 3, screenshots are not enabled by default. You can turn them on in the General section of the iPhone Apple Watch app. If you do, when you press both buttons to pause or resume a workout, it will work, but you’ll snap a screenshot too. Such is the price we pay for a device with only two buttons.

Here’s what I think Apple should do:

  1. Keep screenshots off by default. Most people don’t need or want them on the watch. Let the “press both buttons” command serve only for pausing and resuming workouts.

  2. When you enable screenshots in the iPhone Apple Watch app, reveal one more setting: “Take Screenshots During Workouts”. It should be off by default. This way, pressing both buttons would take a screenshot, except when you’re in an active workout. During a workout, pressing both buttons would pause/resume the workout. If you really want to take screenshots of the Workout app, you can turn on this extra setting.

It sounds a little complicated but keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of Apple Watch owners don’t want to take screenshots of their watch. They’ll never even know this is there. And most people who do want to take screenshots are advanced users who shouldn’t be confused by this.

Alternative: Make “Hey Siri, take a screenshot” work.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016