What's the point of the iMessage complication ?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by GC251114, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. GC251114, Oct 23, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016

    GC251114 macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2015
    Afternoon guys.

    What's the actual point of the iMessage complication ?

    If you receive an iMessage the Watch makes a noise & vibation , dependant on your settings. You then raise your wrist & see that a message has been sent. You either act on it or you don't.

    However , you receive an iMessage & your Watch makes a noise etc as I previously explained. Thing is , you may not be able to raise Watch or glance at that precise time , & you have to carry on doing what you're doing.

    Then of course when you're able to check you raise your wrist. Thing is , all you see is the red dot notification at the top of the screen. Now this can be said of a lot of my apps. Football notifications , sky news notifications etc. So what it doesn't actually tell me , say 30 secs after I've received an iMessage , is that I've actually received an iMessage. The only way I know is too either slice down from the top of the Watch screen , or pick up my phone & see there's a iMessage been sent.

    So apart from pressing the green text bubble complication & being taken to your messages , what other function does this complication have ?

    Is the point of the iMessage complication just to take you to your messages quickly or am I missing something here ?

    I use Spark for my emails , they provide a complication for their Watch app & when sent an email it will state 1 , 2 emails , or whatever the number count is. So if a 3rd party app can do this , why can't the most popular Apple iMessage app.

    Surely this is something that should've been obvious to include. If you choose to have the iMessage complication on your Watch face , why wouldn't you want to see the number of unread messages you have. You do on the iPhone & iPad.

    Why can't it have a 0 under the message bubble like Spark email?


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  2. bigred7078 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2010

    Your assumption is that people only use iMessage on their watch to read or quick reply to a message. What about those that want to initiate a message? The complication will make that easier. It is also nice to quickly jump to your messages if you want to look through them. Of course, you can always dock messages for quick access but this is just another option.
  3. Bazooka-joe macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2012
    Swindon, England
    Absolutely. iMessage is there to send a message to someone or to read and reply in detail to messages at a later time. Thats also why we have the iMessage App on iPhones, Macs and iPads.
  4. GC251114 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2015
    No that's not my assumption at all.

    I know you can automatically jump to your messages , that's why I recognised & mentioned that in my post.

    Are you saying then , that's the sole purpose of the complication on the Watch ? You haven't made that clear.

    Do you have badge number on your iPhone switched off ? I doubt it as I'm sure you like to see how many unread iMessages you have. So how & why should this be different for the Watch.

    --- Post Merged, Oct 23, 2016 ---
    Totally disagree. The ability to see message count on watch , regardless of how & what device you reply on , is something that should be a no brainer.

    Poor ommision to me.

    Just my opinion guys & appreciate yours.

  5. bigred7078 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2010
    You specifically said, "what other function does this complication have ?" and I provided a function. The sole purpose is to either initiate a message or quickly jump to messages as you already noted. You can also say the same thing about the battery complication. Why have a dedicated complication when you can swipe up and see the percentage remaining? I see it as just another option.

    No, I do not have the badge number switched off on my phone. I see the purpose of the watch as a way to quickly view my notifications. Personally, the actual number of missed messages is not a concern to me but I can see how it would be useful for some. If this is something you need or want then this complication is not for you. I just want to be notified that I have something to look at and for me, the watch accomplishes that.

    I do not always use the iMessage complication. That is the beauty of being able to quickly switch between watch faces. I mainly use the Modular watch face but I have two versions of it depending on what I am doing. I have one for work that I place the iMessage complication in the top right. I have another for when I workout and on that face I do not use the messages complication. I swipe between the faces as needed. The main reason I use the complication is so that I do not have to waste a dock spot with it if I want to quickly initiate a message.

    Is it the most useful complication? No but it has its purpose and that is why I utilize it on one of my watch faces.
  6. GC251114 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2015
    Although I still disagree with some of your points , I appreciate you taking the time to explain your point of view.

    It's good that we're all different.

  7. ManicMarc macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2012
    It's just an app shortcut at the moment I guess it could show a number in the complication, but I'd wager most people just use notification centre.
  8. jellybean macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2006
    OP makes a good point. The iMessage complication at present serves as nothing more than a shortcut to the Messages app, which is something I find useful, but it would be a really nice touch if it could also display the number of unread messages.
  9. CarlJ macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Agreed, it's just being a shortcut, and not as informative as it could be. I would suggest OP report it to Apple as feedback for the Apple Watch. I recently did similar, because the timer complication when not timing anything, shows a number rather than the icon, like the stopwatch and alarm apps do (showing a number when it isn't counting means you have to stare at it for a moment to see if it changes, to determine if there's a timer running or not). They do read feedback. Doesn't necessarily mean they'll fix it soon, but it's worth a shot.
  10. julesme macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2016
    San Jose
    The OP is on to something critical here. Apple Watch complications, AS A RULE, should be as informative and time-efficient as possible, since the central purpose of the smartwatch as a communication device (in tandem with the ubiquitous smartphone) is to save the time it would have taken to remove your phone from your pocket for the same information.

    "Weather" is a great example of how Apple does this elegantly: Want to see the current temperature, high/low, and condition? Just glance at your wrist.

    On the other hand, Activity, iMessage, and several others still need work. Just as I can't see how many iMessages I have by glancing, I also can't see how many steps I've taken.

    How could this be? Does Apple really think I care about how many times I've stood up during the day? Come on! It's a fitness device after all, let me see the step count.
  11. Buran macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    The Dexcom complication is similarly useless. I don't want an app shortcut; the dock (or the app icon page) does that. I want to glance at my watch face to see the current reading.

    Spark does this. Carrot Weather does it. Timer does it.

    So why don't Dexcom and Messages? They just seem like unneeded confusion.
  12. recoil80 macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2014
    The heartbeat complication is just as useless, it is only a shortcut to the app. I'd like to see the average beat or a color (red/yellow/green) to tell me my heartbeat is normal or too high.
  13. Buran macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    Agreed. Of course, any of these can still open their app if touched so it can't be for fear of losing that.

    And third-party workarounds always feel like a kludge. They don't update often enough or are iffy or something.
  14. GC251114 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2015
    Morning guys.

    Great to wake up & see some additional posts on this.

    I'm always open to good healthy constructive conversation on any matter , thats why I appreciate all views , whether for or against.

    I hope I explained my reasons why a count for messages complication , for me at least was a feature that in my opinion should've been there from the start , & I hope i explained in a fair logical way.

    I have sent feedback to Apple with regards to this. I'm too long in the tooth to realise Apple will necessary implement such a feature , but at least it could give them something to think about whilst having their morning coffee & biscuit.

    If you guys have time & feel this may benefit your daily use of the messages complication , maybe you'd like to send feedback too. I guess the more they read in favour , the more they may realise this could be helpful.

    Cheers guys
  15. recoil80 macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2014
    I usually send feedback to Apple about their products or features missing from their OS.
    If a great number of people complain about something or make the same suggestion chances are they're going to do something about it.
  16. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    With such a premium on how few complications you could place on any particular Watch face, I'm glad a lot of them aren't that useful!
  17. angrytoothbrush macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2009
    I like the idea presented here though, what would it take for the icon to display a count badge of unread messages... probably not much at all. It does kind of create a redundancy with the notification center pretty much right there, which would be the only real objection to it I think.
  18. Buran macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    Do you mean the one on the phone? Half the point of a watch is to not need to pull the phone out. So why wouldn't we want to see that information without looking at the phone?
  19. Mike84 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    Does anyone know if there is a way in imessage on the watch to delete more than one message at a time? Much like one does on the iPhone?
  20. GC251114 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2015
    That's exactly what I was meaning. My phone is in my trouser or coat pocket the majority of the time. My phone rings , I glance at Watch to see if I want to take the call. If I do I answer via Watch & continue call , or take phone out of pocket & use handoff.

    This is my point with iMessage on watch. You hear a message come through via sound and/or haptic. You don't have time to look at message on watch as doing something , let alone get Phone out. When you then have time you want to check. You only see the red notification dot at top of Watch. You have no idea what this represents. For me it could be a sky news notification , a sky sports notification or a BBC News notification. There's nothing on the watch screen under the iMessage complication that tells me I have an unread message. So I then have to slide down notification centre to see the notifications I have. I know this doesn't take a lot , but I thought Apple was all about ease , fluidity & excellent UI.

    At the min unless I look at a message on my Watch immediately it comes in , i have no idea I have an unread message , as my Watch doesn't easily inform me. It groups this info with many others , hidden behind a swipe down of the screen.

    There should be an unread count , like Spark email complication , which in my opinion works absolutely flawlessly with phone.

    --- Post Merged, Oct 25, 2016 ---
    It wouldn't render the notification centre redundant at all in my opinion. The notification centre would still be required as a means for all of those notifications from 3rd party apps. There always appears to be a red dot on my screen , & the Watch NC is perfect for these to be grouped & stored together. I swipe down & see what's there & either discard or then read on phone if that's what I choose to do.

    With iMessage , Apple should make this much easier & there should be an unread count on Watch complication , so you then have a choice to either press complication to go to messages where you either read on watch , or handoff to phone , or you either swipe down to NC to see who from & then make choice.

    Either way , for one of Apples own stock apps/features/services , the omission of an unread count is a mistake.

    Just my opinion of course.

  21. Buran macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    It sounds like we both want the same thing, then. My most common incoming notification is Facebook Messenger chat messages (my World of Warcraft raid group has an active chat) and I currently can't see on the watch face whether I have any unread messages. I could turn on the unread-notification dot if I wanted to, but that doesn't tell me if any of the notificatons are from Messenger... so an unread-message complication from Messenger would also be nice.

    I hope Spark doesn't disappear the way Mailbox does -- they're doing it right both on the phone and on the watch.
  22. douglasf13 macrumors 68000

    Jul 2, 2010
    I agree that there should someday be a number inside the messages icon that shows how many unread messages there are (email, too.)
  23. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
  24. legacyb4 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Try cardiogr.am; does a lot nicer job of recording heart rate data and displaying it and it's free too!
  25. recoil80 macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2014
    Thanks! The complication is exactly what I expected and shows the last beat read by the Watch and keeps it up to date

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25 October 23, 2016