RIP Time Travel - A seldom-used Apple Watch feature set to disappear with watchOS 5

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited August 18
One of Apple Watch's under-used features -- Time Travel -- will be going away when watchOS 5 lands this fall. This is AppleInsider's in memoriam of another Apple Watch experimental feature.

Apple Watch


Time Travel debuted as part of the watchOS 2 update, the first major software upgrade to the Apple Watch after launch. It also introduced Nightstand mode, Siri improvements, new watch faces, support for third-party complications, and more.

This new ability was utilized by rotating the Digital Crown clockwise or counter-clockwise, which would move time on the Apple Watch in the appropriate direction. Out of the gate it supported Apple's default apps such as Calendar and Weather.

It was a handy way to see appointments or weather conditions in the near future without having to actually jump into an app. Since third-party complications were also new, developers were given the ability to tie this feature into their own apps as well.

  • Solar watch face
  • Solar watch face
  • Astronomy Watch Face


A few of Apple Watch's faces also supported Time Travel with beautiful animations. Solar, which mimics the suns position throughout the day, will animate the "sun" as time is moved. The Astronomy watch face shows the rotation of Earth and could also be controlled through Time Travel.

Some app categories featured the ability, with quite a few weather, travel ETA prediction, and health apps supporting it. However, it really never got a critical mass of developer support. More often than not, users triggered it by accident.

Apple Watch Complications


Developers testing the beta releases of watchOS 5 noticed the toggle disappear from settings -- before the feature stopped operating completely.

This isn't the first time Apple has drastically changed aspects of the Apple Watch over the few years it has been around. Apple took its time working out the best way for users to interact with the wrist-worn device.

Originally, pressing the side button would trigger a wheel of your favorite contacts. In watchOS 3, the side button was repurposed for a new Dock that held up to ten apps that constantly ran in the background. Control Center replaced Glances, which were enabled by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Those are just the most prominent changes in watchOS, with many more small, yet just as fundamental, ones.

While Time Travel will be a thing of the past, the animation control in the Solar and Astronomy watch will still be sticking around. When either of those faces are active, the Digital Crown still animates these faces as they scrub through time.

Apple Watch popularity has continued to increase over the years, so it appears as if Apple is getting close to nailing how -- and why -- people are using Apple Watch. While this year Time Travel is being abandoned, Apple Watch has become more powerful than ever. watchOS 5 is bringing a ton of new features the increase usefulness and independence, which should go well with the rumored new hardware expected to drop this fall.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    fordeefordee Posts: 14member
    Looks like I won't be upgrading to watchOS 5 then. I love this feature.
    freethinkingbrakkenAvieshek[Deleted User]
  • Reply 2 of 32
    I use it quite often just to check the weather throughout the day.
    StrangeDaysanton zuykovfreethinkingbrakkenAvieshekwolfgoodfellow[Deleted User]
  • Reply 3 of 32
    Whait what?? Why?! I use that all the time (pun intended). Is there something better coming then? What happens when you rotate the crown now? Nothing?!
  • Reply 4 of 32
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,341member
    I too enjoyed this feature for quick weather checks. But I can’t honestly that I’ll never upgrade to a new version or new watch ever again just because they got rid of it. Come on.
    pscooter63GeorgeBMacAvieshekwatto_cobratycho_macuser
  • Reply 5 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,283member
    fordee said:
    Looks like I won't be upgrading to watchOS 5 then. I love this feature.
    Oh please, knock it off with the crap. I’m betting you’re just posting something stupid to troll.

    StrangeDays said:
    I too enjoyed this feature for quick weather checks. But I can’t honestly that I’ll never upgrade to a new version or new watch ever again just because they got rid of it. Come on.

    People post stuff like that to get attention.
    edited August 17 jbishop1039StrangeDaysboltsfan17GeorgeBMacAvieshekwatto_cobrawolfgoodfellow
  • Reply 6 of 32
    FolioFolio Posts: 368member
    So glad they’re keeping it in astronomy face. Use it often for moon phases, and I’m not even a werewolf. As for weather fans, I can’t rave enough about Dark Sky (tipped by AI month’s ago). It puts radar under time control, and puts a mesmerizing interactive globe into your hands. All for a pittance.
    racerhomie3aylklitolooprepressthiswatto_cobraanton zuykov
  • Reply 7 of 32
    I really liked TT.  But agree that it is puzzling to see it when inadvertently triggered.  No biggie though.  It also helps with looking forward in the day to different calendar cards to see what meetings are still in front of my day.  -RJ
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    It was moribund the day they turned it off by default, and buried the setting to turn it back on somewhere inside the Watch App for iPhone.

    I think it's too bad that this idea didn't pan out better. In principle I liked it. But, I admit, I didn't find it particularly useful, and I left it disabled.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Good news, WatchOS5 not installing on series 1 means I get to to retain the one feature I like about shittest sport watch I have owned in my life. I do like the ability to change bands, aside from that it was the first Apple product I really regreted buying. 
    aylkCarnage
  • Reply 10 of 32
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 674member
    The original AW can’t upgrade to WOS5, ya? I’m happy with that.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 674member
    lkrupp said:
    fordee said:
    Looks like I won't be upgrading to watchOS 5 then. I love this feature.
    Oh please, knock it off with the crap. I’m betting you’re just posting something stupid to troll.

    StrangeDays said:
    I too enjoyed this feature for quick weather checks. But I can’t honestly that I’ll never upgrade to a new version or new watch ever again just because they got rid of it. Come on.

    People post stuff like that to get attention.
    Get of our cases, krupper!
  • Reply 12 of 32
    fordee said:
    Looks like I won't be upgrading to watchOS 5 then. I love this feature.
    Totally mature and logical reaction. 
    GeorgeBMacrepressthismavemufc
  • Reply 13 of 32

    Good news, WatchOS5 not installing on series 1 means I get to to retain the one feature I like about shittest sport watch I have owned in my life. I do like the ability to change bands, aside from that it was the first Apple product I really regreted buying. 
    You weren't aware of the 30-day return policy?
    watto_cobraurahara
  • Reply 14 of 32
    I remind myself everyday that even having the power to time travel, the conssequences if time travelling are so dire that it is better to just appreciate & live in the “now. 
    watto_cobrauraharaJWSC
  • Reply 15 of 32
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,224member
    I have not been able to use this feature since upgrading to  watch 4.0, it does not work on all watch faces. Yes it works on the globe and sun raise and fall watch face. It use to work on all watch face you could turn the crown and see you calender item change with time as well as the weather complication. I turn the crown now and nothing happens.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    Yeah.. I also love this feature. 

    Well, RIP my love..
  • Reply 17 of 32
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,110member
    Fairly, there is a lot of stuff on my AW I never use. Don't get me wrong - I like it - but I spend a lot of time (!) trying not trigger the display so I can get the thing through an entire day. Seriously, getting 14 hours out of it is an unusual occurrence. Fiddling with it to find features and new watch faces is for weekends when the charger is nearby. Yeah, I know...go buy a new one, they are soooo much better. And if I want watchOS 5, thats what I gotta do.

    Hey. Problem solved. Nevermind.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,014member
    flydog said:

    Good news, WatchOS5 not installing on series 1 means I get to to retain the one feature I like about shittest sport watch I have owned in my life. I do like the ability to change bands, aside from that it was the first Apple product I really regreted buying. 
    You weren't aware of the 30-day return policy?
    What? Take it back? And deny himself the opportunity to whine about it forever more? Never!
    edited August 18 GeorgeBMacmacxpressrepressthiswatto_cobrauraharawolfgoodfellow
  • Reply 19 of 32
    watchOS is still confusing and inconsistent in use. I hope they can keep simplify navigation.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,014member
    I used it to get at previously accessed workflows, but to be honest, I thought the idea was a little unintuitive. I’ve never rolled it forward, only back.  
Sign In or Register to comment.