Thursday, December 23, 2021

A Vivoactive 4 Annoyance and A Low Tech Fix

I continue to be happy with my Garmin Vivoacive 4 watch. What it lacks in flashiness, it makes up for in functionality and battery life.

But, I did have this one annoynace...

It's possible to quickly turn on Do-Not-Disturb (DND) mode to silence all notifications. This is handy when I don't want to be distracted. But, it becomes a problem when I forget to turn DND off. That's because the only way I get notifications from my phone is through my watch. With DND on I'm blissfully unaware of incoming phone calls, texts and other notifications. Great if that's the intention, far less so if DND is accidentally enabled.

I looked for a way to set DND temporarily, say for an hour or two. No luck. I looked for a way to control DND via the Connect-IQ SDK. Again, zilch. I poked around the web hoping someone else solved this problem and again, came up empty handed.

Then I finally realized a simple, low-effort solution: whenever I enable DND, I now take a few extra seconds and switch my watch face. Here's what my normal watch face looks like:

Here's what I see when I'm in DND:

Problem solved! Anytime I glance at my watch I can tell that DND is on and can opt to leave it that way or turn it off (and make the corresponding watch face change).

Recently, I've found another use-case for this this watch face changing trick. For some long, cold runs I've found it helpful to wear my watch on the outside of my jacket. This lets me check navigation without having to peel back multiple layers of clothing. When I wear the watch like this, I like to disable the wrist based heart rate monitor. Changing the watch face helps me remember to turn the heart rate monitor back on.

I've considered having multiple 'reminder' watch faces to choose from, or even building my own custom watch face. But alas, none of that seems necessary. The solution I have now is working too well.

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