Thingamajig Thursday: Apple Watch Transcribe App

UPAA Blog 2023-24 #13 2/22/24 (text by Josh Hawkins photos from Apple website)


Josh Hawkins is a photographer at University of Nevada Las Vegas. His article is specifically about Apple apps and hardware. Not into Apple? This site gives links and info about similar apps on other platforms. 


"Thingamajig Thursday" is an occasional series of articles on inexpensive (under $300) gadgets that can enhance efficiency and make the day-to-day of our jobs a little more convenient. Got an idea? Send it to the UPAA blog. Contact info at the end.



When I first got my Apple Watch, my intention was simple: track my health data and embark on a journey towards a healthier lifestyle. 


And let’s not bring that somewhat painful topic up again.


Today, I want to share how this smartwatch has become an unexpected ally, particularly in my work involving interviews and event coverage.


I’m not covering sports often anymore, so I don’t need to know that the previous images were of a 5 yard run for a first down. Now my work often involves conducting short, on-the-fly interviews with students. Here’s where the Apple Watch truly shines. By using the watch’s audio recording feature, I can effortlessly capture our conversations. Students, being tech-savvy, are familiar with the device, making them comfortable with the recording process.


Now, here’s the game-changer: the Transcribe app. The Apple Watch automatically shares the recordings with my other Apple devices, including my phone. With the Transcribe app on my phone, I can convert our entire conversation into text within a matter of seconds. No more struggling with tedious transcriptions, (and I really dislike transcribing quotes) the app streamlines the process allowing me to focus on the content rather than the mechanics of transcribing.



With the transcribed conversation at my fingertips, I copy the text to my computer. Thanks to Apple’s seamless cross-device sharing, this process is smooth and hassle-free. I can then easily extract the quotes I need and incorporate them into into PhotoMechanic for captions.


What’s more, Transcribe offers a unique advantage: precision. If I need to revisit a specific section of the conversation, the app allows me to locate it instantly. I can play that portion of the audio, ensuring the accuracy of the quotes without the hassle of manually searching through the recording.


In conclusion, my Apple Watch, initially acquired for health tracking, has become an indispensable tool in my professional toolkit. Its seamless integration with apps like Transcribe has not only enhanced my workflow but also significantly reduced the time and effort spent on tasks like transcription, which has increased how often I’ll work to get good quotes to go with photos. It's a testament to the ever-expanding capabilities of technology and how, sometimes, the most unexpected devices can revolutionize the way we work.



"Why don't watches get hungry? Because they always have seconds!" Thanks for reading the UPAA blog. Your ideas and submissions--for "Thingamajig Thursday" or anything--are always welcome. Email editor Matt Cashore, And if you aren't already following, you can find inspiration and information on the daily over at UPAA on Instagram.