A travel cur­rency con­verter on your wrist

Mac|Life - - APPLE LIFE - J.R. Book­wal­ter

Free From Clean Shaven Apps, clean­shave­napps.com Made for iPhone, Ap­ple Watch Needs iOS 9.3 or later De­spite the re­cent high-pro­file de­par­ture of apps like eBay, Google Maps, and Ama­zon from watchOS, there are still plenty of in­de­pen­dent devel­op­ers will­ing to sup­port the smart­watch plat­form. Among the lat­est is Clean Shaven Apps, whose lat­est ef­fort is a travel cur­rency con­verter – and no, that’s not a typo.

While it may seem like a cu­ri­ous de­ci­sion nine years af­ter the App Store gold rush, Elk takes a unique ap­proach that re­quires no key­pad num­ber en­try. That’s not ac­tu­ally as lim­it­ing as it sounds, since you can swipe left to in­crease the val­ues or right to de­crease. Should you re­quire greater ac­cu­racy, tap­ping a value al­lows for more gran­u­lar con­trol by turn­ing the Dig­i­tal Crown.

Al­though Elk is tech­ni­cally free, that only gets you sup­port for your lo­cal cur­rency, plus a cu­rated se­lec­tion of five pop­u­lar rates – which kind of de­feats the purpose. To un­lock the full cur­rency lineup, there’s a one-time $3.99 in-app pur­chase avail­able through your iPhone, or you can opt for a free 14-day trial to take the full ver­sion of Elk for a spin before buy­ing.

De­spite it be­ing op­ti­mized for watchOS 3, we did have is­sues launch­ing Elk for the first time on our first-gen Watch – but unin­stalling, re­boot­ing the smart­watch, and re­in­stalling got things work­ing. To be fair, this hap­pens a lot on our de­vice, but Elk seemed to be more stub­born than nor­mal; the Watch app also failed to prop­erly rec­og­nize the free trial had been ac­ti­vated.

The bot­tom line. Spend some time with the free trial before com­mit­ting to buy, then wait for more bug fixes.

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