The Apple Watch was released over seven years ago, and since then it has been updated many times, with massive functionality upgrades each year (like an always on display, water resistance, cellular capabilities, ECG monitor, etc…), and yet we are only now at the point where the average consumer is ready to own one.
Why has it taken so long for the Apple Watch to take off?
Probably because most consumers don’t know what the watch can do, how it can benefit them, or why it might be worth it.
In this article I will address the best functions and uses of the Apple Watch and make it easier to see if it is time for YOU to make the leap into your own Apple Watch.
There are significant benefits to the watch, but the primary one is the ability to bring your notifications directly to you, regardless of where your phone or other devices are. This means you could be on a hike without your phone, and still get texts, alerts, messages, and even phone calls.
Although some people ALWAYS have their iPhone on them, there are many people who don’t. Women will frequently leave their phone in a purse, where it's hard to hear it ring. Sometimes they might even leave it in the car or at home if their purse isn’t large enough to carry it. Men have a tendency to set their phones down in one room and walk away from it for minutes or even hours.
With the watch on your wrist, neither of these situations matters anymore. You can be at a party without your phone, or in the garage working on a project without wondering where the phone is and who is trying to reach you.
And in an extreme situation, having a connected device with you can even save your life. We have heard story after story of some lost hiker or injured bicyclist who used their watch to call for help. With an Apple Watch, you’re never disconnected (unless you put it into Do Not Disturb Mode intentionally.)
Once you strap the watch onto your wrist, it can track your steps, your elevation, your calories, and even warn you about a health issue like a heart attack, or an irregular heartbeat. It can prompt you and encourage you to exercise, stand up more often, and set movement and exercise goals to keep you in better shape.
You can even share your fitness progress with your friends and family to challenge them to get into shape with you or create some friendly family competition. You can also augment the fitness features with third-party apps, water tracking, meditation, and the extremely valuable Apple Fitness+ subscription that gives you exercise and training on how to get in better shape.
And for older users, the Apple Watch can really keep you safe by alerting your loved ones if you take a big fall or are in a car accident. As soon as the watch senses the fall or crash, it can text your designated emergency contacts to let them know what has happened and give them your location. And in a worst-case scenario, the watch can automatically alert the authorities and emergency services.
How’s that for value?
With all the features above, you might think that is the best of what the watch offers, but in my opinion, the basic convenience features trump all of that.
Using Apple Pay on the watch is an amazing function. Sure, you can pull your wallet or your phone out of your pocket to pay for something via Apple Pay, but having Apple Pay integrated into your wrist is just easier. No reaching for anything, just move your wrist over the reader, and instant payment. Simple.
Sure, you can listen to your music or audiobooks from your phone to your AirPods… But isn’t it easier to go out on a nice long walk without bringing your phone, and letting your Apple Watch talk directly to your AirPods? And if you have a cellular watch and Apple Music, it means you have instant access to every song on the iTunes store without your phone or any other devices.
Locating your iPhone
If you’re anything like me, you misplace your phone all the time. But with the watch, all you need to do is swipe up and click a button and the iPhone will chirp loudly to tell you exactly where it is. No more scrambling to use Find My on a device, or log into the web to sign onto iCloud, or god-forbid calling your own phone to locate it. Now it’s a piece of cake to pinpoint your iPhone anytime it goes missing.
With Siri on the watch you can quickly send texts, make calls, do math, add reminders, convert measurements, turn on lights, play music and more. But my favorite Siri watch trick is to Siri WHILE I am on the phone, so I can quickly create appointments or remind myself of important tasks without having to put the phone down.
Timers and Clocks
Above and beyond all else, the Apple Watch is a watch, so it should come as no surprise that you can easily see what time it is… but you can also see what time it is in other time zones, or set timers, stopwatches or alarms. So you can stop wondering what time it is in Australis, or how much longer to cook that 3 minute egg.
For those of us that use a calendar regularly, the watch brings your events and appointments front and center. At a glance, you will always know what your next appointment is or get alerted at the proper time to leave for an event.
From Apple Pay and the wallet, to sending and receiving text messages, accessing Siri, checking the time, or measuring your fitness, the watch just makes it easier.
Although I mentioned it above, it bears repeating… if you have an aging parent or companion, and you’ve considered buying them a medic-alert bracelet, I want you to think twice about it. Those devices are pricey, clunky, and most people won’t regularly use or wear them. Which completely defeats the purpose.
All the functions you can get from the medical alert devices are built into the Apple Watch. If you fall or are in a car accident, it can alert your emergency contacts, or the authorities. If you get lost, you can use GPS directly from the watch, and if you are in a dangerous situation, you can press two buttons and immediately notify 911 and get help.
And because it’s just a watch, people will wear it without thinking about these potentially life-saving features. They just want to see the time easily, get notifications, or feel a little younger and technologically savvy. Even the lowest-priced Apple Watch SE ($249) can solve these issues without a heavy monthly fee, and without breaking the bank.
Whether you buy an Apple Watch is up to you, but now that you know what it can do, and how it can make your life easier, I hope you will consider it.
Like most Apple devices, the watch is not a necessity. We survived for decades without it, but it has a host of features and functions (which Apple is constantly adding to and augmenting) that make it a compelling addition to your Apple ecosystem.
As of the writing of this article, there are 3 models to consider:
If you have additional questions, please contact me at [email protected].
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. The MacWhisperer may earn a commission (at no cost to you) when you use our links to buy items.
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