When I got an Apple Watch for my 30th birthday, I have to admit there was a huge amount of novelty value to the gift, and just plain geeky excitement of getting the latest gadget! I did genuinely want the watch, however, and for quite a few reasons. I’m happy to report that I am incredibly pleased with it, and it is doing the job I wanted it to do.
I’m finding the watch intuitive to use, when you are used to an iPhone you already are familiar with the way apple tech works, and once I got the hang of the different touch gestures and controls I found it very easy to use. I don’t find it too big for my wrist, or too small to read or use.
I was going to get some wearable tech at the start of the year for fitness tracking, but decided to save the money so that we’d be able to look at getting the Apple Watch instead later in the year. It was a good decision! I really enjoy using the watch as a fitness tracker, and it keeps me moving throughout the day. The calorie burn goals are inte
lligent and each week as I hit my daily goal most days, it increases the goal slightly to push me further the next week.
I am inputting my weight onto the Health app using my iPhone, and the watch tracks my burnt calories, steps, and also records exercise time and makes sure I stand up and move around a lot. As someone who works from home and also blogs, I spent a lot of time sat on the sofa or at my desk working – if I haven’t stood up within the last hour my watch gives me a reminder to get moving. I often use this reminder to get up and grab myself a glass of water – making sure I am drinking enough, too.
Emails & Notifications
A huge part of my use of my watch is to keep an eye on my notifications. I can glance at all my emails as they come in, and delete, mark as unread, flag, or even dictate a quick reply depending on the urgency. Very occasionally an email can’t be read on the watch but I can still see who it’s from and the subject – and it’s usually newsletters and other non-urgent messages.
It’s great for keeping an eye on my other avenues of communication, too. I get all my Facebook message notifications to my watch, and all my texts and iMessages. I can respond to texts/iMessages with some pre-written replies (which I can change on my phone), using emoji, or by dictating a response. The dictation is pretty accurate – as long as the kids aren’t yelling in my ear!
The huge impact this is having is a lot of the time my iPhone sits untouched for long periods of time and I don’t have to check it everytime it bings. The nature of my job means I often get urgent emails and messages from people who need help asap, or even blogging opportunities that are time sensitive. Being self employed means I can’t ignore my notifications for very long in case there is something urgent, but my watch is (ironically?) definitely helping me disconnect a bit, especially when I am trying to spend “quality time” with the girls.
The other side effect of this is because I am not getting my phone out to check notifications, I think don’t have the temptation to go on to quickly check twitter, or Facebook, or any of the other time-sucking places on the internet!
Since getting my watch I have switched back to using both an electronic calendar and todo list, as well as still using my filofax for personal stuff. The fantastic clear app is a multi platform todo app which I get on really well with – I can use it on my MacBook, iPad, iPhone and now my watch too – from the watch app I can tick off tasks, and dictate new ones. It just works, really well.
I have my watch face set to include the date and also what I have coming up on my calendar, which is really useful. I can browse my calendar from the watch as well.
Ok, there’s no doubt about it – paying with my watch and freaking out checkout people is fun. It’s also really convenient not having to dig for my purse to pay small amounts via the contactless technology. I’ve not had any problems with this at all, using it with my HSBC account, and find it very handy! It’s annoying that Barclaycard haven’t gotten on board yet but it looks like this is just a matter of time while they sort out the negotiations.
I really like glances, which is a way to see snippets of info really quickly. The weather app is pretty good and so far has been mostly accurate, which is helpful. Pinging my phone with one ding-ding-ding is great when I’ve left it somewhere! It’s really comfortable to wear. I’ve used the alarm a couple of times, and it’s handy. I’ve even taken (and purposely made!) phone calls on it – and while I am aware I look like a prat talking to my wrist, when my iPhone is in the bottom of my bag and I just need to ask my husband a quick question, it’s handy to be able to make that call.
I use it in the bath to entertain myself with word games and as a remote for my phone’s audiobook or music playing – I can also read and send tweets, and dictate notes to myself. The BBC News app is neat, giving me an overview of headlines and the news important to me, with snippets about each story. I love the camera remote for my iPhone camera. The Swarm app is great for quick check ins, and the city mapper app is amazing for finding my way around using public transport – I love that it can tell me the best way to get home when I’m out with the kids.
Basically, I love it. I use it a LOT and the battery life is holding up really well so far, and meanwhile my iPhone battery life is better as I use that less.
The update to watchOS 2 is coming out soon, with the addition of third party native apps. It can only get better from here!