I’ve seen a bunch of articles lately discussing the Apple Watch. Some folks feel the Apple Watch is a complete failure. Others argue that it’s a flawed success. But I’m going to take a slightly different take… Instead of telling you what doesn’t work, I’m going to tell you how I use my Apple Watch* every day.
Time. I know it's simple, but the Apple Watch does a great job of telling time. I forgot how much I missed wearing a watch. And I like that I can use different faces when I feel like it.
Schedule. I’m a long time Fantastical user on iPhone and I use the Fantastical complication to keep an eye on my upcoming meetings and schedule. I prefer the Fantastical watch app to the stock Apple Watch calendar app.
Weather. Apple Watch is perfect for getting a quick forecast. I've used Dark Sky on my iPhone for years and I like the Dark Sky watch complication better than the Apple weather app.
Activity Tracker. I used to wear a Fitbit, but I had syncing issues all the time. The Apple Watch tracks my steps and activity. I wish there was a better interface for viewing the data, but it syncs everything perfectly.
What’s the score of the Cubs game? I love that I can ask my watch for the score of the Cubs game. Siri quickly displays the score. Really helpful because the Cubs are awesome this year...
Apple Pay. As I’ve mentioned before, I love Apple Pay. And Apple Pay on the watch is even more effortless.
Timers and alarms. Apple Watch makes it easy to set timers for cooking and alarms for upcoming appointments.
Find my iPhone. Apple Watch lets me ping my phone and find it quickly. Helpful when I’m not sure exactly where I put it down around the house.
Remote. We love our new Apple TV. But occasionally, we can’t find the remote because it is ridiculously tiny and gets lodged between couch cushions. The Apple Watch is actually a great emergency remote for the Apple TV.
Quick response text message. I actually use the canned responses for text messages on my watch. Sometimes, all you need to answer with is “OK,” “Yes” or “No.” Or just an emoji. Apple Watch is great at that.
VIP. My notifications are mostly turned off for emails, but not from the VIPs that I’ve identified in Mail app on my phone. I get a quick buzz when someone important emails me. (I get too much email to get a notification every time anyone emails me.)
Directions. If you use Apple Maps, Apple’s implementation of directions on the watch is really nice. When I get driving directions, the next exit number or turn is on my wrist. And it buzzes when I need to make a turn.
Sending stupid sketches to my wife. Liz also has an Apple Watch. Sometimes, sending a silly sketch is more fun than sending a text message.
So is the Apple Watch worth the investment?
I feel like Apple Watch is worth the investment. Your mileage may vary. I really enjoy wearing the watch and get more than enough use out of it to justify the $300 I paid.** But people use the watch in different ways and you may come to a different conclusion.
The Apple Watch is an accessory.*** It’s not a full fledged computing platform. The screen is tiny. The interface isn’t as intuitive as it probably should be. There are plenty of first generation rough edges to iron out.
But I find the Apple Watch fun and useful and I enjoy wearing it. For me, that’s enough.
* Apple Watch Sport, Space Gray, 42 mm.
** On sale at Best Buy.
*** I would argue that all smart watches on the market today are just accessories.