My first two weeks with the Apple Watch

I held out on buying the Apple Watch until two weeks ago (July 6,
2015). To me it seemed like the first generation iPhone where you could see a lot of potential but you know something much better is coming out in a few years.

The really cool Apple Watch that really impresses and makes
you wonder what life was like before it existed will be the third
version. Being well aware of this, and after repeatedly debating with myself, I decided I didn’t want to wait 5-6 years. I’d rather begin now and get the future I was promised in small

Of course, we’ve all read the complaints that the Apple Watch
doesn’t do anything, except tell time quite well [1]. After two weeks I’m happy to report I don’t have buyer’s remorse and I’m actually quite happy with my watch (42mm Sport, space gray). I thought that I would summarize how I regularly use it for others who may be evaluating a Watch purchase.

Here are my top 3 uses:

  1. As a remote for music and podcasts
  2. As an activity monitor (health)
  3. As a phone.

Remote for Music and Podcasts

When I’m walking I usually carry my phone in a pocket, and when I’m
driving the phone is sitting in the center console.

In these instances, the Apple Watch is useful as remote for Music and
Overcast, my podcast app. It lets me skip to the next song. With Overcast on the Watch, I’m able to skip forward 30 seconds. This is useful if I want to skip a commercial or a part that I don’t find interesting.



Activity Monitor

When I set my Watch up in the Apple Store, I chose Moderate Activity, which although is only 30 minutes of activity, it requires me to take about 13,000 steps if walking is my only activity. On the last two Saturday nights, I’ve been a 150 calories short at 10pm, which required me to take a couple of late night strolls.

The heart-rate monitor is also a nice feature. What would make it perfect is if I could set a minimum and maximum heart rate then have the Watch monitor my heart rate to keep me in my training zone.

The Standing Goal is also surprisingly helpful. There’s always one time every day where I’ve needed to reminded that I’ve been sitting for over an hour. And on a lazy Sunday, I find that I need to be reminded several times throughout the day.

Here the iPhone app is showing me that I’ve met my goal for 6 of the last 7 days:

And here my standing goals are shown, along with my awards. Apple put a lot of effort into gamifying your daily activity:

As a Phone

The first couple times I used my watch as a phone, it felt like a gimmick. Basically, I just wanted to try it out. However, there have been several times when I was relaxing on the couch and my phone was charging in the kitchen, or simply out of reach. It was nice to be able to see who was calling and answer the call with my watch.

Maps and Apple Pay

I’ve used both maps and Apple Pay once. I couldn’t decide how useful maps on the watch was in practice. I do use maps on the phone and I still might prefer that. If I drove more often, being able to simply say “Hey Siri, give me directions to …”, assuming it works as desired, might come in handy. As we all know, Siri can be both impressive and frustrating.

As for Apple Pay, it’s definitely easy to use. Double—press the button to enable it. Unfortunately, McDonalds is the only place that I’ve been to that has it available.

Future Uses

My next watch task is to try some watch specific apps from the App Store to see what other ideas people have dreamt up. Hopefully, Health and Fitness becomes a big category. Should be an easy sell. Apps are cheaper than hiring a trainer.

I’d also really love to use my Watch as my front door key but I don’t want to build my own.

Finally, I’m already thinking of ways to help teach French, Spanish, and Italian on the Apple Watch.

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