It’s been four months since Apple Watch was released, but still it happens pretty often that someone sees me wearing an Apple Watch and ask me how I like it. I ended up having a short script of my answer in my mind and I repeat it every time. Then, I thought it’ll be good to write a blog post of a long version of the answer, and here it is.
What is your favorite thing about Apple Watch?
This is the first question most of the time. And here’re my answers.
That it reduced my screen time
An Apple Watch is another device with a screen, but how could it reduce my screen time? Well, you can accomplish that with a little bit of customization.
After the initial installation, Apple Watch is set to receive all of the notifications your iPhone gets. But you can customized it by going to Apple Watch app on your iPhone. I basically disabled all of the notifications except phone calls, emails and messengers. Only those were the things that need my immediate attention. Others, like Facebook notifications, don’t really matters and I can check them whenever I have some free time. And the key here is that I turned off my iPhone’s vibration. so once I set my phone as silent mode, those notifications that go to my phone don’t bother me as long as I keep them in my pocket or I just put my phone upside down. and I can’t miss important ones - things that I set to deliver to my Apple Watch - because the Watch is always on my wrist.
So it’s basically like filtering my notifications into three different levels.
- The most important and that need my immediate attention: phone calls, messages and emails - go to my Apple Watch
- Things that I can check occasionally: Twitter mentions, Facebook tagging, etc. - In my iPhone’s notification center
- Things that don’t matter but I want to check when I have some free time: someone replied to the post I’ve commented on Facebook - Just turn off the notification.
That I don’t need to carry my phone all the time
Before Apple Watch, I tend to be obsessive about holding my phone in my hand or pocket being afraid of missing any important notifications. But with Apple Watch, I don’t need to be so anymore. For example, I don’t need to keep my phone next to me while I’m charging it at home. And If I carry a back pack, I don’t need to carry my phone in my pocket, but just put it in the back pack and forget about it. Again, that also helps me reducing my screen time.
I thought it must be the best scenario for a woman who carries a purse all the time, to buy an Apple Watch and a iPhone 6 Plus, so that she can just keep the phone in the purse most of the time and enjoy the big screen when needed.
What are your favorite Apple Watch apps?
Apple Watch is a passive device. Which means, there are not many cases that I actively open an app from my Apple Watch to do some tasks. Most of the time I just get notifications and respond to them. And many Apple Watch apps are not in a usable condition yet because the watchOS 2 is not release officially. Nonetheless, there are some apps that I am using pretty often and pretty conveniently.
Workout is one of the Apple’s built-in apps. I use it every morning and evening because I bike to work. Before Apple Watch, I used to use Strava to track my bike riding. Strava also has an Apple Watch app, but it was not usable because it kept asking me to login on my phone every time I open the app on my watch. I hope this will be improved once the watchOS 2 is released.
When I bike I don’t want to put my iPhone in my pants pocket because it interrupts my pedaling. With Workout app on Apple Watch it is very convenient because I can just put my phone in the back pack and tap on the watch to start tracking. And the data goes to the Activity app on my iPhone, and also the Health app.
Apple Pay is technically not an app, but a built in feature of Apple Watch. You just double-click the side button and it shows the credit card you have entered, and you can just pay by waving your wrist to the NFC devices at the cashers. This is so convenient. I don’t even have to touch my pocket or wallet. I felt that this is really a future of payment system.
Yo seems not to be a popular Apple Watch app, but I found it pretty useful. The basic concept of the app itself already fits very well with a watch. You just tap a button, and it sends a message that says “Yo” to someone. In a certain context, this make a good sense.
I send Yo to my wife every evening when I leave office for home. I leave office at a different time every day, so my wife needs to know when I leave so that she can start cooking dinner. I used to send a same message everyday, but with Yo it became just a tap on my wrist.
PayByPhone is an app you can pay for parkings in San Francisco. There are certain tasks you want to glance often, and paying for parking is one of them. You don’t want to miss extending parking time and get a ticket or towed away. PayByPhone’s Apple Pay app lets you glance how much time you have until the expiration, and they send you a notification when the time is close. You can even extend the time on your watch. This app fits very well with the nature of Apple Watch.
Fantastical, Outlook, and Dark Sky are also the apps I found very useful on my watch. I occasionally use CalcBot, Square Cash, and Authy as well. They are not every day apps, but they are very useful at a certain situation.
Everyone will have something like Apple Watch eventually
If someone ask you about Apple Watch, chances are that they want one too. They’re tempted to buy one but it’s so hard to justify it.
Is Apple Watch for everyone? The answer probably is no. I bought one because I could justify it with the fact that I’m an iOS developer. If you like Apple Watch as a fashion item and you can afford it, maybe it’s for you. It’s just another watch that has a lot of benefits if you have an iPhone.
However, even if you don’t get this particular generation of Apple Watch, I think everyone will(or must) get a smart watch eventually. Not only that it will be good for yourself, but it will be also good for the people around you. Let me explain it.
I don’t like when someone’s phone is vibrating on the desk when the person is not there. That bothers me so much. Same with hearing a phone rings in a public place. Imagine that everyone’s phone calls or notifications only go to their wrist. There will be no need for sound at all. it will be a peaceful world, won’t it?