Six years ago, back in 2014, I wrote a status on Facebook that pretty much said “if you’ve got an iPhone, you don’t need an Apple Watch”. Presumably because, back then, the Apple Watch looked limited in what it could do, meaning you could do more on your iPhone at the time.
Fast forward to today and I can safely say I take it all back. The Apple Watch has improved in functionality so much over the last five editions, that I can’t imagine me writing a comment like that again.
I’ve had three Apple Watches. I actually ended up purchasing the original Apple watch, which I still have today, then purchasing a S4 and now the S5 that I wear on my wrist today.
Six years ago, I didn’t have a need for an Apple watch. I was happy just rocking my analogue ICE watch in blue. But now, I can’t actually imagine my wrist without a smartwatch in situ, and let me explain why.
Without knowing it, the watch forms part of my daily routine. My complications are such that, I can quickly find out the temperature, access controls to control my music and podcasts from my phone without me having to take my phone out of my pocket, and of course, everyone’s favourite, being able to see notifications as they come through from messages and emails.
The watch has also come in handy since I brought my AirPods earlier this year, meaning I can play music or podcasts directly from the watch, without it having to interfere with my phone, something I often do when I go for walks around the block without my phone, or if I’m just feeling a little lazy.
My laziness isn’t included in the Apple Watch’s workout or activity features. In fact, when the UK was lockdown by Coronavirus back in March 2020, I made an effort to walk to work, or just get out for my one hour of daily exercise, which was, just walking around the block. I’d use the ‘Outdoor walk’ workout and would see my calories, stand and move goals hit their target and, in some cases, go way beyond expectations.
Lockdown has eased, yet I still find myself walking to/from work occasionally and getting out there for walks regularly throughout the week. If anything, it’s motivation to see those rings close and to accept friends challenges and attempt to beat them (I’ve not beaten them yet mind, but remember, slow and steady wins the race).
The ECG function is also useful. I had a fainting episode last month at work and was able to do perform an ECG on my watch, which came back as inconclusive. Luckily, I work in Cardiology, so I have an understanding of what I was looking at (For those interested, it was tachy with a HR of 118-125bpm during the capture). My GP was able to look at this, alongside one I had at the surgery, and we came up with a plan.
It may sound like a lot of money to shell out for a watch that can tell you the time – and you may say I can still go for a walk or get fit without the watch, and read all the notifications on my phone.
You’re right, I could do all of those things and, six years ago, I probably would, but there’s something about the Apple Watch that makes it all the more engaging to do those things.
With Apple Watch Series 6 on the way and an update to watchOS coming out in the coming months, I’m keen to see what else you can do from your wrist, but now, I can totally see why smartwatches, not just the Apple Watch, are beneficial these days.