- I purchased an Apple Watch Series 4 about a month ago, and it’s made me into an Apple Watch believer.
- While it’s smaller than most of Apple’s hardware products, the Apple Watch can actually do some things better than those other devices.
I wasn’t sure if I was a “watch guy” before, but owning this watch has convinced me that I am indeed a watch guy, so long as the device justifies its real estate on my wrist. The Series 4 has done just that.
I keep my Apple Watch on my wrist all day. Putting it on is the first thing I do when I wake up, and I take it off at the end of the day for sleep. From checking the time and weather at a glance, to getting notifications from work colleagues and family, to de-stressing and getting feedback on my exercise, the watch is incredibly useful throughout the day.
While I can’t say I’m an Apple Watch “pro” just yet, I’ve found several tasks it’s better suited for than other Apple devices.
Here’s what I’ve discovered.
The Apple Watch is the best device for checking the weather.
Before the Apple Watch, I used to ask my Amazon Echo for the weather each morning or before I went outside, because that was the fastest way to get an answer. Finding my phone, opening it, and checking my weather apps was one step too many. Siri is also too slow and unreliable.
Checking the weather on the watch couldn’t be easier. I have a complication set up on my main watch face that tells me the weather in the lower left corner. In other words, all I need to do is lift my wrist to see the weather. It couldn’t be easier.
The Apple Watch is better than other Apple devices for picking up phone calls.
My phone isn’t always on me, especially when I’m at home. Sometimes my phone will be in another room in my apartment when I get a call – like in my living room while I’m doing dishes in the kitchen – and it’s a mad dash to pick it up before the call goes to voicemail.
With the Apple Watch, not only can I immediately answer or decline calls from my wrist, but I can see who’s calling without needing to check my phone first.
The Apple Watch is the best Apple device for using Okta, which verifies your identity to access secure sites like email.
I use Okta pretty often to verify my identity before using certain secure apps like email. The way it works is that I’ll attempt to log into the site normally, and Okta will require me to verify my identity on another Apple device I own. Usually, that means I have to open a notification on my phone and press “approve” before I can get access.
This works best on the Apple Watch. Instead of needing to find my phone whenever this happens, I can see the Okta notification pop up right on my wrist and can press “approve” immediately, without any extra steps.
The Apple Watch is the best way to control your Apple TV.
I’ve written about the “Siri Remote” for the Apple TV many times. It’s small, slippery, and extremely easy to lose in couch cushions. I don’t like it.
The iPhone has a Remote app that lets you control your Apple TV, but that also means fetching your iPhone (which, also being slippery, sometimes gets as lost as my Apple TV remote).
The Apple Watch beats these other remote options handily. It stays attached to your wrist, meaning you can’t lose it, and summoning the remote is two quick steps: clicking the side button to access your dock, and tapping on the Remote app.
The Apple Watch Remote doesn’t have Siri for quick searching, but it has everything else: multitouch control and buttons for play, pause, and the menu. It’s the fastest way I’ve found to control my Apple TV.
The Apple Watch is the best Apple device for contacting my loved ones — even better than the iPhone.
On the Apple Watch Series 4, you can make your contacts into complications that you see whenever you raise your wrist.
I created a complication for my wife – pressing her face lets me text or call her right away – and made a whole separate Apple Watch face that features only complications for family members, so I can easily call or text my parents from my wrist with just a couple of taps.
Contacting loved ones may feel more natural from a phone, but it’s certainly easier with the watch since it’s tethered to your body. Finding my phone, opening the Phone app, clicking on the “favourites” tab, and then clicking on a person I want to contact is a few too many steps than on the watch.
Other things the Apple Watch is really good at:
- If you’re playing music from another Apple device, including Spotify, your Apple Watch will immediately recognise that and let you control everything from your wrist.You can play or pause, skip songs or go backward, or control volume by twisting the digital crown. Is it more convenient than the iPhone? I’m not so sure. But it’s really close.
- Controlling smart-home lights via the Home app is super simple. I have the Home app assigned to my dock, so it takes only a couple of button presses to control the Philips Hue lights in my den, bedroom, or living room. Still, I find the Amazon Echo to be the most convenient way to control lights, since you don’t need any separate device – just your voice – for it to work.
- I use the Reminders app all the time, especially to track the shared list of groceries I have with my wife. Crossing out items on the grocery list is super easy with the Apple Watch, but it’s a little awkward since you need two hands for that, and when I’m grocery shopping I usually have one hand, if not both, busy.
If you have a favourite feature on your Apple Watch, please let me know! I’d love to hear your stories and try some of these experiences. You can email me at [email protected]
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