Apple’s wearable is the Apple Watch and it has gone through three generations of evolution adding GPS functionality, improved speeds and even 4G-LTE connectivity.
So, if you have an Apple Watch, what can you do with? The answer is, quite a lot. Let’s check out some of them.
Using Apple Watch for calling, messaging and notifications
The standout features of any Apple Watch are its ability to receive messages, notifications and even phone calls from a connected iPhone. It may sound like a small feature but being able to take a call if you’re iPhone isn’t within hands reach is a big deal.
I’ve been able to take calls while cooking when my hands are messy, while driving in traffic without taking my eyes or attention away from my car and even in the gym while on a treadmill.
The same goes for messages and emails. Apple Watch uses voice recognition and you can reply to a message or email either by choosing a stock message or speak out a response that sounds and looks more personal. Do check before sending as just like autocorrect errors, voice responses on iPhones can result in some humorous or sometimes infuriating responses that are hard to take back.
Another unique feature in the Apple Watch, one that has already saved some lives, is the function of being able to call 911 in case of an emergency by simply long-pressing one of the buttons.
For photographers, the Apple Watch serves as a great remote trigger for the iPhone. This is useful for when you need to shoot a portrait and place the iPhone’s main camera facing you. You can use the Apple Watch to see what the iPhone’s camera sees and can trigger the shutter remotely.
Fitness tracking and health on your watch
One thing the Apple Watch excels in is fitness tracking and health. With its built-in heart rate monitor, accelerometers tuned to discern movement and steps as well as its ability to interface with gym equipment, Apple Watch can make a difference in your health journey.
Add the built-in GPS for running or walking, the ability to play music (or, in the case of the Apple Watch Series 3, stream from Apple Music) can make the Apple Watch a complete solution for mobile fitness tracking.
Part of what makes this a compelling solution is the software. Apple has specific rings for activity, standing and exercise during the day. Apple watch motivates users with notifications to stand, crush their exercise goal and continue pushing forward.
There’s a gamification aspect to this (as well as some cool badges you can earn when your complete goals), that help keep people focused.
There’s also the ability to share your progress with other Apple Watch users to motivate, compete or taunt them.
The fitness apps on Apple Watch are myriad and can offer real time coaching, deep health tracking as well as more sport specific exercises. Swimmers are rewarded by the ability to track swims accurately as well as get measurements of pool lengths and accurate swimming stroke movements.
Mobile Wallet and Apple Pay
Apple Pay on Apple Watch has been an exceptional feature since day one where accepted. Apple has done a great job getting Apple Pay to work with various systems. The Wallet App, is also a great incentive for users since they can easily carry travel and concert tickets, loyalty cards as well as other compatible applications don’t just live on an iPhone, they live on an Apple Watch.
Being able to securely pay for food, groceries and other small-ticket items just by waving an Apple Watch is a transformative feature that can change how many people think about payments as well truly make it possible to leave cash, cards and credentials at home.
Controlling a Smart Home from your wrist
Apple Watch is a timepiece, but it is also a wrist computer with Wi-Fi as well as the ability to talk to and control apps and services. You can use Apple Watch to control various devices.
Philips Hue smart lights, Apple Home Kit home automation devices and Nest smart thermostats and smoke alarms and cameras are some of the devices that you can quickly control right from your wrist and the list is growing.
I like controlling my Sonos speakers at home, I can easily toggle volume, songs and even which Sonos connected speaker to play from. These beats having to fire up my iPhone or to run to the speaker itself to control music.
My Canary security camera allows me to check in on my cats when I am travelling as well as get alerts in case there’s unusual movement or when a person is sensed in my home. I can see screenshots of these moments on my Apple Watch and, in the event of a break-in, I can remotely set of an ear-piercing alarm while alerting the authorities to the crime in progress.
Dictate notes or even draft documents
Ideas pop up at the most unexpected times. Thanks to the Apple Watch and its ability to hear and transcribe your voice in real time, it is possible to use the Watch as a dictation device.
I use the Drafts app to verbally jot down ideas. I can outline articles, put my thoughts on paper (virtually) just by speaking into the app on my Watch which then syncs with the app on my iPhone. This can now be exported into a text document and then edited and fleshed out into a useful article, email response or note.
Remember, sometimes reading stuff out helps you edit it better and dictating does that. It is a friction-free way of getting ideas out of your head and into action using the convenience of Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch has proven to be a great fitness tracker and useful wearable device. It is also a wrist computer and with the 4G-LTE capabilities of Apple Watch Series 3, it is the most connected and most independent Watch Apple has made.
Apple Watch transcends being an iPhone accessory and can stand on its own as a MP3 and streaming music player, a mobile payments and wallet solution, a smart home controller as well as much more depending on what sort of apps and services you choose to use with it.