Hi. I’m Brandy and I live in an Apple world. I have a MacBook, an iPhone, 3 Apple TVs, a Mac mini and even a Airport router. My kids play on iPads and old iPhones and technically my first computer was an Apple at age 3. So yeah…I realize I am a walking cliche but I can say, when the Apple Watch came out, I scoffed at it. Even after Kevin got one, I didn’t care. On paper, I am the PRIME customer. I love gadgets, have an iPhone and like working out. But meh, I didn’t see how it saved me over just using my phone. I also never bought into the FitBit craze because it seemed like a lot of money for a pedometer.
But then the Gen 2 watch came out and my ears perked up. GPS on the watch, you say? SOS calling ability, you say? Well, ok then!
So for Christmas I opened this rose gold glorious piece of technology and I have only taken it off to sleep (yeah, it’s waterproof too!). Since then, oddly, I have seen a lot of people asking “should I get one?” or “What all can it do?”. So here I am today sharing 10 things my watch can do that make my life easier.
#1: Motivate Me to Workout
As of me writing this, I have worked out for 65 straight days. THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED. I leave my watch face on the Apple Watch “rings” concept. It tracks 3 main things:
- Exercise: This is when you move beyond your everyday movements. The goal is 30 minutes a day.
- Stand: This is to get you to stand and move once an hour. The goal is 12 hours a day.
- Move: This tracks your movement, heartrate combined with your stats to see how you are burning active calories. My goal started at 400 and I have shifted to 450 a day.
I MUST “close my rings” every day. It has become part of my life now. I find myself doing squats while I cook and jumping on the trampoline with calorie goals.
Also the watch is “smart” in that the more you workout and your heart rate acclimates, you have to do more to burn those calories. It’s not just a simple pedometer…it learns YOU and optimizes activity to that.
Bonus: I am sharing my rings status with others and them with me. We have accountability to each other. Kevin and I both egg each other on to close them.
Sidebar: If you are not listening to Missing Richard Simmons, GO NOW. It is so freaking fascinating.
#2: Set Timers Vocally
Now this isn’t groundbreaking, I know. Alexa can do it. Cookie Monster can do it. But I haven’t been able to do this until now and it is revolutionary while cooking. I can quickly set a timer while my hands are covered in eggs or whatever. It’s quick and simple. Then I get a gentle vibration on my wrist when it goes off, not bothering anyone else.
#3 Control My Running App
This one is very specific to me but, as I mentioned in my last post, I have been keeping data in RunKeeper for YEARS. One annoyance I’ve always had was when running along main roads, I pause a lot for stop lights and such and want to pause my run. Doing this from my arm band was a pain. Either I kept the app open the whole time and killed the battery or had to stop, unlock and pause. Now I can simply tap my wrist and it stops. I can also quickly glance at what time it is to get back as well as my pace and other metrics. See my last post for more about Runkeeper.
#4 Remind Me to Do Things
“Hey Siri, remind me to get the clothes out of the washer in an hour”
“Hey Siri, remind me to take my vitamins at 8pm every day”
“Hey Siri, remind me call the pediatrician on May 27th to schedule well visits for the kids”
“Hey Siri, remind me to start the dishwasher at 9:45pm”
You get my point.
#5 Take Phone Calls
Yup. I can take (and decline) phone calls right from my wrist like Star Trek or some shit. What I really like about this is that I don’t feel tethered to my phone around the house and such. I always keep my phone on silent because #grouptexts but I have missed calls accordingly. Now I can go play outside with the kids and not worry about taking my phone with me. I can call from right there! Note: You still need to be within some distance of the phone for the main calling feature to work. Read
#6 Pay For Stuff Like I’m From the Future
I know Apple Pay is old news at this point but man, do I love it. I have been getting the boys to do long walks with me where we walk up to a little shopping center. One day they were thirsty and I was like “CRAP” I have no money. But then I walked into Jersey Mikes and they had Apple Pay! Not only did we have water, we had lunch too! Now that can be done of the phone but using my wrist to pay in a drive thru is never going to get old. The kid at the movie theatre was fascinated. It still feels cool every time I do it.
#7 Check The Weather
Again, I can do this with the phone but I have the current temp and conditions right on my watch face so I can see if it is cool enough for a jacket to walk to lunch or raining. Then I can just click that to see the forecast for the next few hours. It’s way more handy than I thought it would be.
#8 Keep Me Safe
With watchOS 3, you can show your Medical ID and make an SOS call. This effectively will call 911 and alert your emergency contact plugged into your phone. The Medical ID will allow someone to know basic facts about you if you are found unconscious. Even if you don’t get the watch, knowing how to find this information on someone could save their life. To access, press and hold the right side button until the screen appears.
#9 Not Being Dependent on My Phone
I mentioned this in the other ones but wanted to call it out. I often put my phone down in the house because I just don’t feel tethered to it. I’ve been working on not mindlessly checking apps and such but even still, I would feel like “i need it near me in case…”. With being able to get texts and phone calls on it, I feel less attached. I even forget where I put my phone for hours around the house. No fear though, there is a feature to allow me to ping my phone with this high pitched sound and I can find it immediately!
#10 Control My TV
While I am still new to using this consistently, it is pretty big. Apple TV remotes are tiny and get lost in the couch often (or where little hands put it!). With my watch, I can forgo it. I can also voice dictate what I want to search. This is the ultimate parent trick to turn off the TV from your person and your kids think you are a sorcerer!