When it comes to Apple Watch, my relationship can be described with the famous line “It’s complicated”. Initially, I did expect much; maybe I have bought them just for fun and out of curiosity. I wear the for few weeks and then let them slowly become a dust catcher. But recently I realized and truly appreciated how they could improve my productivity.
In this article, I will show you few use cases. Maybe these will inspire you to consider wearables something more than just a fashion gadgets.
Music in the car
I love listening to music from time to time while commuting, provided I have no audiobook available, or I just don’t feel like focusing on a spoken word and want to chill out a bit and relax. But selecting the song can be quite dangerous while driving. With Apple Watch and “Hey, Siri” voice command, this is very easy. I can just lift my arm and start speaking: “Hey, Siri! Play Midnight City!” After a while, Siri indeed finds the song and play it. It’s that easy. No need to go through the list of the song trying to find a specific one.
Music in the gym
Yes, they play music in the gym, but I like my playlist. I started with iPod nano and regular wired earphones. After some time I had enough of cables, so I bought wireless earphones from Beats and connected them to my iPhone. Carrying the iPhone around the gym wasn’t very practical, though. With the towel and the bottle of water, I felt like I was moving the whole apartment from machine to machine.
Recently I realized my workout playlist could be uploaded directly to Apple Watch and that I could wirelessly connect my Beats to Apple Watch via Bluetooth. Since then, my iPhone stays in the locker at the bar. No need to carry it around anymore. I can focus on training without the iPhone around. I don’t get distracted by emails or messages.
Yesterday, I moved from Beats to AirPods. Beats are an excellent wireless solution, but the cable behind the neck connecting two parts can be annoying. With AirPods, there’s no such cable!
However, if you expect your AirPods being commanded by Siri, you’re out of luck if you play your music directly from Apple Watch. In such case, a double tap will pause the music, no matter what settings you have on your iPhone. Siri won’t work in this scenario. Apple didn’t mention this anywhere, so just consider this if you want to buy AirPods to work with Apple Watch and expect Siri as well.
Logging the workout
There was one more reason to carry my iPhone around. I log my workouts using Strong app, so there was no way to log the workout without the iPhone. While now, there is another way, thanks to Apple Watch!
Strong recently introduced Apple Watch version, so logging the workout can be done on Apple Watch. Finally, I have no reason to carry the phone around the gym with me.
Silence in the meeting
When I’m at the meeting, I always silent my iPhone because I don’t want to disturb others with phone calls. Before I started using Apple Watch, I put my iPhone on the table next to me with display up, so I could see if someone’s calling.
This approach can work fine unless you care about what your neighbor sees or rather does not see on your phone. With Apple Watch, I can put the phone on the table with display down, or I can keep it in my pocket (well, not the current iPhone 7 Plus). All notifications I want to get come in the form of a gentle tap on my wrist. If it’s an urgent call, I can go outside the meeting room and receive the call. Very neet, very private.
You probably know I am Evernote user. I can’t imagine sorting out all my activities without it and AW is another great addition to Evernote features when it comes to quickly jot down that idea or task you can’t afford to forget, yet you have no time and no tool to write it down. Typically, this happens to me in the car or before sleep. With Apple Watch constantly on my wrist, I can quickly dictate what’s on my mind and it is transcripted to the text and save to my SORT notebook. When I get to my SORT notebook, which I do at least twice a day, I have my task or idea waiting for me there.
I used to sit a lot during the day, but not anymore. In my office, I have a cabinet where I can put my notebook, so I can stand while working, but still, I should stand more, and Apple Watch takes care of this for me. It notifies me every time I sit for too long to stand up.
This is another nice feature if you’re not that much into the whole concept of mindfulness. Apple Watch reminds you from time to time to slow down a bit, relax and focus on your breath for a minute. It is a great break from the hectic and stressful life we are usually forced to cope with these days.
This is not the built-in feature, but you can download a free app called WaterMinder that will nag you to drink. What’s more, you can add a nice icon on your watch face (complication), so you’ll see how is your drinking progress each time you check your watch!
Cooking eggs, having a nap, having a meditation session. These are just a few examples of activities where you can make a use of a timer. I believe you will find many more use cases. Again. Once the countdown finishes, you will receive a gentle tapping on your wrist.
Gentle morning alarm
If you wake up early in the morning while the rest of the family is still asleep, you might want to wear Apple Watch even in the bed because they will gently wake you up on time by tapping on your wrist. Initially, I was afraid that this wouldn’t wake me, but the truth is that it is more efficient than the sound alarm.
Sleep tracking is something I tried for several weeks, but currently, I don’t use it anymore. However, even though there is no built-in sleep tracking in Apple Watch, you can download a fantastic app called Pillow which has almost every feature regarding sleep tracking you could ever need.
Finding iPhone in the dark
There might be a situation where you need to find your iPhone, but the sound is not enough. I can imagine you lose it in the garden in the middle of the night. Well, in that case, all you need to do is to hold the button you would normally use for sound notification and your iPhone will blink along with the alarm.