When the Apple Watch was announced, I was pretty underwhelmed. I hadn’t worn a watch in years. I was wearing at FitBit to track my steps and was happy with it.
I first played with the Apple Watch at the Apple Watch Labs they held in April 2015. I was still disappointed, but thought it could be interesting around version 3 of 4 of the watch.
Since last Summer, I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch that my company purchased. So I’ve got a lot of experience with Apple Watch as a user. I’ve also got quite a bit of experience as an Apple Watch developer. I’ve writen one shipping app and a handful of experiments on the watch. This post isn’t about my development experience with the watch, but more about how I use the watch.
When I first put on the watch, I enabled every notification imaginable. I quickly scaled these notifications back. The amount of notifications I received was overwhelming. I was always looking at my wrist. The only notifications I have enabled now are phone calls, messages and activity updates. Everything else can wait.
At first, I installed every watch app and glance that I had on my phone. This was something else that I quickly scaled back. The original watchOS 1.x apps were really slow. watchOS 2.x apps aren’t much better. I only have one 3rd party app (Sleep++) installed on my watch.
During the original announcement, Apple spent a lot of time showing off Digital Touch. I’ve never used it. I’ve never even thought of using it.
So. What do I use my Apple Watch for?
I use it to track my activity/fitness level. With a FitBit, tracking steps was easy enough. Finding my step count with the Apple Watch takes a little more work, but it’s not difficult.
Now I track all of my activity with my Apple Watch. I use the three activity rings (Move, Exercise, and Stand). I find myself chasing the activity rings. I can usually fill all three rings every day without much trouble. But on days where I’m feeling lazy, I’ll go out of my way to fill the rings. It reminds me of walking around my house with my FitBit on trying to get to my 10,000th step for the day.
I also use Siri in the Apple Watch to set some simple timers. If I’m making something and know that I need to check back in a few minutes, I’ll ask Siri to set a timer for x minutes. It works really well for that.
This may seem obvious, but I use the watch to tell time. I really do. It’s a nice watch. There are a few watch faces that I like to cycle through.
Apple Watch has some really nice Maps integration. The watch will tap your wrist when it’s time to turn. I can’t tell the difference between the “turn left” and “turn right” taps, it’s probably because I don’t use it enough.
If I wasn’t using an Apple Watch purchased by my company, I’m still not sure if I would purchase one on my own. The current version isn’t worth it to me. I think in a few versions, it’ll be a great device.
That’s how I use the Apple Watch. It’s nothing fancy.