Is there any real benefit for buying an Apple watch?

Hi all. I know the reaons why we don't need an apple watch. I also know how it helps with your work outs, it gives you map feedback, etc. i even understand how apple pay works. So knowing that not only is watch OS2 coming out, and probably the second gen of the watch say next year, why should I buy one? I have an iPhone five, that i'm getting as long a use out of it. So, will i use a ton of the apple pay features, given the fact some stores won't support it, and it's still in its infancy. So say my phone lasts another year and a half, when the iphone seven if that's true, joins the world. I'm not a fan of the six S or five s ones, just my own view. So convince me, if possible, why it's a good idea. I also know of someone who agreed with me that it's pretty much a "waste of money" was what I said, and has bought one themselves. I don't want to cause anything, but i'm just interested why people bought it. I also know they have returned, and again, if you did, why? Thanks.


#1 apple watch

At this point, I do not see any. I prefer a BRL watch is quiet and silent. I have my iPhone to tell me the time beside my BRL watch. I suggest if you are interested check the many podcast that David did here apple watch 101. He did a great job.

#2 Yes, he did at that

Hi, thanks for your response. I meant though, experiences, why would you get one, and of course, your prefference is for Braille. That's certainly great. Plus there will be new avenues, with maybe games or something on the watch. I'll keep thinking about it.

#3 Discretionary purchase.

Hi Siobhan,

I wish there was one irrefutable fact about the Apple Watch that would make your choice clear cut. Sadly there isn't.
At the end of the day the Apple Watch is a discretionary purchase. There are no compelling, life or death reasons to own one. It won't provide you food, shelter or warmth on a cold winter night.

As You seem most knowledgable about it's features and, of course, it's price, only you can work out whether the Apple Watch presents a value proposition for you.
Apple call this their most personal device ever for good reason. Good luck making the personal choice that's right for you.


PS My personal choice to buy one, so far has been a good one.

#4 Would you expand on that?

Hi See no evil. Thanks for your response. I'm understanding of it's personal choice, I'm just asking from others' experiences, why did You, buy one? As for the cold winter comment, ha, I got you there, movin to florida next year.

#5 Happy to expand...

Hi Again,

I am happy to expand on why I chose an Apple Watch, but as you'll see the circumstancces are specific to me and are not necessarily transferrable...

Pre it's release, I was very excited by the thought of the Apple Watch and I was certain that I would be an early adopter.
When it became a reality, however, I became more pragmatic about the purchase and wasn't sure that I could justify the outlay for the perceived benefit. After all, I am hardly a power user of my iPhone and the watch doesn't really add much in the way of extra functionality. Throw in the whole first gen product issue, Apple Pay not being available in Australia and battery life concerns and it was only too easy to sit on the sidelines.

But then a needs case emerged.

I compete in Open Water Outrigger Canoe Racing and was invited to compete at a marathon event later this year. In order for me to compete well at this level meant working even harder on my Cardio. I had no way of tracking my progress, either over time or on a per workout basis, so I went looking for a device to help.

With the needs case sorted (Workout tracking), my love of tech, love of watches and appreciation for in built accessibility meant that I was willing to justify the purchase price of the base model Apple Watch Sports over something like the FitBit or UP24.

I've had it for two weeks now and it hasn't changed my life. But then I didn't expect it to, it's only a watch.

It has, in light of my needs, my finances and my personal circumstances more than justified it's purchase price. It's smart, comfortable and does everything that I expected of it. I've installed no third party apps and use it mostly for Notifications, Workout, Reminders, alarms and, of course, time keeping.

So, that's my story. Hope it helps you to decide whether the Apple Watch is the right fit for you.

Best regards,


PS Moving to Florida, sounds awesome...

#6 Hi..

Hi Siobhan.

Good question. Why did I get an Apple Watch? Honestly, sometimes I wish I hadn’t. Had it for over 2 months now and it’s intergrated into my daily life. I’ve always worn a talking watch, and this is in my opinion is the next step up.. During the first week of pretending I’m Dick Tracey, the novelty soon wore off. Honestly, for me it’s handy for the notifications. I have my phone at my desk at work, and I can keep my phone on silent without disturbing my colleagues. When I receive a call or email/message the watch just taps. It’s a security thing for me. I can read and reply to messages when on the bus or train without taking out my phone. I have a BT headset which pairs to both watch and iPhone which is handy for privacy.

I have considered returning it or selling it. I got the 42 stainless steel with leather loop, and sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the money. My wife who is fully sighted has the 38 sports and she relys on it more as she is always on the go for her job. I’m hoping that Watch OS 2 will bring much more to the Apple Watch, just to give it more “umpth”…

To sum up, I’m a tech geek, and like/want the latest gadg, but suffer from serious bank balance guilt afterwards. I can do without the Apple Watch, he says, but also can’t live without, which doesn’t make any sense I know. Maybe I’ve been sucked into the Apple Web and I can’t get out, and they’ve got me for life now. Life’s too short and enjoy the things you want within your means….

PS. It’s chucking it down with rain here in London….. Wish I was in Florida…

#7 Not in florida yet

Hi. Thanks so much for responding, so if others read this, knowing it's a personal choice, I would stilllike to know your thoughts. I can, afford something, new iPhone six plus, though I don't likethe big screen but I do. I know i'm a woman I changemy mind. Lol. seriously, I can't imagine using the watch so much i enjoy it. As for watch os2 part of me wonders, what will the second gen watch have? longer speakr? personally, i'd love someone to actually listen to voice over, pressing the speaker right up to their ear. If you do, you'll realize after voice overstops, there's a thirty second pause until it shuts off. If they put minds onthat, wonders if performance will improve across the board. Anyway I still just don't know. I don't travel every day so I don't know it would be that beneficial. More coments, please I apprecaite all of them.

#8 Why I bought one

When I made the decision to buy the Apple Watch, I figured it would be of no practical use what so ever. I figured it would be fun.
I've had it for about 3 weeks now and I am finding that I was almost right. It is of some practical use because it gives me nice quiet alerts while I'm at work, and it is a nice quick way to check email and answer a text.
As for fun, I could probably find more third party apps, but I just haven't bothered so far.
I'm glad I bought it, especially since having found a bluetooth headset that pairs with both my watch and phone at the same time.
Hope that helps,
PS, It's about 5 degrees celcious here today, and the watch is keeping my wrist nice and warm. I'm eagerly awaiting the Apple Parka.

#9 Wy a sceptic bought the Watch

Having publicly said that I couldn't see the point in the Apple Watch, I do now own one. I've had it for 3 months.

The trouble is, I can't think of a sensible, logical or practical reason why I bought it. I came into a bit of money, through unexpected and frankly unhappy circumstances, which meant that making an outlay of this size wasn't as much of a financial worry as it might have been once. That's not to say I was strapped for cash before that; just that I was that bit more cautious with it.

However, having said it does nothing that the phone doesn't, in a way that's kind of missing the point of it. The Apple Watch isn't a new feature, or a new capability. It is just a different way to interact with your phone. It is an extension to the phone. But more than that, it's something that I find comfortable, attractive and shallowly rewarding to wear. I suppose in a way it's a vanity device.

The things I do most with it are the same things I did with the phone. I make phone calls with it, especially that quick 15 second call home to say I'm leaving work. I check notifications, most of which are not really important, but occasionally have been timely and prompted me to act. I have used the activity features to try and improve my health, although to be brutally self-critical, I am now developing a tendency to ignore the reminders to stand or move when they're inconvenient... which is most of the time. I've sent and received texts, but not a large number, simply because I don't know that many people. There are other apps on there which I could use, but don't. In many cases that's because although the app is accessible with VoiceOver, the user interface wasn't designed to be used by someone who was primarily listening rather than looking. This results in a number of apps giving me a stiff neck where I'm trying to hold the watch close enough to my ear to hear what's going on while I swipe endlessly through the icons trying to get to the information I want, if it's there at all. Yes, I do have BT headphones that can pair with it to avoid this, but I haven't got into the habit of wearing them, as I've never been one to wear headphones in public in the past anyway - even during the Walkman era. If only they could make headphones as discreet and attractive as watches...

To sum up, the only reason I have one is I liked the idea of having something that was familiar like a watch, but a bit more impressive (to me at least). I've always worn watches, so it wasn't a sartorial issue for me. I usually had both braille and talking watches, swapping them depending on circumstances. Now, I just use the Apple Watch.

If I were only coming to the Watch today, I would probably recommend that you hold off buying one until OS 2.0 or the next model is released. I've no idea whether there is even one planned, or when it might be on the shelves. So if there's nothing suggesting it's due in the next year, then perhaps I'd still be tempted. The release of Watch OS 2.0 later this year may itself be enough to warrant a purchase, but I'd wait until that was actually out and been reviewed publicly before buying.

#10 Great responses, thanks all

Hi everyone david, thank you for that response. I'm sorry for the circumstances that made the watch possible, but i'm in the same boat. I have enough money, as I didn't jet to somewhere this summer, and I was planning to wait for the next OS anyway. As i've told you, I don't need the latest and greatest, I only went from the three g s to four, because I had heard it wasn't supported by IOS three or something? It was, so I sort of wasted the upgrade. I upgraded four to five, because I couldn't stand waiting that too long a response time for a text to send, or writing the letterP would take that long that it would get me angry, yes I know it's technology lol. I'm still not sure, I've touched the watch I haven't worn it, to feel the haptic feedback. Ugh I'm still stuck. :) Thanks again, and if anyone else has comments keep them coming.

#11 at risk of lacovering old ground


Let's start with the weather, seeing as how folk have taken to commenting on it under this thread: it's a beautiful day here in Bristol, south-west England, and apparently we are set for similar weather all week, having endured a weekend where antarctic air clamped its jaws around the country to remind us of what is shortly to come.

Now, my comments, and apologies to those who have read similar contributions by me elsewhere: I can afford one; I don't have one; I won't be getting one. I like some of the features, and can see the argument that in a way it's a more interactive and secure experience than getting the phone out of your pocket. But there are three principal reasons why I take the view I do at the moment.

First, as someone has already said, my view is that tactile is better. I like a discrete way of telling the time, and have never found talking watches discrete. Sure, htis is a very personal point of view, but do also bear in mind if it applies to you that some higher education institutions (the one for whom I work, for example) will not allow you to have a talking watch in an examination. Likewise I do a lot of lecturing and advocacy in court, and a talking watch there would be very much frowned upon. So in short, not only do I find talking watches indiscrete but I believe others do also, and by others I mean others with whom we interact on a daily basis. I hope that this first reason at least will disappear in time, as I hope apple will realise that a tactile way of telling the time would be a great thing to have.

The second reason linkes with the first: I have what some might characterise as an old hat antipathy to the idea that I should have to have a headset so as to look at my watch. Quite frankly the idea seems extraordinary. Am I behind the times? Eccentric in a modern age? Perhaps, although I have always considered myself rather fond of technology as a rule, but there it is. Listening to music, listening to an audiobook, reading a document--all those activities I am happy to accomplish with a bluetooth headset, but what a caffuffle when all I want to do is steal a swift glance at the time! All the more of a caffuffle when I want to look at the time without anyone's realising! Ever been in a very long father of the bride speech at a wedding, for example? I don't want all and sundry to see me reach for my headphones and look at the time, partly because I want to give the impression that I am hanging on every word, and partly because I don't want them to reach the mistaken conclusion that I have had quite enough and have decided to listen to music instead! Again, dismiss me as a 21st-century Luddite, a curmudgeonly fool or just plain wrong, but I am not at all sanguine about the possibilities opened up by a bluetooth headset.

The third reason is that I'm not entirely sure Apple understands the personal nature of a watch. Actually, let me be fairer than that: Apple certainly gets people's wishes for fitness monitoring, different styles of watch, subtle ways of communicating, and so forth. What I am not sure Apple gets is that watches are precious in a way that phones are not. They are more than functional, especially when they reach a certain price. Buy a watch and you might hope to keep it ten years, maybe more. People leave watches in wills, even these days. I am not sure how I would feel if my Apple Watch in, say, two or even five years from now were outdated in a way that the iPhone becomes outdated. Again, I am not telling anyone to agree with my conception of what "personal" means, but if you agree with my interpretation of it then this is something to ponder.

I'm delighted we and sighted people can at last buy the same watch. I just don't see myself getting one for the above reasons. I hope these comments are helpful in your decision though, and if you get one I do hope you enjoy it.

#12 Very much in agreement

Hi Siobhan,

I'll probably be echoing what Bingo said, but I'll make my own comments on this anyway.

I had the watch, once. I actually did like it, but at the time before WatchOS 2, it was very sluggish with VoiceOver. it made for a very frustrating experience, at least for me. I understand that first-generation products are never perfect or perform exceptionally well, at least sometimes, and I found that was the case here. While I actually loved using it, mainly for the convenience factor, eventually I got to the point where I didn't use it much.

I would have days where it would mostly just sit on my arm, and I'd rarely touch it. To me, that wasn't very satisfying. The novelty wore off rather quickly. I plan on getting one again later, but not at the moment. I am also worried about Apple releasing a new product every year, like they do with pretty much all their other products. I want my watch to work for a decade, not one year or until Apple decides to no longer support it. Because the Watch still depends on the phone in Watch OS 2 in some instances, like initially connecting to a network, eventually older watches will probably be unsupported by the Watch app. Either that, or some functionality will be slow going from the phone to the watch itself, whereas apps might not even appear on the watch anymore because of lack of support. Something like that will be incredibly frustrating as you can't get new updates, but here's to hoping that it won't happen very quickly.

Saying that, when I did use it, it was pretty alright. I liked being able to use Maps while running, and being told where to go in a discrete way that I could easily feel as I went. Another issue I have always had with the iPhone 5s is that the vibrations feel incredibly weak to me, especially when in my pocket, so the watch solved that problem.

I did eventually return it though, mainly because it was sluggish and felt clunky to use. I'm sure at least the sluggishness has been resolved in watchOS 2, but I'm still not going to get one again. At least, not until I see what happens next. I don't even miss it at all. At first, I would check my arm when notifications came in even though I didn't feel it vibrate, but it's just a habit you get into after a while of having the device.

Ultimately, whether it is convenient and usable enough for you is your choice. No one can really say. Hopefully, though, you find this useful in making your decision if you haven't already. You could always shell out the money and return it within 30 days if you are in the United States.

#13 My decision still hasn't been reached.

Hi all. Thanks for the coments, they are helping. For those who want their watch to work for ten years or so, I get it, but I'm sorry to say I don't think that will happen. If Apple lets you trade inthe watch first gen for say watch four, fine, but if that isn't what will happen, they will lose a lot of customers. Besides that point, there will most liekly be a faster, better something that's just how tech is, so deciding if i want the first gen is crucial. I am also not sure how visually stunning it is, i'm not rich enough to want the solid gold edition. As for someone saying something about checking the time, I have good and bad points with your comment. The headset option for "telling the time" I disagree with, i'd use a headset if I were out somewhere, but i'm not strapping it to my face just while i'm inthe office etc. I get that you don't want to appear rude at the father of the bride wedding speech scene, at the same time you have to wonder if old man at the next table hadn't slipped out his phone to play Angry Birds, or he indeed looks at his watch to seehow long this guy's gone on for, but i wonder if your also worrying about the sighted aspect. We always wonder, did someone see me looking at the phone? we're a novelty let's be honest here. Int he end, i still don't know what i'l do but I appreciate all the coments keep them coming fi you want.

#14 Interesting points

@Siobhan I'd like to take two points you made a little further. You state that at the father of the bride speech I created, you're always wondering whether the man at the next table got his phone out to play Angry Birds, or looked at his watch. I'm not always wondering that. These aspects are someone else's behaviour. I'm not responsible for that. am I my brother's keeper? not in that context. the second point you made was about worrying what sighted people think. yes, I do worry about that. Actually, it would be more accurate to say I care about it. I care what I look like to sighted people, that my shoes are polished, my shirts ironed, and my watch indiscrete and undisturbing to them. My view is (and disagree if you would like to) that we should all care about such things as that.

But, in fact, I would be interested to know what you make of the only point I made that you haven't answered expressly. how does a talking watch interface with an environment like an examination room? You've got five minutes left and you really need to finish your last paragraph? I'll bet you'll look at your watch a dozen times in that last five minutes. This is the biggest stumbling block for me. Let me give you another example: I'm cross-examining a witness. i need to be done in fifteen minutes to comply with the timetable the judge has set. you will find that during that cross-examination I will be looking at my watch very, very frequently, just as a sighted barrister would look either at his watch or at the courtroom clock. All that time, the witness will be giving evidence or being asked questions. I can't have a talking IOS voice interrupting that. This is my central point Siobhan, and the father of the bride stuff is just by the by really when compared with that. Do you think I'm being too particular about that? I would really be interested in your thoughts.

#15 Which Bluetooth headset pairs with both devices?

Hi, I'm very curious which Bluetooth headset you are using. I have both the watch and the phone and would love to have headphones that pair with both devices. Thank you in advance for your help.

#16 Your last point.

Hi. Ok I see a lot of improvement coming out of the watch in subsequent generations of both hardware and software, in terms of maybe haptic telling you it's two fifteen, two twenty whatever when you want it too. I also think that the engine now i haven't ever used it, might have some limitations. Apple has for the most part done what it can for both visually impaired and deaf customers, not to mention one i know who is deaf blind. for someone in that situation I don't see the watching being of much if any benefet at all. As for your example of the checking the time every two minutes to finish the paragraph, or the the constant checking the clock to finish the witness, I'd certainly go with another alternative, that vibrating watch or the one with those ball berings or something that roll around and of ocourse the braille watch, though you'll still have to open, look, close it. You're going to get noticed if your watch speaks clicks vibrates, it's just who we are as a demographic. I can't say i agree with the point of you being particcular of the sighted world in what you look like, lord knows I put up constant photos of me in dresses, jeans, new hairstyles why? because i want to show off, I want the attention, I want the flattery only a woman feeling good about herself can get. I still haven't bought the watch, now might not as unless I see a real need or desire for that big three six birthday present, it's just not worth my money. Now if the second gen comes out and there might be a small option of watch size or better speaker or siri talks more then she does now, I might refocus my interest. all good points all meant in debait. :) have a good one.

#17 apple watch

you know I love iPhone. Before iPhone 6, I got 4, 4s, 5, 5s. When I check the time, I can use my phone or my nice braille watch. It is silent.

#18 Looks like we agree on the appearance issue

@siobhan I think we therefore agree on the sighted issue. I'm not being too particular. Braille watches are silent. I really hope that apple takes this particular point on board because it is an absolute deal-breaker for me. I would much rather have a tactile way of telling the time than any other new feature.

#19 Here's another thought or two.

Hi Bingo. First sorry for yesterdays horrible spelling, don't want you to think i'm unintelligent. I hadn't injected coffee yet. ;) Ok so here's myreasoning why maybe apple hasn't put in a silent way of telling the time. As i said not having used the haptic engine, I don't know it's limitations. Say they did want to include the silent way of telling time, First how would you differentiate from the feedback of hey the watch is away, to it's three fifteen? I mean it would be common sense to think, the watch needs to tell you in some way it's away to respond to you. Second is if they figure out that, would this implicate new gestures, or could you do it before voice over at full volume disrups your day. Have you sent anything to Apple about a silent way of telling the time? I'd think if it were possible, I don't have any deaf friends to ask this, apple would have put something in because deafness and hearing issues are quite a bit more prevellent in our society. Great poins, and if I get the watch I'll most likely let you all know. Need coffee. Have a good one.

#20 Why I skipped the watch and BT headset.


Speaking of being discrete and a little deaf..

I too looked at the watch and was hoping to find many reasons to get one. In the end, I decided to spend a little more and get a pair of made for iPhone hearing aids. For those that have some hearing loss, look at these after you’ve looked at the watch. See which one really works better for you.

In my case, the Starky Halos are really small and plenty of folks don’t even realize I’m wearing them. My phone is in my pocket or under the table and plenty of people don’t know what I am doing. I could be checking the time, listening to music or email while looking at you nodding as if you had my full attention.

I knew my set up was discrete when I asked Siri where I am and the lady next to me gave me the street names. LOL. Since then, I leave Blind Square running and all info is sent to my hearing aids without anyone knowing.

Anyway, this is why I don’t have an Apple watch or a pair of BT headset.

#21 Apple have been informed

@Siobhan yes I have definitely informed Apple of my take on this issue. As to how it is implemented, whether it is possible and what have you, well I'm not blessed with a scientific imagination so couldn't say how it could be done. Then again, I remember back in 2008 saying to a friend that blind people would never be able to use an iPhone, and even earlier than that i remember joking with my friends at Oxford when I was an undergraduate there in 2000 about 'Jaws for mobiles'. my friends were familiar with Jaws on my desktop, but we treated the Jaws for mobiles idea as one of those ridiculous things to laugh about after a few glasses of wine. Again, how wrong we were. I'm a lawyer and law lecturer, so law, politics, history, philosophy are my domain. I was at best an average scientist with no curiosity or imagination in the inventions line. So the fact that I'm not entirely sure how this thing would be done doesn't mean it can't be done. In fact, judging by my past record, it probably means exactly the opposite.

#22 Postscript

Re the typos I didn't think that at all! I make many of 'em myself,.

#23 Hi. I don't own an Apple

Hi. I don't own an Apple Watch and I usually purchase the latest offerings from Apple's phone and iPad range! As for this Apple Watch! I decided not to go for it for a couple of reasons! Firstly I don't want to wear an expensive gadget on my and it drains the battery on your phone. If I want to respond to a message then it's just as easy to wip my phone out. I may purchase it if it ever has it's own connection methods. for example, the ability to connect through a 3g connection.

#24 Silent Time-telling

I agree that a silent way of telling time would probably win over an enormous majority of undecided blind customers. I'm curious - do app developers have access to the watch's taptic engine? If so, I'd love to see some developers coming up with apps that make use of the engine in inventive ways to tell time, or track the passage of time, silently. It might demonstrate to Apple the value of including something like this natively, and might also be a huge draw for blind Apple Watch users who already have the product, or are considering it.

#25 Amen to that Joseph

Completely agree. As I say and speaking for myself, this is a deal-breaker. I couldn't consider one without this feature. Yet if it had it, I would be very keen as I like a lot about the watch.

#26 haptick engine

I'm only on cup of coffee number one, but I think now developers have access to the engine. Lol i need much more coffee.

#27 iPhone

You know Siobhan, I do not see much change in the future with iWatch. As long they have voiceover and is accessible to us they will not going to go out of their way to do more. Afterall there only so much blind individuals in the planet. Have another coffee for me. It is cold in Chicago.

#28 Good toy

I bought the watch a couple of months back and put the beta version of os 2.0 on it. It was fun, clever and entertaining. What it wasn't was particularly useful. At the moment it is a toy, an expensive one at that. The only thing it does better than the iPhone is to log ones heart rate and there are many cheaper solutions.

There is a brail watch coming out with 4 cells of brail display which will connect to ones phone. This is far more interesting to me. Wearable tech, I believe, is only useful for notifications, input is too noisy and fiddly.

So, I took my apple watch back. This isn't to say I won't buy again in the future but there really needs to be something that it does which is better than what I can already do with my iPhone, and, at the moment I can't think of what that might be aside from vibrating the time. Still, expensive for just that.

#29 Braille watch with four cells?

Off topic perhaps, but where do you find out about this sort of thing? That's a marvellous idea. I wonder what Craig Joubert's heart rate would have been yesterday after he made that wretched, wretched, wretched decision that cost Scotland their place in the world cup semi-finals? No doubt the Apple Watch would have told us that.

#30 I am watching the Apple watch.

I am watching this device to see how it evolves. At this time it is just an expensive toy to me. I can think of many other things to buy that would be more useful to me. Time will tell and I am looking forward to seeing what pops up. I have heard many sighted people express the same thing as well.