Should I Finally Get an Apple Watch

Club AppleVis Member
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Hardware and Accessories

Hi everyone
I have been accumulating Apple gift cards over the past year and now have enough to consider buying an Apple Watch. I have resisted the temptation so far since I am having difficulty justifying why I would need one. I have an iPhone 12, as well as a MacBook Air, and Apple TV. What can the Apple Watch do for me that my iPhone can't. I'd be interested to hear from people who have been using one for a while and get their thoughts on the watch's utility.
I am thinking that it would help with Apple Pay since this is a bit of a pain to use while wearing a mask. I also use a treadmill but have no idea how far I have walked since I am totally blind and the screen is not accessible. Would the watch help here? I'm sure there are lots of uses that I haven't thought about.
My inner geek wants to make the purchase, but my rational side wants some justification.
If I do decide to take the plunge, I would be buying the Series 7. What size and style would you recommend?
Looking forward to your thoughts on this.

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Comments

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, October 15, 2021

I have the Series 5 and is nice. When I am doing something and do not want to respond to a message via phone the watch is nice. Also ECG is nice, When I exercise, is get a notification I met my goal. Confortable and I like it. Battery is OK but nothing to write home. With the 7, you will be able to charge your watch faster. I have th 40mg. Next time I might get the 45mg. I have 12 pro, Series 5 and AirPod pro. For some reason AirPod pro does not go from watch to iPhone. Suppose to do so but it does not with me.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Friday, October 15, 2021

When
apple Watch first came out, I thought I couldn't wait to get one, but once they were actually released, I found that I couldn't justify the expense. Now, all these years later, I'm still having trouble justifying it. I have a friend who loves her watch, but I am just having a tough time figuring out why I would actually "need" it. It's irrelivant at the moment because my Apple Card is maxed out from the purchase of my new iPhone, but if I can figure out how I could justify the cost, I *might* consider getting an Apple Watch once the iPhone has been paid down far enough.

Submitted by mehgcap on Friday, October 15, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Unless you have health conditions where constant monitoring is useful, I don't think you "need" an Apple Watch. That said, it's very, very nice to have, and it makes things more convenient. Here's how/why I use mine.

First, health. My watch counts calories burned during the day, as well as workout durrations, VO max, breath rate and blood oxygen while I sleep, and more. It's nice to have heart and other data available over years, so I or a doctor can see trends or concerning instances. Maybe that'll never happen, but I like having it there, constantly being added to and interpreted for me without me having to do anything.

Next, activity. Calories, workouts, hours I was active, stairs climbed, steps taken, and more are all tracked. I find it extremely motivating to meet or exceed my daily activity goals, and I am certain that I'm more active because of the watch's influence.

Then there are notifications. Which is easier: your phone vibrates and makes the sound indicating a new message. Assuming it wasn't tucked in a bag or in the other room, causing you to miss the notification completely, you have to dig it out and read the notification. If you have your phone set up to hide notification details until it is unlocked, you also have to use Face ID or Touch ID. Compare that to feeling a vibration on your wrist and hearing a sound. No finding your phone, no missing it because you left the phone downstairs. Just get the notification on your watch, tap the screen to find out what the message says, and hit the button to dictate a reply (or type one, on the Series 7).

It's not just messages, though. You can set things up so important notifications go to your watch, while others don't. Games might be banned from sending notifications to your watch, for instance, so when you feel that vibration on your wrist, you know it's something important. For instance, I love getting calendar and reminder notifications on my watch, since it's faster and easier to check them there and be reminded of what I'm supposed to do.

Complications are the next huge advantage. How many steps have I taken today? Without a watch, I'd have to unlock my phone, open the app, and find the information. Even if I put my step count in a widget, I'd have to go to it; if it's in a widget stack, it may not be the current widget, so will take longer to find. Plus, my step count is only accurate for the steps I took while my phone was physically on my person. With Apple Watch, I just raise my wrist and touch the lower right corner, where I've placed my step count complication. I can double tap it to make sure it's up to date if I want. That's it--no unlocking or finding things. Plus, the watch means my step count is far more accurate.

Step count was just an example, of course. I can quickly check my next calendar event by touching the bottom center, my activity rings by touching the bottom left, the weather in the middle of the screen, you get the idea. If I want to, I can use one gesture to move to my next watch face, where I find a new list of apps and bits of information I've set up. Having information and apps that are important to me available in, at most, three gestures is a huge deal for me.

There are other aspects I enjoy as well. Taking the occasional ECG, using Overcast on the watch to start a podcast playing on my phone, quickly silencing an incoming phone call from my wrist, using Siri to control HomeKit or message someone without having to pull out my phone, using Apple Pay, and I know there's more I'm not thinking of.

Yes, you can think of an Apple Watch as just a way to pull out your phone less, but that's not all there is to the story. It's a notifications filter, quick information center, activity tracker, fitness motivator (for me, at least), and more. Not everyone will find value in what it offers, and that's okay. But it can do more than it might first seem.

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Friday, October 15, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

I've always been a fan of putting things on my wrist. My watch serves primarily as a fitness tracker and notifications device. I find it particularly useful when I'm out and about, since my phone is stuck in my purse. It's not a smartphone replacement, but it lets me get quick messages off to people and get transit updates so that I know when the train is running late once again. It's also nice to have a media remote on my wrist for when I'm listening to music and don't have immediate access to my phone, such as when my phone is charging and I've foolishly put the bluetooth speaker on the other side of my room. I bought the SE since I don't particularly care about AOD or ECG, though I do wish it had 5GHz WiFi and UWB like the s6 and newer.

On health and fitness, I genuinely like being able to track my workouts and calories burned. More importantly, the Apple Watch is an always-on noise meter. I'm a musician, and having that is invaluable to me. Heartrate tracking came in handy when I had some medical mishaps over the summer, and cycle tracking lets me get a history of the ebb and flow of my body and mood. Bit of advice if you do get a watch: get a charging stand. Having the charger puck flying around everywhere is annoying. It's much nicer to buy a cheap metal stand that you can put the charger into beside your bed or on your desk.

Also also, being able to use Face ID for unlocking, even with a mask on, is so, so, so nice, and yes Apple Pay on your wrist is just the nicest thing, though the NFC antenna is weaker, so you'll need just a bit more precision when aiming for the payment terminal. Not very much more though unless it's a really crappy terminal.

Submitted by Wayne A on Sunday, October 17, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

Thanks for your comments on this. I think I am going to take the plunge and finally buy one. I'm thinking that the health benefits, fall detection, and Apple Pay can justify the cost. Or, maybe I just want a new gadget to play with.
Thanks again for your help.

Submitted by Alan on Monday, October 18, 2021

I've been using an Apple Watch for 3 years, not every day, tough, because, to be clear, this product isn't for everyone.
I use my watch primarily to help others and as a developer, for testing purposes.
So, in my experience, the watch is heavily focused on the fitness. And it works really well for that. However, all other features aren't that useful for real cases, according to what I experienced and other individuals seem to feel after two or three months. Basically, you can read notifications from your watch. Not a bad thing, however, in most cases you will grab your iPhone to reply the message or getting more information.
So, it's like an extension of your phone that doesn't provide much functionality at the cost of an extra thing to charge every night.

If you are an intensive iphone user, you will keep using your iphone, it's not a substitution.
If you want a fitness tracking device, probably it's the best option.
Those are the two main points. If you do a lot of things with your iPhone, you will soon feeling that the watch is useless.
Hope it helps and excuse my English.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Monday, October 18, 2021

Just has been stated above, the Apple Watch truly does many things so that I don't necessarily need my iPhone at all times. I really like the fitness aspects of the device, It has helped me to do a much better job there. Numbers are a big thing in fitness and you can get many different metrics from your workouts to track over time. I have always been a watch person anyway and when the Apple Watch was released it was a natural purchase for me.

Submitted by Wenwei on Monday, October 18, 2021

Don't really have anything new to add here except the notifications on my wrist to tell me when to turn are incredible so I don't have to clutch my phone in my hand when I'm traveling.

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

In reply to by Alan

I consider myself a power user, relying on the phone for productivity and fun on the go. The watch is extremely useful. It's not a smartphone replacement. It's a companion and health device. Frankly, ambient noise monitoring alone makes it worthwhile in my opinion. Protecting your ears is important, especially when you don't have sight to fall back on. Fitness tracking, notifications, replying to messages, controlling media, getting navigation and transit info are all fantastic features.

Submitted by techluver on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

I use it for a lot of things. As I've been home more, it's turned into a kind of smartphone replacement. I barely take my phone off the charger any more, instead just using my macbook air and watch. Unless I'm leaving the house, Id on't tend to use my phone all that much. If they would make the speaker more useful... OMG I'd just ditch the phone if I could. And I'd need a small camera for aira. But yeah.

Submitted by Alan on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

In reply to by Jenna Pepper

Hey, Jenna. Just curious, in what exact situation you find the noise level detection so useful? Never get a single noise environment alert...
Everybody has their own needs, of course. In my case, when I said I am an intensive user, it's because I need to reply emails, type long texts, use Microsoft Teams, github, a lot of web pages, so basically I need my iPhone all the time. In this situation, awatch is useless, since my iPhone is on my hands anyways. And talking about notifications, they fall into two categories: some can wait, it's not that important, and some others requires my iPhone to write a reply or do whatever is required, so... The watch doesn't help me a lot.

I don't say it's an useless device, just like the mac, it's not for everybody.

Submitted by Larry on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Hey, great tips in this thread, here are some more.

FOMO-warning, but being able to feel calls/important notifications while listening to music at home, not always easy to hear the phone then.

Being able, with the cellular version, to leave my phone at home while out walking, in the basement etc.

Being able to leave my phone at home while at the beach, knowing that I can receive calls, but without worrying about if someone will go through my stuff while I am in the water.

Being able to check train times, call my friend, listen to music/podcasts, track exercise etc while at the gym. I do not like leaving my phone in the locker, and it is just a hassle carrying it around.

I would also recommend spending some time looking for things you would enjoy. E.g I use ”Streaks” to keep track of Daily/weekly/monthly goals. It is really nice seeing these goals on my wrist, easy to check progress etc.

Hope this helps.

Submitted by Maya on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

I am just curious what message platforms (I-message, Whatsapp, Facebook messenger) does apple Watch support?

Submitted by Wayne A on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

After reading all of your comments, I finally decided to order an Apple Watch. Bad news, I have to wait until Nov.24 for delivery. Oh well, I can spend this time listening to some of the Applevis podcasts on using the watch.
Thanks to everyone for all your ideas, comments and suggestions.

I'm a musician and play a lot of synthesizers. Knowing whether my levels are safe or not is a big deal to me. Sure, you can tell intuitively most of the time, but your ears will adjust to the volume level as you listen, and often a crappy mix means you have to crank the volume higher than normal which means more noise. I keep a noise complication on my watchface so I can check it whenever I want.

I think the watch is most helpful for people who are on the go. Personally, I make heavy use of web browsing, but it's usually on a laptop. I can't stand that sort of stuff on a mobile interface. Different horses for different courses

This isn't as big a deal now since the s6 and up support 5GHz WiFi, but make sure your phone is on the same network that your Apple Watch will use during initial setup. I wasn't, and it caused huge problems and that caveat wasn't written anywhere I searched.