25 Ways the Apple Watch Has Genuinely Changed My Life For The Better
To be honest, I wish the iPhone was more like the Apple Watch.
Ever since returning from Costa Rica I’ve had an even greater appreciation for how much easier technology has made my life. As much as technology and I have had a tumultuous relationship (more on this to come...), I've never felt more empowered engaging with it as I do today. I now choose to allow technology to make my life easier rather than abuse it.
Of course it raises the question, is all of this technology really bringing us more convenience or just making us all lazier? I’m still searching for the answer but I can say that having tripled my workload in 2016 as a freelance photographer and business owner, enjoying the convenience of technology to help me save time and make me healthier in the process has made such a difference in my life. I'm well aware that these are all first world problems, but if we have technology to make our lives easier then why not use it?
After being of the "I would never buy an Apple Watch" ilk, this month I finally caved in and purchased an Apple Watch Series 2 second hand. What sold me was learning how many features this mini iPhone has, and more importantly, how it has the power to truly enhance the quality of anyone's life--if you can find the value in it.
Even if you have NO intention of ever buying an Apple Watch, some of the apps below might help to enhance your life (*I've labeled iPhone available apps with an asterisk so you can still join in on the fun):
1. Calorie Tracking Via Activity Iphone App
Activity is an iPhone app that magically appears when you pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone, and is where you can track your total daily calories burned (the Apple Watch tracks your active and resting calories). Having an idea of how many calories I burn a day in turn ensures I’m eating enough a day, especially since it’s so important to eat enough calories on a plant-based diet. You could easily use this feature based on your health goals–whether you want to lose or gain weight.
2. Activity Apple Watch App
The Activity Apple Watch App tracks your daily steps, movement calories, exercise calories and standing goals. This feature alone shows me how to take care of myself–If I've been super active the previous few days I know to take it easy the following days. Lately I've learned that rest is the key to keeping my productivity output high. You could use this feature to continually aim to beat your previous goal, or hit them as much as possible.
Commuting on the subway has never been easier. Once you enter your destination, the app will give me step by step directions (and even tap my wrist when I'm approaching turns and my final destination) and will even tell me which subway exit to take to help me reach my destination faster. If you ride a bike or drive, this feature is equally as useful especially with the taptic engine guiding your turns.
4. Heart Rate (for Workouts)
A straightforward feature, I always measure my heart rate during workouts to make sure I'm not over or under doing it.
Synced with my iPhone Cal, every hour is accounted for in my schedule and the Apple Watch helps me manage time and be more productive by sending gentle reminders for my next event.
6. Pinging my iPhone
Having a misplaced iPhone has never been so joyous! You can literally ping your iPhone with a touch of a button. #gamechanger
7. Making Calls*
Much to Anthony's chagrin, I love using the call feature at a moments notice when I don’t have my iPhone on me. Side note: the call quality on the Apple Watch 2 is a bajillion times better than the first version.
A simple yet effective water tracking app that reminds and motivates me ("Drink more water to live a healthier life!") to drink more water based on my daily goal of 8 glasses a day. You have the option to track other liquids too, like tea and wine (why not?).
9. 3rd Party App Notifications
It's such a simple time saver to have lightning-fast updates on say my Seamless order or Uber ride. You can set up notifications for any of your iPhone apps that sync with the Apple Watch, but for instance I don't have any social media notifications because to me it's more annoying than useful.
10. Weather Always on Display
So this is called a "complication" feature on the Apple Watch, where you can adjust your custom watch face to display the apps that mean the most to you. Being someone who checks the weather a bajillion times a day to make sure I'm dressed appropriately, having the weather always at my disposal is literally such a time saver. Side note: Siri on your iPhone and Google Home are also amazing for this type of feature.
11. Dark Sky App*
Being a natural light photographer, it’s super useful to have the Dark Sky app to monitor the rain forecast by the minute. I have the Dark Sky App set as a complication so it's always one touch away on my custom watch face.
12. Heart Rate (for Health)
I'll also use the heart rate feature to make sure my blood sugar doesn't dip too low. Reading this article about how the heart rate feature on the Apple Watch literally saved a man's life opened up my eyes on how impactful the Apple Watch can be in preventing chronic illness in some cases.
I wish this app was on the iPhone because it's seriously amazing. Whenever my head is spinning faster than a fidget spinner I’ll use the Breathe app for 1-5 minutes. I love how the taptic engine taps you on the inhale so you can close your eyes and truly relax while doing it. You'll be reminded at least once a day to breathe.
I thought it was silly when I heard people raving about this in their reviews, but it's truly wonderful to tell time whenever you please. It keeps me punctual. I get ready faster, I leave the house earlier.
Even though I currently only do yoga as a workout, it’s pretty cool being able to see roughly how many calories I’ve burned and to have all my workouts logged in the Activity iPhone app to review at any time in the future. You can log an open workout or any of their pre-selected options like Swimming or Running.
16. Activity Achievements
If you're a high achiever you'll soak this one up. The 3D-animated Activity achievements (which you can view on the Activity iPhone app), motivate me to achieve different active goals like doing a weekly challenge of hitting my stand goal every day for that week (prolonged sitting has been linked with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, death, some forms of cancer, and more).
I love asking Siri to set a timer for every occasion from cooking to using a clay mask at home. It’s just so damn convenient.
18. Camera Timer
A novelty feature that has made a difference since I no longer own pocket cameras and I've never been a huge selfie taker. It’s nice to just take a shot of myself for the gram without having to bother Anthony every time. You could use it to take a group photo or extra-distanced selfie.
Being able to use my Apple Watch as a remote for my Apple TV has been a total game changer since our native remote is on it’s last leg and the iPhone one isn’t as convenient to use. You can also use it at a remote for your iTunes library.
20. Apple Pay*
Not having to take out my wallet every time I pay at an Apple Pay-supported vendor, 'nuff said.
21. Taking Calls*
Whenever and wherever I am–sometimes in not so convenient situations like when I'm in the shower. I recommend this for casual use only, unless you intentionally like holding up your arm for an hour while catching up with your BFF for those extra calorie points (I see you).
22. Texting Features*
I actually love texting via Siri's voice command (way more accurate than iPhone Siri) or using Scribble–which is especially useful in work situations without appearing to be (as) rude. There’s also something about the simplicity and straight forward-ness of having to get to the heart of your message without over-analyzing whether you should include emoji’s, etc… in a text. You can also send your heart beat, which is pretty amazing to receive on an Apple Watch since the taptic engine beats on your wrist.
23. Yogaglo App*
OK this is the ultimate novelty feature but hear me out–when I’m practicing online yoga classes via Yogaglo's iPhone app, I can use their Apple Watch app to press pause during a workout. Which, I know, sounds A.) counterproductive and B.) nonsensical, but if I press pause it’s not because I A.) just feel like getting a glass of water or B.) pee-ing mid class, but rather since I forgot to bring my yoga blocks or bolster in from the other room. It’s surprisingly super useful and great if you're a workout at your own pace kind of human.
24. Wunderlist App*
So I was at Sephora the other day, and instead of getting lost amongst the aisles of glittery face paint I remembered I had my “Makeup” list in Wunderlist synced with my Apple Watch. #handsfreeshopping. It can also be convenient for errands like grocery shopping, that way you’re not juggling iPhone in one hand, basket of produce in the other.
If there’s something you’re dying to remember, whether you’re in bed and just need to jot it down, Siri’s got your back. Just remember to tick the reminder complete on your iPhone to prevent constant nagging notifications.
*BONUS* 26. Wallet App
(Because I haven't used this feature yet). Using the Wallet app to present my airplane tickets or any kind of travel/concert tickets...
A few features I’d love to see on the Apple Watch Series 3
• A Spotify app - or for Snowy to launch
• Podcast app - I’d love to stream podcasts on the go, using the Apple Watch speakers
• Ability to track glucose for the average person aka every time you eat something see exactly how your body responds to it
• Cellular capabilities - the ability to use it without an iPhone would be next level.When you’re too far from your iPhone the bluetooth signal will cut out, so you can’t use any features that you’d need a cellular connection for.
And that’s not even touching upon the endless possibilities of how you could use your Apple Watch. Especially if paired with Apple’s new wireless earbuds, I could take calls in public without feeling embarrassed about talking into my wrist, I could listen to a playlist of music while on the subway without cords getting in the way, and earbuds aside, if you get into smart home technology (thermostats, air conditioners, ovens, lightbulbs, home cameras, etc..) you can control all these devices at the touch of a button on your wrist. Picture this: you’re coming home from work and need to pre-heat your oven to 400 to bake some potatoes.. or you want to check in on your dog while you’re at work using a Nest home camera. Or you’re in bed and realized, shit I forgot to turn off all the lights.. I think the future of how technology can truly save us time, make us healthier and more mindful is truly something to look forward to and embrace sooner rather than later.
What Do You Think?
What do you guys think about all of this technology? Is it making you better or lazier?
I hope you've enjoyed this first round of posts to celebrate the launch of my blog! As of now I'll be posting 1x per week, thanks so much for your support!