Enter the Apple Watch. Of course I wanted one when they were first released in April. I had a hard time justifying the expense, knowing that later models would be improved and not being sure I'd even like it. I hadn't even worn a watch in years. I eventually convinced myself to give it a go and I'm thrilled I did.
What I expected: enjoying the "cool" factor of a new gadget, one that wasn't able to stand much on its own but was fun to use. I knew I'd enjoy the health and fitness stats and activity tracker and I do.
Why I love the Apple Watch:
- Productivity - I check and briefly reply to an email or text in just seconds. I verbally set a timer or reminder or ask Siri a question. At a glance I can see the date, time, where I'm at on my activity for the day (standing, calories, and exercise), current time in two different locations which helps me since we're overseas, unread notifications, and my favorite...what's next on my calendar. It takes me less than a second to glance and refocus and see what needs attending to. And if nothing? Even better. Rather than make me more distracted it actually helps me focus more.
- Hands Free - I don't need to get out my phone as much. I like to be present in the moment, especially with my children, and my watch allows me to handle urgent issues quickly and efficiently without having to stare into my phone or check it to make sure I didn't miss something. I know if Uber's almost here or if it's going to rain. We live in a huge city with busy streets and lots of people and I like not having to get my phone out unless I have to.
- Time Management - I don't miss things. I am instantly alerted to texts, calls, and messages wherever I am, which helps put my mind at ease. When the nurse calls from school saying that my daughter probably broke her arm (which she did), I don't miss the call. I don't have to carry my phone room to room or on my body all the time. I know that as long as I'm nearish my phone, I'll be alerted to anything important and the rest can wait.
- Subtle Reminders - I LOVE the haptic alerts. I have all sound disabled on my watch and only I feel it's vibrations. I can instantly tell if it's a more important alert, like a text or direct message rather than an activity notification or reminder. I haven't turned the volume on my phone since I've had my watch for a few months. It's so nice to not have sounds going off distracting everyone. I quickly feel the notification and determine if I need to act or ignore without anyone else even noticing.
- Navigation - We live in a city (Mumbai) that's sadly not supported yet in Maps so I rely heavily on Google Maps on my phone rather than my Watch. But, on a recent trip to Venice I was able to put Maps to the test on my watch and loved it! I felt subtle taps when it was time to turn a corner and it quietly and seamlessly guided me exactly where I needed to go. Way cool.
- Camera Remote - I love being able to capture a group photo using my camera remote on my watch rather than fumbling with it on my phone, a skill I haven't been good at.
Is it perfect? No. You can't type on it (everything is dictation with limited editing functionality). The battery needs to be charged daily. I'm still experimenting with a sleep tracker. I don't know anyone nearby well enough to communicate Watch to Watch with heartbeats and drawings and the like and there's a lot of apps I don't really use (like Apple Pay which isn't accepted here). But for what I use it for, it's been surprisingly worth it.
And yes, it is fun!
Maybe the Watch isn't for everyone, but as a mother and Mission Control for my family, it has been an incredibly freeing tool and helps me to be more present and focused on the things that really matter. That alone is a winner.