Using the Apple Watch

May 28th, 2020

I often get asked the question what I’m using my Apple Watch for. And I’ve found it’s kind of hard to come up with a straight answer.

The watch has changed the relationship to my phone, which I’m using less frequently. But it’s built up out of so many small micro-interactions during a day that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is I’m using it for when I get that question.

So I gave it some thought and these are a few of the things that I’m finding very valuable having access to directly on my wrist:

  • Timers. I use timers for everything. Doesn’t matter if it’s for brewing tea, brushing my teeth, or taking a nap. Having access to setting preconfigured timers really quickly helps me a lot throughout the day. And it doesn’t disturb anyone else since it only gives me a gentle buzz on the wrist when it’s due.
  • Reminders. These are coming from Due which I wrote more about here. It’s one of my favorite use cases for the watch. It gives me that feeling of control when I know my watch will ping me when I need it. My brain can let go and focus on what it needs.
  • Siri shortcuts. I’ve started using Siri shortcuts more and more lately. I quickly press down the crown and tell the watch to play some chill music in the evening, which directly comes out at the right speaker. I love how quick and powerful these shortcuts are.
  • Fitness. This was the primary use case I got the watch for in the first place. I use it when I go swimming, or doing any other kind of workout. It has helped boost my fitness motivation over the years.
  • Media controls. Adjusting the volume, or changing the audio output to another speaker in the home is quite quick without me having to touch my phone anymore.
  • Weather conditions. Another one I use all the time. Before heading outside I make a quick check on what the temperature is so I can dress properly.
  • Unlocking my computer. Small one. But still, being able to automatically unlock my computer without a password every time is just plain convenient.
  • Occasionally pay at the store. For the times when I don’t have my phone with me when I go for a walk around the block, but then I realize I need to get something at the store. Now I can do that. Paying with the watch still feels weird, but I like that it’s there.

Current watch face

And the standard watch face I’m using looks like this:

Watch face

Summary

I’ve used the watch for nearly four years now. What I appreciate is that it keeps me focused. It keeps me away from that mindless scrolling my phone has the tendency to pull me into. I’m not feeling as consumed by the device. With the watch it’s more micro-interactions which has an end-goal in themselves.

Somehow, it’s turned into a trusted companion.