1. Unlocking Your Mac
Up first is the ability to quickly and easily unlock both your Mac and your iPhone by simply just... wearing your watch.
With your Mac, just walk up and nudge the mouse, and with your iPhone, just swipe up and it will check if you’re watch is nearby, unlocked - and securely unlock your Apple device without needing to spend time typing in passwords or using Touch ID.
This also extends to other apps.
If you need to type in your Mac password to get into certain security settings, or even for third party apps like 1Password, you can just double tap the side button on the watch and, once again, avoid having to type in a password. Think of all those precious seconds you're saving here!
2. Apple Pay
Apple Pay is one of the best features on the Apple Ecosystem. So to have this feature available directly on the Apple Watch is just so convenient!
All you need to do is double press the side button, and it loads up your default payment card, where you can just swipe to get to your other stored cards.
Just tap the watch on or near the top of the payment terminal, and you can pay for anything in a matter of a second!
Not only that, but using their Express Travel feature, you can set one of your cards as the default payment method, and when you jump on the subway, you can just tap your watch without even having to wake it up, or double tap to activate Apple Pay.
3. Life Saver
But one of the biggest reasons to pick up an Apple Watch is for all of the health features, which can be a literal life saver to the right person.
There are quite a few features here...
You’ve got the eponymously named, fall detection, which can detect if you take a fall. The watch will tap you on the wrist, sound an alarm and display an alert, and you can then tap to contact the emergency services, or dismiss the alert if you are superhero and take no damage!
And, if you don’t respond for a minute, it will automatically call the emergency services. Boom, life potentially saved!
Then there’s Crash Detection - which works in a similar way - which calls emergency services after 20 seconds and if you can’t respond, it automatically plays an audio message with your location and tells them you’ve been in a severe car crash.
Next there’s heart rate monitoring. And we’ve all heard plenty of stories of how Apple Watches have detected those with an irregular heartbeat and even pre-diagnosed early signs of atrial fibrillation, otherwise known as Afib, which can lead to stroke, heart failure and other diseases. You're kinda wearing a Doctor on your wrist!
For protecting your ears, there’s the decibel meter which warns you when the environment you’re in is too loud for too long or when the volume on your headphones is too loud for too long!
And the recent backtrack feature which has been added to the Ultra, and drops a pin on the map every 2 minutes to allow you to easily retrace your steps. It's great for saving yourself from getting lost in the woods. The Blair Witch Project would have been a very, very different film if one of them had been wearing an Apple Watch Ultra!
4. Fitness / Vitality
Of course, I can’t talk about the Apple Watch without talking about fitness. Because the Apple Watch is one of the best, and most accurate, fitness trackers you can buy. From the Apple Watch Ultra, right down to the most affordable Apple Watch SE.
With the Apple Watch, you can track everything from the number of steps you walk each day, through to your specific workouts, at the gym, or out for a run. It’s fantastically accurate at tracking all of these stats.
You can set exercise goals for the day, and even compete with your friends on fitness challenges with goals that you set.
The best thing I’ve come across here in the UK though, is getting an Apple watch for FREE, through my health insurance: Vitality.
I pay about £40 per month for the insurance policy and then, just by exercising, I get all sorts of freebies and discounts: free cinema tickets, free coffee, discounts on shoes, Samsung Galaxy watches, and just so much more.
All from just staying active each day.
If you’re watching from the UK, you can also get £100 cashback when signing up for your own health policy using THIS LINK.
And if you're reading this in the US, that probably just blew your mind! Sorry!
The Apple Watch provides a great way to see what’s going on, without constantly having to pull your phone from your pocket.
Use it to glance at your watch to check messages, calendar appointments, and notify you when phone calls are incoming.
Being notified of phone calls was actually the reason I first bought an Apple Watch for work. I never wanted to miss a phone call from a customer, and the Apple Watch fixed that instantly!
You can also send quick replies to messages without having to pull your phone from your pocket and, using your phone, you can actually control which specific notifications you want to receive (just so your wrist isn’t buzzing constantly with every single notification from every single app you own!
6. Detach From Your Phone
And you can take this a step further, because having an Apple Watch can actually allow you to be detached from your iPhone.
You can go for a run with just an Apple Watch, and a pair of bluetooth headphones, and play music directly from the watch to the headphones.
You can also take calls from your watch. With or without bluetooth headphones.
And you can send and receive messages.
All of this without carrying your phone with you, distracting you with all the endless notifications and doom-scrolling temptations.
And the notifications you do want to see? Well, you can see those on your watch anyway.
7. Sleep Tracking
One I’ve been really trying to work on lately. Lol.
I’ve been consuming a lot of content from Matt Walker after watching his Ted Talk about how the science shows you that getting poor sleep has some pretty significant ramifications to your health.
And when my memory is already pretty poor, it’s definitely something that concerns me as I get older.
But wearing an Apple Watch to bed is sort of like having a bedtime angel swooping in in the evening to remind you to 'wind down' before bed, preparing you for a decent night's sleep.
It also tracks your sleep quality and stages each night, so you can see how much time you spend in deep sleep.
For me, when I was regularly staying up until 1am, when I went to bed, it was 3 minutes and I’m straight into this deep - almost unconsciously deep - sleep.
That issue was even worse when it came to getting up in the morning. Once I’m in bed, I never want to leave it. I'm sure some of you can relate!
And again, the Apple Watch comes in handy here as it’s really good at waking you up, with subtle taps on your wrist that don't wake anyone else in the bed with you, or blast your eardrums with some awful alarm tone.
So the Apple Watch, for me, plays a huge part in making sure I’m getting enough quality sleep, and it’s helping me to wake up more naturally each morning.
8. Focus Modes
This is something that I’ve found increasingly useful over the last few months. Focus Modes can change how your watch looks and behaves depending on external factors.
Perhaps it’s the time of day, or your location, or when you are using a certain App on your Mac.
For example, when I drive to the gym, as soon as I arrive, my watch knows where it is, so it switches the watch face to one with quick access to all of my fitness apps.
When I run my work apps on my Mac, my watch switches to work mode, and mutes all notifications except for important ones like my wife, or if the school calls about my kids.
So using Focus Modes, you can remove unnecessary distractions, and bring the stuff you want to focus on to the front of your watch.
9. Home Automation
Home automation is a huge part of my life; my whole house is pretty much automated. I sometimes wonder if I've even automated my kids...
I’ve recently got some new products that I've been sent: some Govee Lights and an Eve Camera.
And all of this, and more, is accessible and controllable with the Apple Watch.
I use my watch, literally every day, to switch lights on or off, open and close the garage door, turn the heating up or down, turn plugs on or off. I’ve recently added an Apple TV into every screen in the house, so I can use the watch to turn the TV on and use the App to control the TV. So now it doesn’t matter anymore if the remote gets lost, which, with 2 kids, happens way too often!
This is one that I’m probably going to have to do fairly soon, with my kids getting to an age where they’re demanding watches and phones.
But with an Apple Watch, you can actually set one up for your child to wear, even if they don’t have a phone themselves.
Once they’re wearing one, there’s a tonne of features that open up for both them, and you.
As the kid wearing it, you get an Apple Watch; you can message your friends or family, share your location, install apps, use Apple Pay, get access to all of the emergency features we’ve already mentioned and track your health stats.
As a parent though, you can control pretty much all of this, to restrict access when you need to. There’s even a specific school time schedule which turns the watch into, well, just a basic watch to be used whilst they’re in school. And whilst they can unlock it, they can only do so for short periods of time, and you can see how many times they’ve unlocked it.
You can also track the location of your kids, so no worrying about where they are or if they’re on their way home, and you can send messages or give them a call too.
If you want to know more about how I use my apple watch every single day, and see this in action, check out THIS VIDEO. I'll see you there.