The Apple Watch Ultra has been something I never thought I’d see myself buying, being such a premium-priced watch. But I eventually decided to get one for the battery life and how solid the build is.
But regardless of whether you have an Apple Watch Ultra or just a regular Apple Watch, there’s something for everybody in this post, around 20 ways that I genuinely use my Apple Watch, each and every single day of the year.
1 - THE ALARM
One of the features I use every day when I wake up in the morning is The Alarm. The Apple Watch has been the best alarm clock of all the various smart tech that I’ve tried. With just a gentle tap on the wrist using the incredibly accurate haptic motors in the apple watch - I found myself waking up without disturbing anybody else and without shocking myself awake like with other ways that I’ve tried.
2 - SLEEP TRACKING
Sleep tracking is something that many smartwatches can monitor, and the Apple Watch Ultra has actually been the first Apple Watch that I’ve comfortably been able to sleep with whilst wearing it.
Firstly it goes into Sleep mode which dims the screen and locks itself to avoid any accidental presses whilst you’re in bed. But it also tracks your various stages of sleep state.
It tracks your time awake, your light, deep, and REM sleep stages, and the Apple Watch Ultra finally has a battery that’s capable of getting through multiple days and nights without charging, which was something I always struggled with, using other watches.
With other watches, I found you would have to find some time during the day to charge your watch back up again, or it would be dead before that evening.
3 - UNLOCKING MY COMPUTER
Of course one of the things the Apple Watch Ultra does for me is make it easy for me to unlock my Mac Studio and my Macbook Air. Particularly with the Mac Studio as I don’t have Touch ID or FaceID to quickly get me in. So having the Mac know that it’s me trying to sign in because it detects my Apple Watch as being close by is great.
4 - UNLOCKING MY PASSWORD MANAGER
The watch can also be used to unlock my chosen Password Manager. So rather than having to type in a long and complex master password each time, I can simply double tap my Apple Watch to confirm that it’s me, and I can get straight in and use 1Password to sign in to a multitude of other websites and applications.
5 - RING CAMERA
OK so let’s get on to some things around the house now. Firstly, my kids are getting a bit older now, they’re not babies anymore and they’ve outgrown the stage where they need baby monitors in their rooms. But when they’re in bed, it’s still nice to know when someone gets out.
We actually picked up a Ring Camera a while ago as part of testing out the Ring home alarm, and we decided to place the camera upstairs on our landing.
So now, when one of our kids gets out of bed and heads downstairs, it doesn’t matter where we are in the house, we know that someone’s out and about.
Even if that means they sneak out and sit on the top stair, which is something I remember doing as a kid, we’ll still know. And even when we’re sat in the hot tub late at night, again it’s nice to have that notification come up on the Apple watch so one of us can hop out and find out what’s wrong and take them back to bed.
6 - DRIVING
Driving is another thing that I actually do use my Apple Watch for every day. So we actually live in this, keyless, fob-less world, we don’t carry any keys and I’ve found that to be a blessing not having these sharp keys constantly jangling around or sitting in my pocket.
Instead, my whole house is now automated. So to get in my garage, I just tap on my Garage Door to open or close it, and now I can get my car out, or the kids can get their bikes out to play outside.
7 - MORE ON DRIVING
But in terms of driving, an update has come out for the Apple Watch app recently, which means I can actually unlock my Tesla with just my Watch as it uses Bluetooth technology.
Therefore now I can leave my phone behind knowing that no matter where I drive, no matter how poor the cell reception is in my car, I’ll be able to unlock and drive it.
8 - HOME AUTOMATION
Now, I also have a tonne of other home automation, things built into my house using Home Assistant. Using the Home Assistant App on my Apple Watch Ultra, I can basically do everything without needing to get my phone out. Switch lights on and off, change the colours, open and lock doors, and turn off sockets around the house.
You might say that it’s just as easy to go and flick a light switch. But when you’re in bed at 2am and the house is freezing cold, it’s much nicer to use my watch to turn on the lights so my kids can go to the bathroom because they can’t reach the switch.
9 - FITNESS
Fitness is another thing I use almost daily on my Apple Watch Ultra. Last year I discovered an App called Strong, and it’s been so useful to track my workouts.
Using Strong, I can leave my phone behind and load up the Strong app, and start my workout, and the watch takes me through my entire workout routine one by one. I can set my weights, and change the number of reps and it even counts down how long I should rest for too.
Also because I’m using the watch to track my workarounds, it really nicely fits into my Health Insurance, a company called Vitality, which gives me rewards like a free apple watch, free amazon prime, discounts on shoes, and tech, and tonnes more, just for doing a 30-minute workout 5 times a week.
🛒 Get £100 when you sign up to Vitality: https://geni.us/Ks4ZZVGgD0o-VIT
I find that by using Strong, I’m slowly getting back into shape, slowly working up the weights and hopefully I’ll reach my goals before the end of this year.
10 - LISTENING TO MUSIC
Typically whilst I’m working out, I’ll also listen to music directly off the Apple watch. Sometimes it’s via Spotify, sometimes it’s Apple music. More recently it’s actually been listening to Prince Harry’s new book, which has been a bit of an eye-opener.
So you can pair a set of Bluetooth headphones directly to your watch, and again, not have to worry about carrying around a mobile phone with you.
I went for a run around London towards the end of last year, and it was SO refreshing to not have the bulk or weight of my phone in a pocket, or strapped to my arm. I felt light as a feather and just ran, with only an Apple watch to track my run and play music into my ears.
11 - APPLE PAY
Not only do I not carry around keys with me. I haven’t carried around a wallet with me either for a few years now.
Instead, I choose to pay for absolutely everything with Apple Pay instead.
But there are a couple of things that are useful to know that might enhance your watch experience.
Firstly, an app called Stocard, lets you bring all of your various store cards like Starbucks or Subway with you. Similar to apple pay, I just open up the app, find the card and it gives me a barcode which I can then scan in to get my loyalty points.
Secondly, Curve - it’s an App I’ve used on and off over the years, and you essentially load your cards onto the Curve app and then use the Curve card to pay for things.
You can choose which card gets charged within the curve app, but you can also do clever things like changing which card gets charged AFTER you’ve actually paid for something. Maybe you charged it to the wrong card by mistake.
You can also earn cashback on any payments using the curve card.
And they’ve got things like anti-embarrassment mode, where I guess if you’re on a date, you go to pay, but your card gets declined, It will automatically fall over to using a different card, instead of embarrassing you when the waiter tells you that you’re card got declined.
Apple Pay is more secure than a physical card. Because as soon as the watch comes off your wrist, it locks itself and doesn’t work unless you re-enter your passcode.
12 - WALKIE TALKIE
OK, so this one is one of the more James Bond features of the Apple Watch. But inside every Apple watch is a built-in function called Walkie-Talkie.
Just find who you want to talk to, and use it like a walkie-talkie. Tap and hold whilst you speak to them, then let go, and they can respond - instantly, without having to make a proper phone call or leave voicemails or anything like that.
I love how convenient this has been with my wife in particular, I run out to the car and forget something and can quickly ask her to bring something out with her.
And it works just as well when you’re on the other side of the world from each other, as it does when you’re in the next room.
13 - FIND MY PHONE
This feature I think probably tops absolutely all of the other features I use daily. Just swipe up from the bottom, and tap the phone icon to have your phone play a pretty loud sound, so you can figure out where you left it. Great for when your phone falls down the side of a sofa.
14 - FOCUS STATES
One of the lesser-used features of the Apple Watch Ultra is the use of Focus States. This is something I use every day, but it’s something that just happens, rather than me specifically choosing to use it.
When I go to the Gym, for example, my watch checks my location and knows I’m at the Gym. So the watch face automatically changes to my Fitness watch face, with quick access to start a workout, access my music, and my Strong workout amongst other things on there like the watch's battery life. And you can do the same with focus modes for family time, and work all based on either time of day or location.
15 - REMINDERS, CALENDAR EVENTS, AND NOTIFICATIONS
Something that you can also control with the Focus states, is customising the notifications from things like my Reminders App, my Calendar events, and the app notifications.
I tend to switch off most notifications from my social media and messaging apps, but for things like seeing who is at the front door, checking text messages, or even with the integration into Home Assistant which tells me about the various things around my home, it’s been really useful.
Of course, I get phone calls on my watch too, it’s something I use sparingly. But it was more the notifications that spurred me to buy an Apple watch many years ago when I started running my own business, on the basis that if it meant that I didn’t miss a customers phone call, or potential customers sales call, then it would pay for itself multiple times over.
16 - SIRI
Siri may not be the best voice assistant, but it can come in handy, particularly with the way it’s been designed to work with the Apple watch where you don’t even have to say the trigger word to use it.
Just hold the watch up and say what you want, and it will work.
Like when I say, open the Garage Door, change the boy's room colour to blue, or turn the heating up to 21 degrees.
17 - MESSAGES
I did find that sending messages with Siri can be frustrating unless you are in a very quiet space. So normally if I do use my watch to send messages, it’s using the on-screen keyboard or sending emojis like a thumbs up or something.
It’s not actually that difficult to work with, and I’ve even been able to send messages whilst I’m swimming. I mean, not whilst actually swimming, but I sit on the side and tap away a message, then carry on swimming. All without too many problems, even though the watch face is covered in water - it all works pretty well!
Of course when messages just fail, sometimes I’ll revert to a phone call. It’s something that I again, do quite sparingly nowadays. Not just because it’s on an Apple watch - it actually works very well on the Apple Watch. But I tend not to take many phone calls nowadays. I’d rather just have people send messages instead so I can deal with them in my own time.
18 - PHONE CALLS
But if you do want to feel like James Bond again, you can make and receive phone calls on the Apple watch, and they sound great!
You can even take calls with any headphones that you’re wearing. So again if you’re out on a run, you’ve left your phone at home and you have a call, someone calls you, and you can use your headphones to take the call.
19 - FINDING YOUR CAR
This is one that I’ve used a handful of times but when it works, it’s great.
I’m really forgetful - one time I took a flight to the Netherlands and realised that I’d totally forgotten where my car was parked. But using the complication on the Wayfinder home screen, it directed me to exactly where my car was parked, so I didn’t have to look like a bit of an idiot, walking up and down the rows of cars parked at the airport!
20 - 1 PASSWORD
If you do need to keep sensitive information on hand. Passwords, maybe pin codes for certain doors or access gates, or pin codes for your credit or debit cards, then having 1Password installed directly on your watch can be a lifesaver.
On the iPhone app, you pre-set the information you want to store on the watch itself. But once that’s done, then you can be anywhere without your phone and still be able to pull up that information on your watch. All of it securely, which has been handy for me a few times when I go through certain security gates with pin codes that get changed from time to time.
🛒 Get £100 when you sign up to Vitality: https://geni.us/Ks4ZZVGgD0o-VIT
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