Can I just start by saying yay for Discovery Vitality? We are just loving their get healthy initiative, enabling us to purchase an Apple Watch Sport for R350 🙂 And now we’re signing our souls away for the next two years – running, cycling, stair climbing, doing basically anything to earn points really!
In all seriousness though, I’m just loving the Apple Watch Sport and all its features and functions. I’ve realised I need to wear the watch every day, as I’m only moderately active and need to accumulate the points for Vitality, to avoid paying an installment for my watch at the end of the month. If this accessory switch poses a problem for you, you would need to make sure you reach your goals during the day so you’re able to vary the watches you wear at night – problem solved. The watch has definitely made me more aware of my daily activities though. I find myself taking the stairs instead of the lift and parking further away from the entrance to get extra steps in… It all adds up.
Let’s put Vitality aside for a moment and focus on my favorite features of the Apple Watch:
- The face is fully customizable, even the colours. I’ve chosen the modular face which displays the time, weather, date, sunset and location, activity monitor and battery indicator. It may seem like a lot of info to display on your watch face, but it’s actually really easy to read and access. If that’s not for you, you can go with animated objects like butterflies or flowers that move as you rotate your wrist.
- Access physical activity records easily. The watch gives a full breakdown of your physical activity throughout the day. At a glance you’re able to monitor the following: steps walked, distance walked, calories expended, heart rate (also available on demand) and standing hours. I’m loving the hourly reminder to stand, as once I start pumping out blog posts and editing images I can get quite lost in my computer screen!
- Siri on the watch is superior to Siri on iPhone. Siri in itself is pretty remarkable, but it seems so much more accurate on the watch. There is no audible feedback, but a gentle vibration on your arm tells you she’s listening (yup, my Siri is a female) Siri just gets me, and I use that function quite often, from setting my morning alarm to asking her the whereabouts of my husband! Haha, stalker much?
- The workout function is user-friendly and easy to access. No need for that annoying heart rate monitor around your rib cage when you’re working out, Apple Watch does everything from your wrist. Just set your type of activity and off you go. When running, I get gentle reminders as I pass each kilometer mark, or certain time goals if I choose to set one at the beginning of my workout. You can also swipe through your ‘glances’ to check your pace, heart rate, elapsed time, calories expended etc.
- Navigation works like a treat. When you’re using the navigation function on your phone, and you don’t want that irritating voice on, Apple Watch alerts you to direction changes on your wrist. Sweet!
- Awesome apps work smoothly with the watch – such as Around Me – if you travel a bit, this one’s for you. Around Me, easily accessible from your watch, tells you exactly what’s around you, literally. Whether you’re looking for restaurants, banks, petrol stations, hospitals or parking, Around Me will find it for you. Just ensure that your location services are turned on in your settings. You can even call a cab from your watch, using Uber. You need to have your Uber account set up on your iPhone first, then calling a cab has never been easier.
- Receive message and email notifications. Some may find this annoying, but because I need to be close to my email for work purposes I’ve set this up. I get notifications seamlessly from Apple’s own mail app and Outlook. You can reply to mail with a choice of preset answers, set your own presets, or via dictation, which as I mentioned works really well on the watch. Text messages, Whatsapp, Telegram and Facebook messenger, to name just a few, all function well on the watch as well.
- Social media notifications. I’ve chosen to turn these off, it would just prove to be too much of a distraction. I know myself well enough to be certain of this! But if you wanted all your Facebook, Twitter & Instagram notifications on your arm, it’s your’s for the taking, so to say.
- Use your watch as a remote or presenting tool. Good news for couch potatoes, your Apple TV remote is available on your watch too. Now you don’t even need to stretch for the remote anymore! For those who give Keynote presentations, the watch works beautifully as a remote, and will more than likely score you brownie points with the boss 🙂
- Apple’s wallet is now accessible on Apple Watch as well. Now you’re able to keep your digital cards such as medical aid cards, loyalty cards, boarding passes etc, even closer. We’re just waiting till SA catches up and has scanners available at venues such as gyms, cinemas and the like. I see the boarding pass function is now working at most airports at least.
These are my top ten features of the Apple Watch. Just one more thing though, you need to remember to turn this device off when you fly *and flight attendants everywhere sighed* The list of electronic devices that require powering off during flights is just growing, isn’t it?