I was just reading an article in Venturebeat how the Apple Watch is only for Apple Heads, nerds, and people wealthy enough to buy one just for the novelty value. I couldn’t disagree more. Sorry Venturebeat, the Apple Watch doesn’t need the camera to change everything…it already has!
After using the Apple Watch (green sport edition) for just over a week, not only is it one of the coolest devices I’ve purchased in a long time, it’s also helping me monitor my fitness, pushing me to be more active, creating new windows of time to talk on the phone, and it’s keeping my phone in my pocket instead of always in my face.
Also, it really fits well (like a normal watch) and is comfortable. I’m no fashionaista, but do appreciate a little style. In the Apple Watch, Apple absolutely has figured out a way to intersect the worlds of fashion and technology.
Here’s a quick snapshot of my experience with the Apple Watch, why I would reccommed it, as well as some proposed feature request.
Apple Watch for Measuring and Monitoring Fitness Goals
When Apple Watch created its heart rate monitor, workout selections, and dashboard, it absolutely did so with fitness measurement as a primary goal. I struggle to fit fitness into my life, which is the whole inspiration behind creating the Excy portable exercise bike in the first place. Excy has made it easier and more convenient to squeeze in a 20-minute workout everyday, and I absolutely love using Excy with the Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitor.
The Apple Watch doesn’t require a chest strap, which makes it easy to measure workout intensity anywhere. You can quickly glance at your watch to see your Heart Rate and determine whether to increase or decrease intensity. You have several options to select a workout, including Rower, Indoor Cycle, Other, Elliptical, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Run, Outdoor Cycle, Indoor Run, and Stair Stepper. They’ve made it very easy to set a calorie burn workout goal, as well as quickly navigate through your history so you can try and beat your best workout. It also provides a great workout dashboard with a specific overview of your average heart rate, as well as calorie burn, duration of workout, and active vs. resting calories during the workout.
Another great feature: If someone calls or texts me in the middle of the workout, I don’t have to grab my phone. Instead I can simply look at my wrist and decide to answer the phone or text using the Apple Watch itself without ever reaching for the phone. If you take the call, you can easily pause your workout or continue your workout while talking through the Apple Watch.
A feature that I’d love to have is to be able to customize my own workout in the “Other” tab. For example, give the “Other” workout a name like “Excy Arms” or “Excy Legs.” I personally would prefer for the Apple Watch to only measure “Exercise” if I have designated it as a workout. Right now, if you chase your kids or do something Apple considers exercise, it goes into your daily “Exercise” total. My preference would be to keep them separate, where workouts only count for “Exercise” and everything else goes into the “Move” section. I’d also love an interval map capturing the fluctuations of my heart rate for the entire duration of a workout, especially a high intensity interval training workout.
The Apple Watch is phenemonel for fitness, which you can read more about here.
Apple Watch for Accomplishing Health Goals to Be Less Sedentary
Not unlike most Americans with sedentary jobs, I sit A LOT during the day. With so much research showing that “sitting disease,” as MayoClinic.com calls it, shortens our life expectancy and increases risk of heart disease and cancer, I have found the Apple Watch very effective at reminding me to stand more during the day.
When the Apple Watch first “tapped” my wrist to tell me to stand-up, it felt a little disruptive, especially when I was in the middle of working. But then I started “listening” and doing it, and felt a sense of accomplishment moving my body. I started to enjoy the reminder and have tried to force myself to stand more when possible, even while enjoying my morning coffee or in standing on the sidelines of my son’s baseball games vs. sitting. I’m now also training myself to look away from my computer screen and to forcefully blink my eyes during my new stand-up routine to avoid many eye complications associated with too much screen time like Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which is thought to be the leading cause of dry eye disease. I am someone who struggles to get to 10,000 steps a day and rarely hit the marker, but because Apple counts total “Move calories,” I don’t feel like a failure for not getting in the steps when it validates that at least I’m moving my body when taking the stairs, playing with my son, etc. Overall, the Apple Watch is a great reminder to get moving throughout the day, including standing and walking more.
Apple Watch for Communication
When I purchased my Apple Watch, I had no idea I would enjoy being able to talk and text from the device. Sometimes we are all just too busy to talk on the phone and I’m really bad about this, instead choosing to text or let it go to voice mail until I have time to call back. Because the Apple Watch is hands-free, I’ve taken several phone calls when I otherwise would not have. This includes talking with my mom for an hour while I put together something I ordered from Amazon. Or, taking a quick call from my husband while playing catch with my son without ever taking my phone out of my pocket. I’ve even taken a call while cooking, and it was great to not have to hold the phone up to my ear with my shoulder. The speaker could be a little louder to make it even easier to hear the other person, but it’s pretty good overall. The voice recognition for responding to text messages is also very accurate and easy to use.
I’m sure I will have a lot more feedback after using the Apple Watch longer. But after a week, I haven’t had one regret in ordering the Apple Watch and highly recommend it! Will it get cooler over time? Absolutely. But, if you’re looking for a great fitness heart rate monitor, inspiration to get moving, and a sleek way to talk to friends and family more often, why wait?