10 reasons why the Apple Watch makes life easier at work and at home

With the release of Apple’s Watch, I couldn’t imagine strapping something to my wrist that would only tell the time. Why not access the other types of information that have become nearly as important (aka texts, weather, appointments, etc.)? My days are defined by a busy professional schedule and parenting two kids (11 and 9 years). Here’s how the Watch made my life easier from day one.

Sunscreen for recess?

7:15 a.m. On a school day, this is the moment when mothers sprout octopus-like limbs to manage eight simultaneous activities and instructions to get their children out of the door on time. One overcast morning, my daughter questioned why she needed to wear sunscreen for a potentially sunny recess. “Let’s check,” I suggested. I tapped the degrees symbol on the face of my Watch. It displayed an around the clock forecast for the day with hourly sunny/cloudy and temperature forecasts. She wore the sunscreen.

Smartphone alternative: Sure, you could pick up your cell phone, tap the weather app, scroll through the ads to the hourly forecast for the same information. But when efficiency of time and activity is paramount, the simplicity of this effort was joyful.

Don’t burn the cookies

Pop the cookies, potatoes, whatever in the oven, walk away, and say into your phone, “Hey Siri (which wakes up Siri when you lift your wrist), set the timer for 20 minutes.” Then proceed to any room of the house, or the deck, and the timer taps your wrist and buzzes when it’s done. You’re freed from staying close to the timer or carrying an egg timer with you. This is also handy for setting “time outs.”

Turn by turn

The Watch syncs with your map app and taps your wrist for each direction to take. This came in handy when I was walking from Times Square to a conference at the Javitz center in New York. It’s more natural to receive directions, one at a time, on your wrist than carry and check a cell phone. The wrist tap is also handy for driving directions.

Nail salon solution

It’s easier (and safer for your nails) to check your Watch for texts, Facebook, and email at the nail salon.

Where do I need to be now?

Quite simply, my phone is often in my purse or set to vibrate and meeting reminders can go unnoticed. Having reminders pop up on my wrist seems as obvious a use of the traditional watch as telling the time.

Safe riding

When cycling one Saturday morning, I took two phone calls on my wrist. This was safer than pulling my phone from my jersey pocket. The first one confirmed a plan for my son and I took it in a few seconds. The second call was about plans for that evening so I pulled over and moved the call to my phone. Both calls gave me instant, useful information I wouldn’t have received until after my ride.

Healthy heart

After a bicycle ride I can view how many miles I rode and my heart rate hill by hill. I can then track this over time.

Additionally, one night after taking Prednisone for two days to clear up a rash, my heart started racing. I checked the health app on my Watch and clocked my heart rate. Yes, it was as high as when I’d ridden up that hill earlier in the day, but it wasn’t dangerously high. The information allowed me to calm down, take a few deep breaths, and get to sleep.

Make my moment

I write about emerging trends in technology and covered the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in National Harbor, MD during the last week of school. I missed my son’s moving up ceremony from 5th grade and my daughter’s endangered animals presentation. I was happy that this gave my husband a chance to attend (I tend to hog the classroom time), but missed my kids. One afternoon I was sitting in the hallway of the conference center when a text with a video popped up on my Watch. I watched my children laughing and swimming in the pool and felt instantly connected to my family.

Sure, I would have seen this on my phone at some point. But the instant access and intimacy of watching the video on my watch enhanced my sense of connection.

A polite distraction

Checking your watch for the time has been an acceptable distraction for generations (except when it may indicate boredom with the other party or a desire to leave for another, more interesting activity). Checking your Watch when a reminder or text pops up seems more socially acceptable than checking your phone. This is particularly true in meetings and when talking to your children (who pounce on parental distractions by demanding more attention).

Easy introductions

This won’t last for long but having a Watch on your wrist is like walking around with a Golden Retriever puppy on a leash. Strangers approach you and start conversation. The common question is, “Do you like it?”

“Yes,” I answer. “Let me show you why.”

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