Apple Watch Saved My Life, A Review

Post Date:August 03, 2018

Daftly Digital focuses on Web technology and Online Marketing helping you "build a better web for your business", but we occasionally look at tech that you might find interesting and fun - we call this Daftly Diversions. 

It is no secret that Apple has transformed how we interact with our computers our phones and our music. In the process Apple became the largest consumer device manufacturer in the world, and as a matter of fact the largest Company in the world. While the iPhone continues to be the most visible product, the Apple Watch has quietly placed Apple in a unique position starting in February 2018, Apple is the largest Watch Manufacturer in the world. 

I have been an Apple early adopter on many products, it took a couple of years before deciding the Apple Watch was something I needed or wanted. So what converted me into an Apple Watch owner? 

It happened sometime between a tragic loss in my family and my 50th birthday. I made a decision to lose some weight and get in better shape. That is where the Apple watch turned from a curiosity into a device I felt I needed. 

While the Apple Watch has many applications, for me the feature that finally sold me was ability of the Apple Watch to track my exercise activities. The Activities App tracks three basic items, the number of active calories burn called the Move ring, your Exercise minutes and the number of hours you simply get up and move around, called Stand Hours. 

The goals are set by you and they are represented by three rings you have to "close" each day to meet your goals. Apple has taken the gamification of these activities and integrated it with the watch and your iPhone. The app on the watch will give you feedback on your progress and encouragement with messages such as “keep it going.”

There are rewards that are given for meeting new goals, stringing together consecutive days of activities and special awards for milestones. These are given as badges which you can view on your phone. 

It integrates with the workout app which you can use for walking, running, biking, swimming (on the water tight Apple Watch 2 or 3) and more. The device measures movement and heart rate to apply minutes of activity and calories. While the whole system is a great way to get on track with improving your health, it does have drawbacks. For example, after 8 hours of backbreaking yard work one day I received 22 minutes of activity. Stand hours often get missed as well, and there is no way to manually enter or change what is recorded. This requires some self-monitoring to be certain everything is getting recorded. I have learned to activate workouts when doing yard work or other activity the device may otherwise ignore. 

While most apps require you have your iPhone nearby to operate, the workout app doesn’t. 

The watch also gives you music on Bluetooth headphones without having to have your phone on you. 

The Watch 3 will also give you iPhone free calling. 

If keeping your health data long-term is important make sure to enable iCloud backup services or set up encrypted backups through iTunes. My first iOS update after getting the watch failed, and months of activity data was lost.   

When it comes to watch faces, there a many to choose from including a classic Mickey Mouse. 

Answering call on the watched made me feel like Dick Tracy and controlling a meeting presentations was cool. 

What I liked most was the activity and workout apps, which gave me motivation to get healthier and while trying to improve my time during cycling workouts, I discovered I had a heart blockage that would have been fatal. The Activity tracking capabilities and how I was able to leverage that was key, and how the Apple Watch saved my life. 

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