Five Things the Apple Watch Is Good for Besides Telling Time

After owning an Apple watch for a few years now, it has become pretty important in my daily life for the reasons below. These reasons may not apply to everyone, but you can judge for yourself!

Apple Watch
Apple Watch

1. Not Missing Text Messages

Before I had the Apple Watch, I would regularly miss texts or other types of messages from clients, since I would leave it on my desk on silent. Sometimes I wouldn’t see an urgent message until hours later.

So, probably the most useful feature of the Apple Watch for me is that it vibrates on my wrist every time I get a text or Slack message.

While this is great for business reasons, it might not be so great for your work/life balance, especially if you want to have your free time for yourself. You’ll have to be the judge as to whether this is a desirable feature for you or not.

2. Tracking Your Running

The original reason I wanted an Apple Watch was to be able to track my jogging without having to carry my whole iPhone with me. The original Apple Watch didn’t have its own GPS. But as soon as it did, I got it.

I use the Strava app to track my running. While it does work most of the time, occasionally it grossly underestimates my running time and reports an artificially fast speed. More on this here.

Aside from this, if you want to track fitness, some sort of wearable device is extremely helpful!  Even with this bug, the Apple Watch is still useful in this respect.

3. Finding Your Phone

I hate to admit it, but using my watch to help me find my phone is probably one of the most useful features of the Watch for me. Press an icon on your watch and your phone will make a “sonar ping” type of noise so you can find it. This has saved me tons of time and stress!

4. Storing Tickets and Passes

With the iPhone Wallet app, you can save tickets and passes to your phone, and then just have it scanned when you go to your event. I’ve used this as a backup way to store museum and train tickets. I also use it to check into my gym.

I could also see this being really useful if you’re at some sort of poolside bar and want to buy drinks without carrying your wallet, since the Apple Watch is waterproof, although I haven’t actually done this yet!

5. Taking Calls When Your Phone Isn’t Nearby

A feature that has unexpectedly come in handy a few times is the ability to receive calls on the Apple Watch.  This was useful when I was far from my phone (but still within Bluetooth range), and got a call, or if I just didn’t want to run around to find my phone. 

So, while I would not generally use my watch to initiate a phone call, it can come in handy to receive a call in a pinch, and the sound quality is surprisingly good.

LTE or No LTE?

The biggest decision you’ll need to make when purchasing your watch is whether to get it with a cellular connection (LTE), so that you can receive texts, make calls, and use Internet features without carrying your phone.

I got mine without LTE, but there have been a few times when I wished I had it, albeit not many. But then again, the non-LTE watch was cheaper, and the LTE service costs about $10/month.  Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but over a ten-year period, that’s $1200!  

So, I’m kind of on the fence about LTE. You’ll have to make the call based on your own situation and needs.

Part of it is about the need to stay connected.  Do you really want to get work phone calls when you’re working out or on a run?  


I hope this has helped you decide whether the Apple Watch or other wearable devices might be useful to you.  Let me know what you use your Apple Watch for! – Brian

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