A month ago, I received my Apple Watch in the mail. While there’s been some talk about the Apple Watch not being as well received as initially hoped for, this is definitely not the case for me. I’m obsessed with my Apple Watch. In fact, this is the first time I’ve consistently worn a watch since my Bar Mitzvah. While the aesthetics are incredible (you can see the moon and planets’ orbit!) the most amazing thing about the Apple Watch is how it’s changed my life.
The “Killer App”
When new devices are created, there are usually killer apps whose existence alone make buying the device worthwhile. WhatsApp, Uber, Instagram and Waze did this for the iPhone, while Netflix and Square Register did it for the iPad. The Apple Watch is still in its infancy leading some to say it doesn’t yet have a killer app, but I completely disagree. In fact, the Apple Watch has two built-in killer apps: Health and Apple Pay.
I’ve never been a gym person. But after unboxing my Watch and seeing the health goals (calories burned, hours stood, minutes walked) not only did I join a gym, I now go every single day. While I was never fat, I was the proud owner of a dadbod. Yet in the span of a month, I’ve lost 13 pounds just from trying to hit my daily exercise goals. Furthermore, the Apple Watch has also motivated me to eat healthier, since I don’t want throw away the effects of a workout by eating junk. Sure there could be improvements (namely 30 minutes for exercise is redundant since it’s a prerequisite for the burn calories goal), and there’s no real measurement for resistance training, but I’m sure future releases will include more comprehensive health info. It’s not hard to envision a future where doctors prescribe patients to wear an Apple Watch to help monitor diabetes, the Watch serving as a sleep tracker, or the Watch helping people stay on a diet by providing them with reminders of what to eat.
The Apple Watch has also revolutionized how I pay. Since most of my shopping is done at Duane Reade and Whole Foods, the majority of my payments over the past month has been via using Apple Pay on my Watch. In fact, I actually find it annoying now to have to pay with a credit card. Thanks to Square’s Apple Pay device and Apple’s brilliant timing of adopting NFC, it’s not hard to envision a future where a majority of places accept Apple Pay. Taking this a step further, the Apple Watch should soon negate the need for carrying a wallet. Already states like Iowa allow digital licenses, reward card functionality will be part of the next update, and NYC Subway Metrocards are only a few years away.
My one major annoyance is…
That since I’m a Sabbath observer, I can’t wear my Apple Watch on the Sabbath. The watch face turns on when I lift my wrist to check the time, and turns off when I move my wrist away. Without getting into the technical details, this is akin to turning on a light. Even if this particular issue could be resolved, other issues arise such as tracking health data and location services. I inquired on the Apple Developer forum about possibly building a Shabbos Mode feature, but sadly this doesn’t look too promising.
It will only get better
As great as the current incarnation of the Apple Watch is, it will only get better with time. This is only a v1 and there are incredible updates in store for watchOS 2. It’ll also be exciting to see if the Watch can create billion dollar companies much like the iPhone did. The Watch’s use cases are endless: widespread Apple Pay, starting a car, unlocking hotel or apartment doors, new types of games etc. Thus, besides the killer Health and Apple Pay features my favorite part of the Apple Watch is knowing that this is only the beginning of a massive revolution. The Apple Watch will change everything.