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Staff Picks: Our favorite ways to use the Apple Watch

Macworld Staff | May 19, 2015
At 50 minutes past the hour, you'll see Macworld staffers' heads pop up--our Apple Watches are buzzing our wrists again, prompting us to stand, and our coworkers at PCWorld and Greenbot roll their eyes a little as we stretch and pace for one minute exactly to earn another hour in our Stand rings. But that's not the only way the Apple Watch is making its mark on us all. Apple's smartwatch isn't a must-have for everyone, but the more time we spend with it, the more killer use cases each of us finds. Here's how it's making a difference in our lives so far.

At 50 minutes past the hour, you'll see Macworld staffers' heads pop up — our Apple Watches are buzzing our wrists again, prompting us to stand, and our coworkers at PCWorld and Greenbot roll their eyes a little as we stretch and pace for one minute exactly to earn another hour in our Stand rings. But that's not the only way the Apple Watch is making its mark on us all. Apple's smartwatch isn't a must-have for everyone, but the more time we spend with it, the more killer use cases each of us finds. Here's how it's making a difference in our lives so far.

A running buddy and commuting pal

After a few weeks with the Apple Watch strapped to my wrist, I'm still loving (and eagerly watching) the watch's health and fitness features. Is it supremely dorky to pump my fist when I'm halfway to my daily Move goal? It is. No one would do that. I want the watch to quantify everything about me: how many steps I take, how fast my heart is beating, what my pace was on this morning's run. I compare my current stats to days past to get a better idea of my overall fitness. It's all great. But when third-party apps tap into the watch's sensors, and when those apps are tied to Apple's groundbreaking ResearchKit initiative, that's when the possibilities for health-tracking on your wrist will truly become game-changing.

I also love using the watch as a remote control for my iPhone on my daily subway commute. Now I don't have to dig my phone out of my pocket to check the time as I anxiously wait for the train to slide into Grand Central, or to skip to the next song in Spotify. I foolishly imagine that this will cut down my chances of being robbed for my phone.

And I love that I can check the time, control my music, and track my activity on my wrist with one device, where not so long ago I would have had to buy a watch, an iPod, and a fitness band to make that happen. Technology!Caitlin McGarry

Find my iPhone

I love getting taps on my wrist when I'm driving, instead of a voice interrupting my favorite podcasts. And it's my favorite way to control my Apple TV, as long as I don't have to enter any login credentials. I even get a kick out of dictating text messages to my friends. But I was surprised at what wound up being my most-used Apple Watch feature: pinging my iPhone when I've misplaced it in my house again.

I'm always setting down my iPhone somewhere and wandering away, but the loud chime it emits when I press the button in the Control Center — like glance brings me back to my phone every time. I think eventually Apple will add the Watch to Find My iPhone (even if just to show you where it lost the connection with your phone), but for now, being able to ring my iPhone from my Apple Watch is helpful enough for me. — Susie Ochs

 

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