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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.

Must...close...circles

You know what I both love and loathe about the Apple Watch? The Activity app, and its highly effective rings. You see, I cannot end the day with an incomplete ring. It drives me crazy. Something about an almost-filled circle with a wide gap interrupting the flow just nags me whenever I look at it.

So, what's a lady to do? I go for walks around the block (Move ring: Check). I'll workout for an extra five to ten minutes (Exercise ring: Check). I stand for at least a minute every hour when my Watch reminds me to get my butt up and move for a bit — which always makes me laugh, because most of the time I get these nudges while I'm at work, and I'll notice several other Macworld editors getting up to walk/skip/dance/wiggle around at the same time (ten minutes to the hour, folks!).

Kudos (and fist-shake) to your design team, Apple, because the ring system clearly works. — Leah Yamshon

Shazam magic

I've been using the Shazam app to discreetly find out what song is playing at a bar or at a shop. It's a lot less bothersome than taking out my iPhone, unlocking it, finding the Shazam app, opening it and tapping to get the song. Now with the Watch app, finding out what the music is that's playing around me is a lot easier.

I also love the secret Force Touch feature that allows the Shazam app to constantly "listen" for music throughout your daily routine, creating a playlist of all the songs you encountered during the day. Shazam pairs nicely with Spotify to be able to automatically create Spotify playlists from your Shazam-tagged tracks too. — Oscar Raymundo

Discreet sports updates

I don't usually follow boxing, but I wanted to see the bout between Manny Pacqiuao and Floyd Mayweather — it was dubbed the Fight of the Century, after all. But as the opening bell of the fight sounded, I sat in the audience of a community talent show, listening to a tone-deaf crooner butcher "Luck Be a Lady" and watching a woman whose talent was "storytelling."

Fortunately, I had the Apple Watch and a sympathetic brother-in-law who texted me a round-by-round account of the fight. I read the texts on the Apple Watch between acts and during cringeworthy moments when I just had to look away. I cupped my hand around the watch to block the glare and tapped with my thumb — something that's not so easy to do on the iPhone.

It's a lot easier to be discreet with the Apple Watch and that's what I like best about it so far. If I had just my iPhone at the show, I'm sure the screen would've caught the attention of the folks around me and on stage, despite my best efforts to cut down the glare. But with the Apple Watch, no one noticed — except for when I let out a slight yelp after the ninth round. — Roman Loyola

 

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