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Apple Watch – The Not So Essential List Of Apps

Apple Watch

Apple Watch – Well it has happened. I gave in and bought myself an Apple Watch. I initially got one for my wife for her birthday, but I couldn’t resist in getting one for myself too. You might be thinking why would I be writing about it here? To tell you the truth, I am quite impressed with it, especially as a first version. But what is it about the Apple Watch that makes it worthwhile for me?

Apple Watch

Activity App – I have been playing around with this watch quite a bit over the past few days. Of all the features on the watch, I like the Activity app the most. Believe it or not, the reminder to stand up every now and then is making a huge difference. As a developer, I sit most of the day. So I actually value the reminder to take a break and stretch my legs. I find that I am not as sore and stiff from sitting the whole day, which happens so easily when one is wired in and coding.

Answering Calls – So this is one feature I never thought that I would use….. ever. But let me tell you, it is extremely convenient answering my iPhone via my watch and being able to have a conversation with someone while both my hands are free to continue coding. No more holding my phone with one hand while typing or even sitting with my neck crooked in order to pinch my phone between my shoulder and head. Of course, receiving a call is the ideal opportunity to take that stand break. If you receive many as I frequently do, the watch is indispensable.

Music – Talking about being wired in… I really dig the ability to use it as a remote control to skip between songs on iTunes. Set it up as a remote and off I go.

Battery – Probably the most impressive thing for me is the battery life. I have probably the most notifications coming through to my iPhone of anybody I know. I have selectively pushed most of the important notifications to my watch. These include all emails, calls, iMessages, Weather notifications, HipChat notifications as well as other apps such as 24me, MediSafe, BriefMe, CNN etc. I also reply to many of the messages, take calls and interact with the notifications I receive in some or other way. Throughout a whole day of use I am surprised to see the watch with 62% battery remaining at 9:30 pm.

Apple Watch Face

Also considering my iPhone is two years old, I am suitably impressed with it’s battery life after being paired with the Apple Watch. I actually expected it to take more of a knock, but it has remained quite stable.

BriefMe – I love this app. I can get the most relevant news in a flash and that is what I want. I don’t want long-winded articles or opinions pieces to read through. If you have an Apple Watch and like to keep up to date with the latest news, get BriefMe.

HipChat – At the company I work at, we use HipChat to communicate with each other. It has an incredible iOS application with a very responsive Apple Watch application. Staying in contact with my team is something HipChat just does right.

XE Currency – I am a sucker for finance apps. XE Currency is by far one of my favorites. It has no bells or whistles. It gives me the information I need and it does so in a glance.

MediSafe – Having this application remind me to take medication at a specific time might not sound like a big deal to most people. Enter the flu season. Try having two kids who are both sick and need to take several different medications throughout the day at different times. The parents reading this will know all about it. It’s a nightmare and MediSafe is a fantastic help.

24me – What would this list be without a calendar/reminder app. One that I have found a new love for is 24me. On the iPhone I didn’t really see much need for it. On my wrist however it has taken on a whole new dimension.

Knock – This app allows you to unlock your Mac with your iPhone or Watch. I included it in this list because as a utility app, it is quite convenient. I work in front of a PC, but I have a Mac to the side of me. Not having to reach over to unlock it each time is actually quite convenient. Call me a snob.

Lastly – Oh, it also does a pretty good job of telling the time too. 🙂

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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