I love my Apple watch – series 2

On April 24th, 2017 I finally gave in to peer pressure and bought myself an Apple watch series 2… and I am LOVING IT! Read on to see why I finally decided it was worth the cost (after MUCH resistance), and why I am loving it now.


For the LONGEST time I just didn’t see the point.  “You want me to pay HOW MUCH for watch?”

Now granted, it also keeps track of steps and heart beats per minute… but so does a Fitbit for about 1/2 the price.

So — while I’ve mostly only ever used Macs (my first computer back in like 1989 was a Macintosh Plus)…. and while most of my best friends are all Apple users, or at least the ones who know enough about computers to know better — to the extent that I have any number of friends who are or used to be high level engineers at the company… and I am friends with, heck for a short time I was even housemates with, Danial Kottke — employee #3 at apple back when they were still working in the garage (this would be the guy who Steve Jobs used to get stoned with but who he ultimately refused to give stock options … if you know your apple history)

ALL that said, I have …. since it’s the pre-official release order period began on April 10, 2015 … been resisting buying an Apple watch. Till quite recently I had not been convinced that the watch was going to be worth the around $600 it ultimately cost me… I mean “hey, really, what does it do that my iPhone doesn’t?”

Ultimately a few attributes finally sold me on the watch…

Firstly… I REALLY did want an item that would keep track of my exercise for me (just good food choices was hitting the bottom end of it’s effectiveness in terms of getting back to good health). And, while the iPhone DOES track your steps (most folks don’t realize it, but if you go to the phone’s health app, even WITHOUT owning an apple watch, the phone will do this: just click on activity — the image of the bicycle — and be amazed) it does NOT keep track of ALL your movement, so it can’t give you accurate idea of how much you burn on a daily basis.

A Fitbit would keep track of complete energy burn (within a margin of error of course), but the one I decided I would ultimately want, only cost around $250 less than the apple watch. So, the question then became, what did the apple watch have to offer that was worth and extra $250 to me?

The first thing I found was, the apple watch comes with an app that will connect to the iPhone camera and act as remote control for taking pictures… as in you can set up the camera some place, SEE the same image it does while … but while looking at the watch’s face, and then take a picture. As someone who is always wandering around by myself taking photos… that has a value to me… maybe worth $25 to 50 to me…. so not $250

A photo of me using my brand new watch to try to take a photo of myself with my iphone, which was propped up across the room

Then after much humming and hawing I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a new computer (the mid 2015 macbook that still had the magsafe power cord). MY computer had been an 2011 macbook pro, which had served me well while teaching in S. Korea, but that had ultimately started to slow down and began to have ‘issues.’ After Dad died I took possession of dad’s 2013 macbook pro, and gave my brother EVERY OTHER piece of mac equipment dad had (none of it portable to drag around the country with me). I then made my old 2011 the backup computer and relied on dads for daily use. Then Dad’s computer bit the big one, and a very good friend who (for a living) writes the training manuals that professional apple support staff read in order to learn how to do their jobs… yah, he’s a HIGH level apple geek… was kind enough to move the hard drive from dad’s computer into an EVEN OLDER than my 2011 one, that he had lying around the house…. so the 2011 once again became my main, and this newer drive in a much older computer became the spare.

So clearly, time for a new computer. After I bought it I discovered that with these new computers, if you’re wearing your apple watch you don’t have to type in the security code every time you wake up the computer… the watch will unlock it for you. NIFTY! But let’s face it, that’s worth may another $20 to me… I can always type the code in myself, it’s a pain, but it’s sort of like buying a remote control to save yourself from getting up off your ass to change the channel. Kind of counter productive to the whole trying to force myself to be more active thing.

And then on April 22, 2017 I finally read THE ARTICLE that finally cinched it for me… an apple watch attribute that was most definitely worth $250 to me… so much so that while reading through it I said to myself, “OH, ok, WILL be buying the apple watch THIS week!”
The apple watch has a “HELP!!! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” feature. The article, titled, “How Apple Watch can now literally save your life” explained how on the side of the watch is a button… it is the same button you are supposed to press in order to power down the watch… if you double touch on that button it pulls up apple pay…   
however … and not one friend had mentioned this to me…
starting in June 2016 they added a feature where if you hold that button down and KEEP holding it down, the watch (assuming your phone is near it) will call 911, and you can talk right into the watch to tell them what’s wrong… no struggling with the iPhone, unlocking it, finding the phone app, finding dial window… and hoping your not unconscious before you actually dial 911… here all you have to do is press the button and hold…

And WAIT, that’s not all! The watch will send your GPS coordinates to emergency services automatically, AND it will forward to them all your medical information (allergies, etc).

It will do this NO MATTER which country you are in (keep in mind that while a few countries use 911, not all of them do — here’s the list) … so if you’re in Japan, and you don’t know WHAT the number is for their emergency services (it’s 119) … it does not matter.

AND on top of that, the watch will immediately contact all the people you’ve chosen as emergency contacts and tell them something is up, and where you are (allowing them to figure out which are the nearest hospitals you might get taken to, etc).

As a single woman traveling alone… this was INVALUABLE!!!  $250?! SURE, it’s a STEAL at that price… hell as far as I’m concerned it’s worth the whole $600 and every other feature is icing on the cake. The only downside is you DO have to have the iPhone near you… even if it’s down at the bottom of your purse or deep down in a pocket… if they make one that will call 911 sans the cell phone, I’ll buy that one too.

So the next day, I kid you not, I was at the local apple store trying to decide between the two sizes of Apple Watch screen 38mm designed for women, or the bigger 42″, since I was going to be using it with my camera I figured bigger might be better even if it looked funky on my wrist. The previous night I had also read something about women who had the 38mm (and trying to use it for MORE than just time) complaining that the screen was just too small and that those 4mm of difference from the men’s size were actually important in terms of it being useful as more than just a watch.

So the Apple sales person assisting me in making my decision, and was trying to find a iPhone camera in the store that we could try with one of the in-store Apple Watchs, so I could decide if those few more inches of screen were worth the awkward sizing (I have TINY wrists, even for a girl). On that note, He was and extremely cute and completely deaf guy, and working with him was highly amusing. I think I sort of impressed him by how I barely batted an eye at the fact that he was deaf, and we had a lot of fun as we type back-and-forth to each other on his iPad, while using pantomime where possible.

Other than that I had decided which watch I wanted, based on weight, color, water resistance, and which crystal face I wanted (ever style watch uses different materials, so there are pros and cons for each). I wanted the LIGHTEST one possible, with a scratch resistant watch face that didn’t have a lot of reflection to it (making it easier to see in daylight)…. which happily enough also happens to be one of the cheapest ones to buy. With it I opted for the white sports band.
From the outset I intended to buy leather bands from eBay, but started to read about how some of these much cheaper bands ($12 to $40+ for the apple ones) don’t always hold the watch securely and if the watch drops to the floor and crashes from one of these, your apple warranty won’t cover it… so apple bands it was. But I’ve started to buy them in multiple colors and mixing and matching (sometimes I do one half white the other half black, etc). The other day one of my old TA’s turned me on to the fact that for this month only (because it’s pride month) apple was offering a pride watch band on their website, so I bought one. I have SO many gay friends…
As to why I’m loving it… I started out using the Mickey Mouse watch face because… well me… you know, lover of all things Disney, has held a Disney pass for two years now… etc.
But once I got more used to watch and learned how to use the settings and stuff, I actually now only use that watch face when entertaining little kids. Instead I use the one that help track your movement… A constant visual reminder that I haven’t done my 30 minutes of aerobic exercise yet…
I also love the sharing function…  I currently share my exercise stats with six friends… know what they have done vs what I have done keeps me moving… and that there’s a potential boyfriend on the list doesn’t hurt either. I find myself checking my movement stats like some people check sports stats… and watching my daily moment numbers go up is gratifying, as is the ease with which I seem to be able to do it as long as I keep at it…
Happily I’ve not had cause to use the 911 function… other than to show it to other people. Knock on wood, no evil eye… hopefully I’ll never actually need it, but having it there gives me some peace of mind.

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