On April 25, soon after the watches showed up in Apple stores, I tried one out. With the Apple Watch mounted on my relatively useless left hand I could operate the controls with my slightly less useless right hand. I ordered my watch online later that evening. Apple indicated that I should expect delivery in June.
The watch arrived at my house, via UPS, on June 3rd. I would have 14 days to evaluate the watch before the window for returns expired. I won’t need 14 days.
I Told Myself It Was about Safety
Sure Hands lift system to transfer from wheelchair to toilet, I need to be certain I can obtain emergency help if my phone is out of reach. I had researched several home emergency services, which typically required a pendant around my neck or some similar, dedicated device. I didn’t like the idea of a wearable device that I might only use once in a blue moon.
The Apple Watch does the job, although I had to create a work-around. When I said “Hey Siri, call 911,” I got a message stating that this feature is only supported on the iPhone, not on the watch. I called my local police department and asked if there was a ten digit phone number I could dial that would get me into the local 911 system. There is, and I programmed that as one of my favorites. I can call that number by saying, “Hey Siri, call emergency.” The only drawback is that the people who answer the phone won’t get 911 location data on my call. I’ll need to tell them my address. I decided that is something I could live with, but I emailed Apple asking them “what the hell?”
Note: Apple responded to my request in a positive way. Read about that here.
The Watch Provides More Than Emergency Communication
By using my right hand to push on the screen or on one of two buttons, I can do so much more, including answering phone calls. With a swipe I can access things like my heart rate, ESPN, music player controls, mapping program, and more. By pressing the home button I have access to apps such as weather, calendar, music, email, photos, etc. There are also a ton of activity monitoring features, none of which I care about other than heart rate.
Can I Justify the $400 Expense?
I’m in a unique position. I have difficulty operating an iPhone, but I can operate an Apple Watch. Because I live in this functional middle ground, the watch is an ideal companion to my iPhone. For healthy people, it’s more difficult to justify an Apple Watch unless you take advantage of the activity features. I’m glad Apple came out with this product, because it has made my daily life easier and made my day-to-day existence safer. And yes, it has temporarily satisfied my hunger for new technology, at least until the next great gizmo comes out.
If you’re wondering whether an Apple Watch is for you, go to an Apple Store and take it for a test drive. If you have questions about this device, or you’re an expert and have advice for me, write me at email@EnjoyingTheRide.com.
This is Mitch, signing out at 4:31 PM on Tuesday, June 9, 64°, 82% battery.