Convince me why I need an Apple watch

I stopped wearing a watch several years back, as my iPhone suffices for time keeping, but am Apple watch curious. The last few years, I’ve noted each generation of Apple watch drop and I’ve yet to see the killer app that convinces me to buy one. The iPhone has so may critical functionalities and apps that I use on the daily basis. I have yet to see any great functionality that the Apple watch brings.

Yes, it would be nice to wake up with a buzzing on my wrist, so my wife could sleep in. And yes, some of the heart rate functions are of interest. I get plenty of exercise without monitoring my steps, so no value there.

But honestly, I don’t get it. Am I missing something? It seems like a very cool toy. I’d love to hear some substantial conversation of what functionality the Apple watch brings, other than incremental convenience of not having to take my phone out of my pocket. I guess I figured by series 4 Apple would have figured out something more compelling.

Please take the above as it is meant, an honest inquiry into what I can get out of this technology. I don’t mean to demean Apple watch users, but I am seriously puzzled by the enthusiasm. When I ask friends with Apple watches, I get vague answers, so I am expecting the MPU community will provide more substance. Thanks!

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If you have a MacBook, iPad, iPhone; do you really need the watch? Great question?

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The most compelling use cases I’ve encountered:

  1. Activity/run tracking
  2. For safety and convenience (cellular model): the ability to go for a run/walk without having to take the phone
  3. Fall detection (a nice safety feature for the elderly and others prone to falls, and for those who live alone)
  4. Heart rate monitoring/alerts
  5. Convenience of dealing with Siri and notifications without having to mess with the phone

From what you’ve said, the first three aren’t really selling points. The last two might have some value — but probably not enough to justify the cost.

I think the compelling features/selling points are #2 and #3, but they don’t apply to everyone.

There is no compelling reason to own an Apple Watch. The Watch is a sort of dongle / extension of the phone. The phone can do more. The phone will always do more than the Watch. The Watch cannot do anything better than any other device. The Watch will never have any apps that are more compelling on the Watch than on the phone or iPad.

That said, I like my Watch, I wear it most of the day and night, and I want to eventually get a Watch 4. Only because it is much more convenient for what it does for me (time, phone calls, messages, timers, alarms, OmniFocus quick capture, control my Music subscription, listen to podcasts) than the phone.

If you don’t think some or any of those things are convenient: you don’t need a Watch.


I really love having the current temperature and rain probability on my wrist.
I also am a heavy user of the overcast app when I drive.

Echoing @anon41602260, it’s just another interface for the phone. If you have cellular, it’s just a limited phone.
Thing I like:

  • Sometimes not having to type my password for my MBP (doesn’t always work)
  • Duo lets my log in to school with a tap after I send a push, rather than typing a code (doesn’t always work)
  • Controlling Overcast and Audible (FF and Rew) while driving
  • Saying, “Hey Siri, unlock the door” when walking up the drive with arms loaded (doesn’t always work)
  • Dropping a note in Bear as I think of something while driving
  • I like the simple watch face - a lot
  • Activity tracking

Add that all up, probably not worth the price (3rd gen), but I wanted one.

Walking directions in an unfamiliar city - no pulling out expensive phone on every street corner
Activity - the swimming lap counter took me from non swimmer to 4-5K a week
Subtle buzz on the wrist in a meeting when phone on silent
And more.

One unusual one for me - one of the rehearsal venues I go to every week is a phone signal black hole. Often I am on call and need to be contactable (What’s your job?). I can put my phone by the door in the one corner of the room that gets a signal. Because it connects to the watch I get a watch notification if it rings (ringtone not easy to hear in the throes of a big band number…). Has bailed me out a few times…

Of all these the watch has paid for itself many times over with the 20lbs I have lost…


One cool thing. If you frequently log into O365 or other Microsoft sites online that use Microsoft Authenticator then the two-factor confirmation request can go directly to the Watch. Touch “Approve” and you’re logged in. This is the best implementation of multi-factor authentication I’ve seen.


I understand that you need convincing, but me personally, the Apple Watch does not need to convince me or anyone else to buy it…
I will buy this beauty for myself for XMas :slight_smile:

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Most of my reasons have already been expressed, but here’s another one that I discovered after I started wearing my Watch: The ability to quickly identify spam phone calls and then flick them off my wrist as if they were specks of dust.

This is especially handy in Iowa, where the presidential election season starts much, much earlier than in most other states, and the unwanted calls seem as plentiful as the corn.


Yes, if it helps your fitness and health it is priceless!

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There are many areas in which I use my Apple Watch ( workouts, boarding tickets, phone replacement while not taking my phone with me, walking directions, etc. )

But the real use case for me is that it reminds me to take my medical (I am affected by RLS and if I do not take every evening my medical, I will have a serious problem getting to sleep). There is a little app that reminds me to take my pill and that runs also on the Apple Watch - as I am not always carrying my phone around when I’m at home, that works perfectly for me.
That is my most important use case - but obviously not everybody has that need :slight_smile:

@calmaniac when I read this topic it’s actually kinda funny how similar your opinion on the Apple Watch is compared to mine.
I’ve been holding off on the Apple Watch ever since its initial release thinking it’s a cool toy, but not being able to see how it fits into my habits & lifestyle.

For me it really changed after having thought and rethought time & time again on how I could incorporate the Watch into my daily life, trying to justify spending $399 on a gadget that I wasn’t really sure would fit into my way of living.

What finally sent me over the edge was the presentation of the S4 & the fall detection as well as the ECG feature, having a heart condition running in the family I figured that the ECG as well as the improve of the afib detection would be a health feature I’d appreciate.
Sure I’ve been wanting to find a heart rate monitor for working out, but haven’t previously found that I could justify the $399 solely for that feature.

Another thing that pushed me off the edge was that I stopped trying to figure out how to incorporate the Watch into my habits & daily life, instead thinking I want the afib detection - the rest of the features is just a bonus, the Watch actually being a watch is one of them.

Anyway, after this rant my advice to you is, stop trying to justify buying the watch, or figuring out how to use all of the features, and focus on what you need the most in your daily life.
If the watch fill that need, get it - and the rest of the features will probably be incorporated into your lifestyle along the way (that’s what I hope will happen to me, anyway, when the watch arrives) :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t have an apple watch yet, instead a cheap fitness tracker from huawei, but being able to see notifications without pulling out the phone is a very welcome comfort feature. Another one for me would be hearing podcasts with overcast.

In general, this is a completely wrong mindset when approaching complex applications and technology. Whey I first bought Keyboard Maestro, I haven’t any use for it for, maybe, a month. At some point, when you know the capabilities, you start to see how you could use it.

What comes in mind with AW immediately would be Drafts, Calendar notifications and so on. Reduces friction. Also walkie talki is a nice feature if you have a GF/wife.

For me: Notifications on the wrist are more convenient than taking out the phone and looking at it. A minute or two ago I got a phone call while I was in the middle of writing a reply to this very forum. I glanced at my wrist, saw it was a number I didn’t recognize, and tapped the REJECT button, all without being interrupted from what I’m doing. I barely had to lift one hand from the keyboard!

Similarly, I also use it to check messages

I also like it as a workout tracker and podcast controller.

I check the weather on it too.

In the car, I use Apple Maps and the Watch for turn-by-turn directions. No more robo-voice interrupting my podcast; the Watch nudges my wrist when it’s time to glance at Maps for my next turn.

Over time, I’m doing more app-checking on the Watch rather than the phone. But honestly, other than the use cases above, it’s often easier to take my phone out of my pocket than it is to fiddle with the Watch.

As for Siri: I have a Series 2 watch and Siri is terrible on it. I’m in no rush to upgrade, however.

I just replied to another thread with this, so apologies for essentially a double post, but this is relevant. :slight_smile:

Things I do with my Watch throughout the week, every week, for years now:

  • Control audio playback in Music and TuneIn Radio on my iPhone
  • Have Siri add or remove items from my shopping list or other lists in Reminders
  • Ask Siri to remind me at time or location to do something
  • Take phone calls or quickly dismiss calls I don’t want to answer
  • Quick reply to messages by way of drawing out short messages, emojis, or predefined texts
  • Shazam music
  • Request a Lyft
  • Automatically unlock/lock my Mac
  • Turn by turn directions while walking or driving using haptic feedback and not even having to look at it or my phone to know which direction to turn
  • Wallet: boarding passes, tickets to shows, etc etc
  • Pay for stuff everywhere!

Yes, I realize a lot of these things you can do with your iPhone, but not all of them and the ease of use and amount of hands-freeing and time saving (even if they’re little bits of time, they add up quickly) the Watch provides is indispensable to me.

There’s no longer a Lyft app in the Apple Store. Some sleuthing turned up that they removed it last spring as did Twitter, google maps, and a few others. I bring this up because it makes me a little nervous about the future of the watch.

I see this is a rather old query.

I bought my first AppleWatch about four months ago. I can think of lots of reasons to buy one, not all of them compelling.

The main reason I bought a Series 5 Watch is for the fall protection. At least three people I knew well probably would not have DIED had they had this incredible little device! No exaggeration.

I compared it to prices of “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” Lifeline type services and the AppleWatch was consistently more inexpensive, especially when you consider that you can use it for years.

When I first heard David talk about the fall detection a few years ago I thought “I have to get this device!”

I only wish I had gotten it sooner as it would have helped me out a great deal.

Rather recently I was falling a lot and breaking bones probably due to medication interaction and osteoporosis. But it was hard pinpointing it. At one point I hit my head hard. Fortunately, my landlord was right outside my door and he heard me. Another time, I couldn’t get up because I had broken my ankle, fortunately I had my Android phone there and I called a friend who helped me up.

Both times I would have the AppleWatch with its phone on my wrist to help me out. I no longer worry about falling.

A couple of years ago a neighbor beat me up pretty bad. Had I had the AppleWatch I would have been able to summon the Police. A perpetrator will usually run like hell if he knows the Police are on their way.

I couldn’t do that with a iPhone alone.

“Excuse me. Let me take out my phone to call the Police” wouldn’t fly.

It would be a LOT easier to get to your watch. And Siri can call for you! I just checked.

The AppleWatch can put you at ease which actually makes you less likely to get mugged. I believe it is essential, especially for women.

Not only did I buy the AppleWatch, I bought a lil iPhone SE. I didn’t have an iPhone.

Furthermore, using the AppleWatch will make you feel like Dick Tracy. You look and feel cool.

But at what price– some peace of mind???

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The main reason for me is the silence. I love that my phone is always silent, never vibrates, never lights up.

To me that is the number one benefit of my Watch. It feels so odd when I’m not wearing my watch and my phone vibrates!

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Honestly, it’s just a nice toy.
Sleep tracking: when I feel like crap, I can see a graph that shows I didn’t sleep enough. And Saturday I woke up feeling great. I knew I slept well and enough before an app told me that.
Activity tracking: yes, today was a day full of meetings, so no full circles. And on Sunday I was out with my girlfiend, so a lot of steps. No surprise!
Heart rate: nice. No additional device when training. But I have a heart rate belt in the drawer, so I could live without it.
Reminders/calendar: I like this one. Also glancing at the inbox in boring meetings.

Other than that…I can’t bring myself to wear it to a suit or formal wear. Too geeky/nerdy and looks like crap compared to a proper watch.

If I had to get of one Apple device, it would be the watch. Nice toy, some nice features to play with, can live without it.