Your favorite Apple Watch 8 use cases

I think I had the first Apple Watch which I won. Then I bought the AW3. I bought it with cellular but couldn’t substantiate the monthly cellular cost so I dropped that. Even though I wear it daily out of habit, I find that the only thing I really use it for is watching my fitness circles and for that, it’s worth it.

But I always feel like I should use it more. I don’t like getting constant notifications so I turn off a lot of those although I feel like I should turn some back on.

Also, I feel like it doesn’t work as well as I want it to. ApplePay at my grocery store is very flaky so I stopped using it even though it’s much easier than using the phone.

I also always use my phone for setting random timers but I never felt that worked well but it makes more sense to do it on my watch especially since a lot of them are for cooking.

I think some of these things that don’t go as smoothly as I want stops me from using it more. I am under the assumption that things have just gotten a lot better since the AW3. One thing is the always on screen. There are too many times where I lift my arm but my watch doesn’t turn on. Drives me bonkers.

Two friends got an AW Ultra recently and love it. I’m thinking of getting the AW8 and have started to research the hardware and also the new OS to see if I really want to make the investment.

So…. I’m wondering if people have some good resources related to the AW8 and new OS? I’m also happy to learn about ways/apps they are using that makes the watch worth having.



  1. Setting more than one timer (which ludicrously you can’t do on the iPhone)
  2. Next calendar event
  3. Weather at a glance
  4. Workouts
  5. Sleep tracking
  6. Activity tracking (rings, etc.)
  7. Paying for things
  8. Entering my WeWork office

There was a big jump in NFC/Apple Pay reliability from the Series 4 onward (I owned both 3 and 4.)

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  1. Apple Pay - really not surprising I guess, but I use it frequently in conjunction with store membership cards (Whole Foods, CVS, etc.) via the Stocard app.
  2. Text to Speech notes via the Drafts app. Drafts has become the default Inbox across my devices, extremely low friction for inputting items.
  3. Timers - Timers + calendar time blocking = staying on track.
  4. Calendars
  5. Reminders/Omnifocus Notifications
  6. Remote control for Apple Music and Podcast apps
  • Receiving silent, glanceable notifications of all kinds: Apple Messages, Messenger, meeting notifications, etc.
  • Setting timers.
  • Waking me up in the morning. I don’t bother sleep tracking. I don’t know why people do. If I got enough good sleep, I know it.
  • I walk daily for exercise, and the Watch tracks my distance. I primarily just want to know when I’ve walked my daily mileage.
  • Sometimes I like to walk a new route, and I use the Footpath app to track that.
  • Setting timers.
  • Checking the weather quickly.
  • Checking the time.
  • Checking to see when my next appointment is.
  • I occasionally use it as a podcast replay remote control.
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  • Reading the time (like a regular watch)
  • Setting timers
  • Heart rate when riding Peloton bike
  • Not having to bring my phone with me when I walk around my house or office. I can answer calls and read texts on my watch
  • Quickly responding to texts with canned responses (I have the 41mm and the keyboard is too small to type on)
  • Dictating notes into the Drafts app
  • Apple Pay when at gas station or supermarket
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Timers (for writing and cooking and walking)
Remote control for podcasts and music
Messages when I’m helping mom and can’t check my phone
Tracking distance and direction walked
Weather and time
Siri and smart home stuff (lights, Home Pods, etc.)

My mom just turned 99. I got her her own Apple watch. I’m hoping that she can use the walkie talkie feature.

ETA: I have found Jeff Carlson’s Take Control of Apple Watch really helpful.


I just downloaded the free sample of the book. There’s a lot of basic stuff I forgot about because I don’t use my current watch to its potential.

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  • morning alarm
  • activity tracking
  • listening to podcasts (via Pocket Cast)
  • listening to music
  • monitoring Slack notifications
  • messages - I mainly leave my phone at my desk now
  • calendar reminders
  • timers

AW Ultra w/cellular


Another function I use all the time and forgot in my previous reply:

  • Holding down the crown until the Siri circle appears and dictating a reminder (e,g., Remind me tomorrow at 8 am to do [x])

Off topic a bit, but could you please explain how you got the Whole Foods QR code into Stocard? I can’t seem to figure out how to do it. On the Whole Foods app, the code is a dynamic diamond-shaped QR code that changes about every 30 seconds. I’m not sure how to input something like that into Stocard, or if it will even take it. The Whole Foods app doesn’t have a companion watch app any longer, so adding it to Stocard and displaying it through Stocard would be a great convenience.

For me, the significant use cases are:

Displaying my market list (Anylist app)
Apple Pay
Setting timers
Adding food items to a grocery list (linked to Anylist)
Remote starts on my car (Lincoln Way app)

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I like my Apple Watch, it is a steel one so not cheap now 6 years old. I use it to unlock my Mac, haptic notifications. Timer and stop watch for when I exercise. That’s it and has been the same for years.

I don’t use any ‘health’ functions, have any apps on it, I sometimes ansswer the phone on it. I have a ‘thing’ about accurate time too! It is worth every penny just for those. I really think sometimes less is more.

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FYI - After a second look, I found a Screencastsonline video on WatchOS9.

I am surely being sold on getting one sooner than later.

Great point. Don’t forget you don’t have to hold down the crown unless that’s your preferred method of activating Siri.

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TBH I haven’t had any issues, and I’ve had a membership with them for a long time… maybe I have some sort of grandfathered code?

But how did you get the WF card into Stocard?

I set Siri to not listen in order to save on battery life. But I didn’t know about the Raise to Speak activation. Thanks for posting all three options via screenshot!


In addition to many of the things previously listed here, I enjoy iHeartRadio for streaming radio while running (no phone with me). I wish the SiriusXM app offered the same capability.

AW Ultra with cellular

I have never been able to get Raise to Speak to work, either with my series 5 or my Ultra. Does anyone have tips to get this to work reliably? Or is it just me?