A Day in the Life of Apple Watch 3

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This blog was originally posted under: Accessibility

A year ago I wrote about my new Apple Watch 2, recently I got an Apple Watch 3 so it is time for a day in the life of Apple Watch 3. The day has changed for three reasons: firstly Watch 3 has some new hardware features that provide me with new functions, secondly there are new software features both in the OS and Watch Apps, thirdly I have discovered extra ways to use the Watch, so I will concentrate on the new but it is still worth reading my Apple watch 2 blog for a more complete day. So let me begin.

A tap on my wrist wakes me up at 7:30, I now wear my watch all night, I used to put it on charge overnight but I now charge it later in the day. But why do I wear it all night? Here are the reasons:

  • The tap on the wrist wakes me gently in the morning and does not disturb my sleeping partner. It is easy to press snooze or switch off the alarm without having to find my iPhone X on the bedside table.

  • Having the watch on my wrist means I can easily see the time if I wake up, which I tend to do once or twice during the night. I use a different watch face at night, X-Large, with large numbers, that I can read without my glasses, pollen colour, which is a soft light, and in theatre mode, so it does not suddenly light up when I move.

  • The watch on my wrist enables my sleep monitor app, Sleep Watch, to accurately report on my sleep. I have been using it for a few weeks and am beginning to see patterns that should help me improve the quality of my sleep.

I am awake so I say to my Watch “Hey Siri, good morning set house”, this is a command to Home Kit to open the curtains downstairs, turn the heat up to 22C and switch on the radio in the bathroom.

Time for a shower and then breakfast. Take off the watch before going into the shower and put it on to the charger. A good estimate is one minute provides 1% recharge, with the improved battery life I find that after my shower and breakfast the watch is recharged, occasionally I will put it back on charge when I am sitting at my desk but that is unusual.

Time to get going so time to change the watch face to Utility which shows me time of day, day of week, day of month and complications for next appointment details, reminders, and timer. This gives me information and controls I use everyday.

The first appointment is a drive away, into the car, put my iPhone X on the recharging plate, does not need it at the moment but it is just the easiest place to put it and if I am on a long drive recharging ensures that it is charged when I need it. My iPhone is bluetooth connected to my cars audio and I use the iTunes control on my Watch to control volume, change tracks and pause if necessary.

Now click on the appointment on Watch face and put the post code into the car sat nav and off I go, I know I could use the sat nav on my watch but I prefer the heads up display in my car when I am driving.

On the way to my appointment I see a billboard for dog food, I do not have a dog but I do have a cat and it reminds me that I need some more cat food, no problem just say “Hey Siri, add cat food to my shopping reminders” and I will see that the next time I go shopping.

Talking to Siri is something I am still getting used to but I now realise it is a great way to do small things like setting up reminders or alarms or controlling the home.

The meeting is really a working lunch and I am picking up the bill, so it is great that Apple Pay on my Watch is contactless but does not have a limit of £30. My guests are impressed by me paying by Watch and I am really lucky today because I realise that I left my wallet at home!

During lunch I get a text from my partner to remind me that we are going to the theatre this evening; I, or at least my watch, had not forgotten but I looked at the text clicked on the short response “no problem” without disturbing the lunch banter.

Lunch and the drive back were tiring and I need a power nap before I write my new article. The problem with power naps is if I rest in a comfortable chair I may fall asleep for 30 minutes whereas what I need is 5 or 10 minutes relaxation. The answer is on my wrist set the timer for 5 minutes and I can fully relax and not worry that I will fall asleep. It works well for me and the article gets written.

Later in the afternoon I have some spare time so I go out for a jog but need to appear that I am still working, so the new cellular phone feature on the Watch is great. I can go out without my iPhone and still get texts and calls and appear to be in touch. The other new feature on the phone also comes into its own, the barometer means that the Watch recognises when I go up stairs so I get extra brownie points for going up as well as going along. For those of you who know me you will have realised that this paragraph is a lie as I hate jogging! But the new features are great for those of my friends who do jog.

What I actually did was play a quick game of squash and did flip to the squash workout session on the watch so I get brownie points for that for real. I have another watch face for exercising with complications, for workout, exercise rings, heart beat, breath and the weather just in case I do go outside.

Later off to the theatre with friends, and two final watch faces, one with photos so I can show my friends the grand children and a little bit of our latest holiday. The other is my evening watch ‘Simple’ very plain with no complications and set to theatre mode so we are not disturbed.

And then to bed “Hey Siri, set alarm for seven o’clock” and “Hey Siri, good night set house” which sets the thermostat a little lower and switches off any lights I forgot downstairs.

A tap on the wrist I slept well and a new day starts.

I have asked other Watch users what they really like and the answers are always: the tap on the wrist is discrete no more ring tones at inconvenient moments, and it is always there and easily accessible.

Apple fixed a problem I had with the lack of a keyboard for the Watch phone app, I cannot claim any credit for that because they had to do it to enable the Watch to be used without the iPhone.

There a still things I would like to see improved in particular:

  • Scribble, which enables entry of text by scribbling on the face, should be available for more applications, for example I would like to scribble a quick reminder, instead of using Siri.

  • I would also really like them to make it easier to get walking and public transport directions. At the moment the default is driving directions which I do not use because I use my car’s sat nav.

Looking back on my day and all the other things I used my Watch for I am more convinced than ever of its benefits and look forward to continuing improvements.