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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

Apple Watch: Convenience or Necessity?

March 15, 2018 | 7 Comments

by David Flament

Tags: , ,

David tapping his Apple Watch


As the manager of assistive technology at Second Sense, I love to keep up with the new products and devices that can benefit our clients.  When Apple brought out their new watch, I was intrigued.  But I waited until a few generations had been produced before putting my money down.  Just like with new car models, sometimes it takes a few years of production to get the kinks out.

So, back in October, I purchased the Apple Watch Series 3.  The Series 3 is the first watch from Apple that works independently of your phone because it has its own cellular chip.  In fact, when I purchased the watch, AT&T gave me a phone number just for the watch.  How cool is that!

A Little History

While technically there have been 4 versions of the Apple watch, only 3 versions are available.  The first Apple watch was only out for a few months before it was replaced by the Series 1.  The Series 1 needs to be connected to your iPhone to do almost everything except tell time.

The Series 2 added a GPS chip making it possible to tell you where you are without checking with the iPhone.  Now, the Series 3 has added a cellular chip and can do almost everything without your iPhone.  Also, each new Apple Watch Series gets better battery life and a faster processor.

How Does It Work

The watch works very similar to an Apple iPhone.  It has VoiceOver and you use most of the basic gestures to navigate and complete tasks.  Of course, you can also use Siri to get things done.

As for apps, when you set up your watch, it still links to your iPhone and will show you a list of all the apps on your iPhone with a watch version.  You can choose to install all of them or pick and choose the ones you want on your watch.

One thing to know is that just because an app has a watch version, it does not mean the watch will do everything the iPhone version of that app can do.  In fact, in most cases, it will not.  Also, remember the watch is not as powerful as your iPhone or iPad.

One of the things that makes the watch a unique experience is the way it taps you on the wrist to get your attention.  When someone sends you a text, it will tap you to let you know you received a new message.  After you ask Siri a question, she will occasionally say, I’ll tap you when I’m ready.”

Convenience or Necessity?

So, should you get an Apple Watch Series 3?  Only you can answer that question.  For me, I am finding it useful in small ways each day.

  • More convenient to send a text without having to find my phone.
  • Easier to check on my fantasy football team.
  • Always seems to be checking who has sent me a message or posted on my social media account.
  • Discreetly tells me the time by different vibrations on my wrist without announcing the time out loud.

I have no regrets about my decision to buy the Apple Watch.  Is it a necessity? No.  Is it more convenient? Yes.

David is the manager of assistive technology at Second Sense.

7 comments on “Apple Watch: Convenience or Necessity?”

  1. Pam Eggebrecht says:

    Hi David!! Question: Did AT&T charge you for another line when they gave you the phone number for your watch? Take care! Pam

    1. Hi Pam, AT&T charges a $10 per month additional device fee. That is it.

  2. BethFinke says:

    Might be worth it just to have a discreet way to check what time it is – that way everyone around me doesn’t have to know I’m board!

  3. Is it at all necessary to have an iPhone to use the Apple Watch? Why not just buy it and not an iPhone?

    1. Hi Jerry,
      Even the series 3 relies a little on your iPhone. For example you need your iPhone to install apps or update the watch software. Also, I have found that taking calls on your watch is not as comfortable as on your phone. I hope this helps.

  4. Annette says:

    Can a Bluetooth headset be used with the Apple Watch? If so, how do you manage that if you use the headset with the iPhone?

    1. Hi Annette, This is a great question. In my case, I have a small pair of earbuds I use for my watch and a high quality noise cancelling pair I use on my phone. I am pretty sure you can also purchase headphones, which allow you to pair more than one device to them similar to multi-device Bluetooth keyboards.

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