Written by Anna Dresner
I wrote my book Watching Without Looking: A VoiceOver User’s First Month with the Apple Watch to help blind people and others with disabilities decide whether to buy one and to learn to use one effectively. I added an appendix in the fall, after Watch OS 2.0 was released. I appreciate having this chance to share my impressions now that I’ve been using the watch for a year.
My favorite feature now is the same as it was when I wrote my book — the ability to get notifications silently. I also love seeing the current temperature on the watch and using the Time Travel feature to quickly find out what the temperature is forecast to be later in the day. The latest update to the watch software counts more of my everyday activity as exercise, so I’ve started to really use the Activity and Workout apps to prompt me to exercise more. But the watch has been useful in a variety of ways that I had no idea of even in September because of apps that have come out since then.
A simple but useful app is Clicker. It’s as straightforward as it gets: it displays a number, and when I double-tap the number, the count increases by one. I knit, and during the past few months I made a pair of fingerless gloves using a complicated pattern that required that I count rows. Having an app for keeping track of the count right on my watch was invaluable.
The wonderful book and movie The Martian was made into a fun, though intense, game for iOS that included a watch component. While I was using my iPhone to talk to Mark Watney and help him make decisions I hoped wouldn’t kill him, I used a glance (a small chunk of information provided by some apps) to see his vital signs on my watch. It added an extra note of realism to the game, and I’ll never forget that people’s heart rates slow down in environments with gravity lower than Earth’s.
Is the watch a necessity? Not for me, but it is a useful piece of technology that becomes increasingly useful over time and helps me be more productive, stay healthier, and have more fun.
Intrigued and want to learn more? Order Anna’s book to dive deeper.