The Apple Watch, nearly one year in

I’ve been using my Apple Watch since launch, nearly one year ago now, so I thought I’d write about how I’m using it now the ‘new gadget’ excitement has worn off. For those who want the quick summary: I don’t use everything on the watch, but still use it every day, and don’t regret buying it at all.

My Watch, still looking good after several months of wearing every day


Adding complications to the watch face, allowing you to see information at a glance, was always one of the best features of the Apple Watch, and with watchOS 2 third party apps were able to add complications to the home screen too. I use them every day, with Things, Fantastical, and Carrot Weather being my staples. I also keep the built in Activity complication on my watch face at all times.


The other killer feature of the Apple Watch, for me at least, is notifications. I absolutely love to have the totally silent alerts throughout the day. I’ve paired down what comes through on the watch, so it’s only alerts that are really important tapping me on the wrist. One of my favourite uses for this is a silent alarm, meaning I don’t have to wake anybody up if I need to be up early.


Siri was always slightly underused on my iPhone, and most of the time I did use it was for demonstrating it to others, or getting my iPhone to say silly things. On my watch however, for whatever reason, I use Siri every day. My top uses are setting an alarm or timer, checking the weather, and replying to texts.


Probably because of my personality, or my time playing computer games, the activity features are some of my most used on the watch. I end up going for walks, doing a short workout at home, or going to the gym to make sure all my goals are met every day. I know a lot of people find themselves using this for a short time, then getting bored. For me, this has stuck, and I still meet my goals nearly every day.

This is an under-appreciated feature of the watch from what I’ve seen. Maybe this is because most people don’t use Apple maps, or maybe people don’t walk much. Having the silent taps on my wrist telling me to turn left or right is amazing, meaning I can walk around somewhere unfamiliar without walking into a lamp post (this actually happened to me before I got the watch).

What I don’t use:

  • The app screen — I try to avoid this as much as possible. Especially on the smaller 38mm watch face, this is just annoying to use, and too easy to launch the wrong app. The one app I regularly launch from the app screen is the activity app.
  • Glances — I know a lot of people find them really helpful, but I always end up forgetting that they exist.
  • Apps that require more than a few seconds to use — My most used apps on the watch, Things, Fantastical, and Carrot Weather, only require either a glance or a tap to do what I need. Anything more and I’ll just pull my phone out.