Not long ago, I dismissed Apple Watch as superfluous. Sure, it’s a cool tech gadget, I thought, but not cool enough to warrant owning one myself. My iPhone was enough. Well, the focused fitness features and sensors were very tempting. Eventually, I decided the Apple Watch was advanced enough and would be worth buying as a great fitness tracker if nothing else. Now that I’ve used my Watch for over 3 months, I want to talk about one of its non-fitness aspects.
Apple Watch is like an iPod for your wrist. This makes sense for a few reasons. One is the squarish size of Apple Watch almost matches the iPod Shuffle, which had no display but rather had a round set of buttons with a circular one in the center. On the back, it had a clip to attach itself to your backpack strap or shirt lapel. Worn wherever, iPod Shuffle was convenient; likewise the Apple Watch worn on your wrist. A wearable device is inherently more accessible and thus more convenient.
Another way the Watch is like an iPod, of course, is how well it excels at audio playback and media control. This is one of my favorite conveniences. The small screen is the ideal size for all the typical media controls you need most often: play/pause, skip forward or back, etc. And the fact that all those tappable buttons are so close by — just raise your wrist and tap — makes all the difference. Above all, the digital crown on the side — that physical little wheel — is a real volume knob, and it’s at your constant beck and call. Love it!
Yes, it really is much better than reaching into your pocket or EDC bag, pulling out your phone, accessing media controls, then putting the phone back where it was. With Apple Watch, you don’t need to reach for it or pull it out. It’s just right there on your wrist at the ready. You also can omit the last step of putting it back where it was because it’s still just there at the ready.
There are three apps built into Apple Watch for audio listening: Apple Music, Podcasts, and Now Playing, which may be my favorite of all. The first two are what you’d expect, small versions of the apps on iPhone. They each have their own similar yet distinct playback control display. Their main on-screen buttons match those of their phone variants. Simple. The Now Playing app is awesome and more distinct because it gives you quick access to media playback options for anything playing on your phone or other connected device. For example, when streaming a video on my iPhone in the YouTube app, I can remotely control playback with my Apple Watch. It’s all about that convenience. And it’s reliable as can be.
So yeah, Apple Watch’s main attraction is fitness tracking. But it also has other tricks up its sleeve, such as iPod-like audio control. It’s super convenient, simple, elegant, and reliable. It can seem superfluous, but when you use it daily on the go, you realize how nice and helpful it is to have. I once dismissed the Watch, but now I’m glad to embrace it. On my wrist.