So, a few months ago I became the happy owner of an Apple Watch. Now I know I’m pretty late to the game as it’s been around for years now, but that does mean I’m entering the world of Apple Watch with it in a more mature state.
So, why did I want an Apple Watch?
- To tell the time. Fishing out a phone all the time to know what the time is, or continually scouring rooms to find the clock on the wall, is quite frustrating! I know that other watches are available, but I wanted something more…
- To record my runs. I use Strava to log my running, which had involved strapping an iPhone to my arm. This wasn’t so bad in the days of dainty iPhone 5-sized phones, but phones are getting bigger and bigger: surely strapping a little computer to my arm would be better?
- For all the other cool stuff. Like being able to quickly receive and respond to messages on my wrist. Or easily set a timer. Or see what the weather is. Or any number of little jobs.
So what’s Apple Watch like?
- It’s a nice piece of kit! It’s really beautifully designed and has clearly had a lot of thought into it, from the inductive charging and easy setup from your iPhone to how easy it is to swap wrist bands and use the Digital Crown.
- Battery life is really good. I can go several days between charging, and probably three if I really needed to. I know that other fitness trackers offer better battery life, but this is fine for me.
- The interface is really clearly thought through. The watch face is where everything starts, with complications giving you glanceable information that you need (like calendar/weather/date etc). The Digital Crown is a great way to scroll through lists, and the hard press gives that extra option in the interface (a bit like the idea of right clicking something).
- There are so many little thoughtful touches. It’s as if they took a computer, made it small enough to fit inside a watch and then thought of all the cool little jobs they could give it. Like being able to easily control audio playback on your phone from the watch, including turning volume up and down using the Digital Crown. Or how it gives you taps on the wrist and indicator sound effects when you’re using directions in the Maps app. Or the ability to ping your phone from the watch.
- The ‘Activity’ app is very effective in motivating you to keep fit. It has three different rings: a blue ‘stand’ one, that wants you to stand up and walk around for at least a minute every hour; a green ‘exercise’ one that encourages you to do 30 minutes of activity a day; a red ‘activity’ one that tracks additional active calories burned up to your self-imposed target. You can earn all kinds of badges for completing your rings, and even compete with friends! I’ve realised that I walk around quite a lot during my school day!
So is there a case for an Apple Watch in education? I would say it’s a useful tool for teachers, allowing you to stay connected without being sucked into your phone. The little tools are also really handy.
In terms of 3rd-party apps on the watch, her are some that I have found useful: