Unexpected things you like about AW...


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 10, 2016
Raleigh, NC
Beyond the basic health tracking and aesthetics, are there features you like that you didn't initially think about? Or -- what do you find most useful or enjoy the most with your AW?


macrumors 68040
Jul 2, 2008
I bought the AW for notifications alone as I enjoyed getting them and answering quickly or dismissing right on my wrist instead of pulling my phone out of my suit jacket consistently.

What I didn't expect was how much it actually motivated me to be more aware of my fitness and health tracking. Those rings get addicting and when on my runs it is an excellent device for keeping me in check and HR in the right zone.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 10, 2016
Raleigh, NC
When it wakes me with its vibrating alarm in the morning, and before I roll out of bed, I can check the weather to see whether I need to take a jacket with me for the day.

I'll speak briefly about the aesthetics anyway -- my AW looks good enough for me to not want to wear my other watches.
Now see, I didn't think about the alarm. I use iPhone as alarm. But I am lackadaisical about it - sometimes my phone is on the floor, inside top drawer or other side of nightstand. I think I am inspired to get a new nightstand set-up with a specific place for phone, watch.


macrumors 68020
Dec 11, 2010
I got mine as an unexpected gift, so I was mainly thinking about the notifications since that is what I often see in reviews.

The unexpected things are numerous, but I will go over a few below:

1. iDevice Control - I have a few iDevice products that plug into the wall and you plug lights or something into them. With the watch, I can now turn them off and on with Siri. Very convenient since I don't need to track down my phone to turn lights on outside.

2. iGrill2 - this is another iDevice product. It uses the iPhone via Bluetooth to monitor the temperature of the grill and the food on the grill with probes. One issue with Bluetooth is the range. However, with the watch, it effectively doubles the range since it connects to the phone which can be placed inside the Bluetooth range.

3. Controlling Apple Music and Airplay - This is one of my favorite features. For example, I can be in the kitchen with the iPhone docked in the bedroom and tell it to play the Moondance album and then use the interface on the watch to select the Airplay speaker in the Kitchen. Since I have Airplay stuff all over the house, it is very convenient and useful. (Note: It is nice for controlling podcasts as well, but I haven't run across one that has Airplay built in like the Apple Music app. To get around that issue, I launch the Apple Music app, select the Airplay device, then go back to the podcast app and it plays where I want it to play)

5. WeMo control - In addition to iDevices, I have a WeMo power plug product that is similar. While it can't be controlled with Siri, I have a "Do Button" setup on the phone (via Glances) that I can push to turn it on and off.

6. Numerous Remote features for media - It can control everything in my home theater (and most of the stuff in my office) with SimpleControl, Remote app, Directv app, etc. When I am laying on the couch and the iPhone is out of reach, it comes in handy for pausing a movie and restarting it.

There are plenty more, but those would be the top six I didn't anticipate.
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macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2015
Beyond the basic health tracking and aesthetics, are there features you like that you didn't initially think about? Or -- what do you find most useful or enjoy the most with your AW?
Having the sleep tracking and silent alarm to not wake up my wife was a huge plus. I wasn't sure if that would work. It was the main reason I was using the UP24 band... Between Sleep Pulse and HeartWatch apps, I can track everything I need to know about sleep and how my heart is behaving. Since the Apple Watch seems to love my skin :) I have never missed a heart rate reading during sleeping and HeartWatch gives me a nice graphical breakdown of my heart rate and where I fall in the resting range. Fun to track your health improvements that you normally wouldn't see in the mirror - resting heart rate drops, etc.

I really love the simplicity of changing bands to match what I am wearing and to use the same watch for weightlifting or swimming as I would with a suit. Quick change to the link bracelet or classic buckle and it looks very professional and not cheesy like other smart watches or way to big to fit under customer shirts like Garmin or others.

I love only having the watch and bluetooth headphones when I go for a run or even walk. I can't think of another device out there that lets me just have bluetooth headphones and a watch to play music, track my heart rate and steps and still allow me to take notes, to do's, calendar items, end more. It always adds automatically when I am back in range.

The ApplePay was a great surprise and the ability to use known networks was a huge surprise when I left my phone at home and sat in a coffee shop ordering food and receiving texts from my wife. :)

I love how well SIRI is working now to send messages and set timers and take notes. It translate my reminders into to do lists with the App Things - it adds items to my grocery list. All of this without waiting and wondering if it took. I just say the command and put my arm down. It was about 95% accurate before, but through the beta's it seems to be 100% for me now.


macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2009
Long Beach, CA
Honestly, not really. It has basic uses (time, notifications, Siri replies, rudimentary activity tracking, very basic heart rate monitoring, weather, Apple Pay) that replace iPhone use for convenience. The other features and uses I've found underwhelming, slow, or not relevant.

If you have owned a smart watch previously it isn't that huge of a change. I'm happy with it, but I don't find its features surprising.


macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
This: When a colleague sends me a message such as, "Joe just called. Should I call him back now or wait until tomorrow?", touching the Reply button presents quick-reply options such as "Call him back now" and "Wait until tomorrow."

Blew my mind, the first time I saw that. So handy.

Also: my family has a yellow sticky pad on the fridge as a shopping list. When it's time to go to the store, I snap a photo of the list with my iPhone, then favorite it. Voila: it's available on my watch. No more lost shopping lists! And the phone stays in my pocket.


macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
When I'm cooking and my hands are full I can still do a wrist raise and hey Siri set a timer for 5 min. Really never get sick of this one. The taps on my wrist when I'm driving really helps with missing turns. I knew I would like this but the big weather complication on Utility with carrot is awesome, just raise the wrist and I have all the info I need before I head out.
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macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2015
Bellingham, WA
i knew I would like silent notifications. That was my primary reason for buying the Apple Watch, and in that area the watch has exceeded my expectations. Some features I did not expect to enjoy as much as I do:
  • Hey Siri! - I was surprised by how useful Siri can be on the watch. I ask Siri to set reminders, text my wife, initiate a phone call, set a timer, reply to texts, control our Hue lights... and I feel like I've only scratched the surface as far as what Siri can do. Setting a reminder with Siri is really convenient when I think of something while my iPhone is on the charger or zipped up in a pocket. I also set timers frequently while cooking - Siri can set the timer while my hands are occupied or covered in food.
  • The Now Playing glance - I regularly dock my iPhone to some speakers so I can play Internet radio. Not only can I control what is playing from my watch, but I can glance at it to see the name of the song and artist without having to walk over to the iPhone to look.
  • Apple Pay - I didn't really care about this feature because how hard is it to get out a card? Turns out it is surprisingly convenient. I use it at my grocery store multiple times a week.

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Jul 14, 2015
The temperature at a flick of the wrist. Seems like such a minor thing but I find it convenient. :)
I wore a regular watch yesterday, and when I was ready to come home in the evening, I habitually looked at my wrist to see if the weather was cold enough to wear my jacket. D'oh!
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macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2008
I'm never one to buy first generation Apple products. (iPhone, iPad, etc... have been 2nd or 3rd generation). However, I got an Apple watch as a surprise gift last Christmas. Needless to say, I'm not upset in the least that Apple didn't announce the inevitable Apple Watch 2 yet. By far, my favorite thing about this watch is that it saved me over $850 in airfare for my upcoming UK trip this summer. I was in the middle of packing (having just moved) and it alerted me thru one of those flight finder apps on my phone that there was a great deal to be had. Had I not been wearing the watch, I would have missed out on the sale.
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macrumors member
Aug 28, 2011
The calendar and weather complications on the watch face. I also love being able to check emails while at work with out pulling out my phone. This is especially useful in meetings or training.
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macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2010
Denver, CO
There is one little trick I discovered that I really like. I don't have that many appointments usually, so having the calendar complication is often a waste of space. I discovered that if you tap the date complication it will take you to the calendar. Perfect for me, since I most often want to see what's coming up in the next few days instead of what my next appointment actually is.


Mar 25, 2016
One of the biggest things for me has been the actual feel of it. I had a couple sport models, and ended up selling them, as the feel just wasn't quite right to me. But I picked up a stainless with all the sales going on, and it's a night and day difference. It really feels like I'm wearing a nice timepiece, rather than a tech gadget. Whether it's the weight or feel of the stainless, it really feels nice on the wrist.

Another big one is the quick glances for info. I've always purchased the Apple Watches I've had with the idea of having better notifications - especially when it comes to pulling a 6S Plus out of wherever it's held while out and about. Even so, the usability of a quick glance at the watch was something I really underestimated - even going into it with a mindset of wanting easier and quicker notifications. I'm currently dealing with an update issue, and find myself greatly missing this, as it seemed to make my day flow a lot smoother.


macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
When I'm cooking and my hands are full I can still do a wrist raise and hey Siri set a timer for 5 min. Really never get sick of this one.
This also is my favorite. And to top it off you can even time it in seconds, like 5 min and 30 seconds if you want to be precise.
What I didn't know at all until today:

It ties in with birthdays I have stored in Calendar (or maybe Contacts) and updates its quick reply options accordingly.

It's my wife's birthday today, and this is what the AW shows when I want to send a reply to her:
Nice touch! Apple.


macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2014
North Carolina
Time travel for instant weather updates.

When your iPhone is unlocked, incoming notifications are iPhone only, then when it's locked everything happens on your wrist. Such a smooth transition.

Overall functionality. Having no audible alerts coming from my phone translate into haptic sensations on my wrist is amazing. I love my iPhone and use it when I have to, but the watch makes minuscule tasks easier to tackle instead of whipping my phone out.
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macrumors member
Jul 16, 2010
By far my favorite unexpected surprise is being able to raise my wrist and add items to my grocery list when my hands are full or my phone is on the other side of the house. It's very convenient!
What do you use for your grocery lists, and is adding items to it something you do with Siri?


macrumors 68030
Apr 2, 2007
As funny as this probably sounds, the banking app that my bank has made for the watch. It lets me check my balance without needing to put in any codes or anything. Very convenient. It was an app I didn't know existed before I got my watch so it was an unexpected surprise and something I use almost daily.

And that really is what the watch is for right? quick little interactions that keep you informed.
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