Is the Apple Watch Useful

Every year or so Apple releases a new, more useful version of their Watch, iPad, iPhone, and MacBook. Each iteration of the Apple watch is faster, better, and has more features than its predecessor. Of course, that’s the whole point of a new model. And then we have a surplus of bloggers and vloggers showcasing the latest Apple Watch and reviewing it and comparing it to competitor watches like the Samsung watch or a Fitbit. However, among all this hype around the latest and greatest, nobody really questions whether the product itself is useful or practical at all. Whether the Apple Watch device is not “more than or less than”, but worth owning at all. Do its functions facilitate our life in anyway or is it about fashion?

Is the Apple Watch useful?

In this post, we look at the Apple watch as a utilitarian device for daily usage and decide whether we humans can or cannot live without it. This is not about it being worth its price tag since what defines “worth the money” is different for everyone. Here its not specifically about the apple watch, but all these “smart” watches in general. The iWatch is just an obvious example of these gadgets so it will therefore again be made an example out of in this harsh analysis.

Overview of an Apple Watch

Its a smart watch. Which means it has functions besides time related stuff. It can be paired with your smartphone, used to attend or reject calls, have conversations, make payments, and so much more.

Before the smart watch came along, we did all these things with our phone. We still do these things with our phone, even when we own smart watches. And even though our phones tell the time as well, we still wear wristwatches like the Casios or Rolexes. Which means that we don’t really need a watch to tell us the time anymore. The watch of today is simply a fashion accessory like a piece of jewelry.

smart watch useful apps
Smart Watch Apps by Apple

The Apple watch, like other smart watches, is loaded with sensors that collect and translate data on our movements, hearth rate and sleep cycles by maintaining contact with your body. This is cool and something that our phones cannot do as accurately. For fitness junkies or people monitoring their medical situation, this is where an Apple watch can be useful.

Useful functions of the Apple Watch

Lets go through these one by one and see how useful they really are.

  • It tells the time, but so can your phone, or any other watch.
  • There’s a chronograph, also available in your phone or standard watch.
  • Alarms: Available in a dumb watch and your phone. Watch an alarm fight between the Casio A159w nd the F91w watches
  • Built in Calendar, also in a standard watch and your smart phone.
  • Heart rate monitor. This is a nice feature, though you can get this from a cheap watch at a grocery store as well. Besides, its useful if you use it often. For athletes playing high intensity sports like squash, the heart rate monitor does help gauge your fitness levels. However, you need to be careful wearing that thing around a moving racket.
  • Step Counter: Useful, but not novel.
  • Digital Payments: This is borderline useful and gimmicky. We carry our credit cards around anyways along with our phones. OK, lets say you don’t want to carry your wallet for a small errand, 100% you will still take your iPhone with which you can pay just as easily. Consider just using a wallet case for your phone instead.
  • Built in GPS tracker: Useful for emergency situations.
  • Camera Mirroring: This is a super cool feature for when you want to place your phone camera somewhere and see what its seeing. Definitely useful, definitely cool.
apple watch camera remote
Camera Mirroring on Apple Watch is cool

Useless functions of the Apple Watch

  • Call notification: Cool feature when paired with your phone and advertised as a discrete way to check your phone while making you feel like James Bond. You can also answer or reject a call from there. Rejecting the call is discrete, but answering a call means you could have also answered it with your phone.
  • Speaker and Mic for taking calls: First James Bond, now Spykids. We have phones for this, and now we have earphones too. Its usually difficult to hear what the person on call is saying on call, especially in public settings. This function is for the phone.
  • Whatsapp/SMS notification: Again, a cool way to check your phone without actually checking your phone. But you might as well just check your phone.
  • Maps and Navigation: They say its useful for an apple iwatch to speak whenever your have to make a turn. It’s safer than looking at your phone screen while driving. It’s not. You are still interacting with a device while you are driving, which is just as distracting. Probably even more distracting due to the small screen size. You still need to key in your destination details and origins on the phone, so why not just use your phone for this task?
  • Calculator: The calculator on a wrist concept was cool when we were in junior school and Casio came out with those retro calculator watches that helped us cheat in exams. Those numbers on that screen are so tiny, why not just use your phone?
  • Flashlight: Useful only in very dark places where you forget to take your phone with you but happen to be wearing your watch.
  • Photo Gallery and scrolling: Isn’t it easier to view pictures on a bigger screen? Like on a phone?


Wearing an apple watch on your wrist has an advantage: You can’t ignore its vibration. This vibration makes the device unavoidable to peek at. While this should be an inconvenience since its annoying, it does help prevent sleeping through an alarm.

Continuing the above point, getting notified about what’s on your phone IS convenient, especially when you can’t take our your phone. Your next step in response to that notification will require you to take out your phone sooner or later. But timing is important here. This is where Apple iWatch becomes sort of useful in giving you timely information.

Inconvenient truths about smart watches


It needs to be charged all the time or else it dies along with all its useful and useless features. Don’t we already have enough things to charge everyday? Our phone, our wireless bluetooth headphones or Airpods, toothbrush, laptops, electric calls, power banks, iPads, and more. Adding another device on our to charge list adds to our collection of charging cables and things to charge everyday before we sleep. Many have eventually given up on the whole charging task and just wear a dead iWatch because fashion.


The delicate screens: Like any smart device, the screen is everything. These smart watches have not gotten yet to the point where they are made of scratchless or unbreakable material like sapphire or polycarbonate. For phones its okay as we can easily slap on a screen protector and be cautiously careful with how we use them. Watches however are on our arms that are constantly exposed and moving. For devices that are subject to rough usage, their screens are quite fragile.


The device is not exactly sleep proof or water proof. Sleeping with the watch risks touching the screen and performing unwanted functions. This device is advertised as water proof but as we know water proofing is never forever.

So is the smart Apple watch useful or useless?

The Apple smart watch is at best just an extension of your smartphone. Like a miniature mirrored version of your iPhone that you can wear on your wrist. If you don’t have an Apple phone, the Watch isn’t that useful. If you have both the iPhone and the watch, you will default to just sticking to your iPhone for practicality.

apple watch fashion
Fashionable watch indeed

The same goes for smart watches of all makers. No one is saying that a watch is a substitute for a phone. But all make the case that it is a practical and useful device that enhances our lifestyle. Strongly disagree. Life before an after the smart watch has really not been any different. It does look cool though ill give it that.