Apple Computer Newsletter

My New Apple Watch
March 17, 2016 – 05:11 am

Why all the interest in a wristwatch? First of all, it is much, much more than a simple watch. It reportedly is a powerful personal computing device that is worn on the wrist. It is a health monitor that measures your heart rate, all the ways you move, such as walking the dog, taking the stairs, or playing with your kids. It even keeps track of when you stand up, and encourages you to keep moving. Since I am riding ten to fifteen miles most days on an adult-sized recumbent tricycle (click on the picture above and to the right to view a larger version) I wanted to monitor my exercise progress and the number of calories burned.

The Apple Watch also displays maps as you are driving (or walking or riding a trike). It reads your personal calendar and notifies you of appointments. It (optionally) can notify you of newly-received email messages and text messages. It will display the first sentence or so of the incoming messages on the watch face, meaning it is no longer necessary to fish the cell phone out of your pocket or purse. I can see that as a major safety improvement when driving. The Apple Watch can serve as a speakerphone for the iPhone, monitor your heart rate, provide weather forecasts, stock market prices, sports reports from your favorite teams, make restaurant reservations, control the music being played on your iPhone, serve as a remote for your television set and cable box, view thousands of pictures that are stored in your iPhone, and even use it as a viewfinder on your iPhone’s camera. Yes, it can take selfies when the iPhone’s camera is five or ten feet away. It also lets you keep your boarding passes, tickets, and store loyalty cards right on your wrist, and alerts you when it’s time to use them. It can serve as your wallet and/or credit cards when used with Apple Pay.

The Apple Watch also uses Siri, Apple’s intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator. Just raise your wrist and say, “Hey Siri, open the Workout app.” or “Hey Siri, where’s the nearest coffee shop?” or “Hey Siri, call Elizabeth.” Yes, you can talk to your wristwatch and it even talks back.

Oh yes, it also works as a wristwatch, including alarm clock, stopwatch, timer, and a world clock that is useful when traveling or checking time zones before placing an international phone call.

The Apple Watch also is advertised as being super easy to use, similar to that of most other Apple devices. Indeed, I already own a Pebble “smart watch” but have not been very impressed with it. I would never describe the Pebble as “easy to use” and am unhappy with the fact that it frequently stops communicating with my cell phone.

The most obvious drawbacks of the Apple Watch are the price of $349 and up, along with the fact that it requires an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 to be within close proximity. I already had the iPhone 6 so that is not an issue for me. However, for anyone without an iPhone 5 or 6, the combined price of the iPhone plus the Apple Watch may be a show stopper. The iPhone can be left in pocket or purse while the Apple Watch is used.

The Apple Watch is developed and sold by the world’s biggest consumer electronics company and certainly has created a lot of publicity. I wondered if the Apple Watch will be better than my present Pebble smartwatch and if it will increase my productivity. Also, can I use it for genealogy?

I doubt if there are many genealogy features available but it is interesting that announced last week the company has created a genealogy app for the Apple Watch. You can read the announcement in my earlier article at .

Will the Apple Watch live up to all the hype? I don’t know yet as I have only used it briefly. However, I will write about my experiences after I gain experience with this tiny powerhouse for a week or so. In the meantime, you can read more about the Apple Watch at and on hundreds of web sites by starting a Google search at .

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