Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
It’s no secret I’m an Apple Watch fanboy. I said so in my review of the first-generation Apple Watch back in 2015. And, in 2018 I called Apple Watch Series 3 “indispensable,” saying that “no analog watch will ever come close.”
Before I tell you how much I love the latest Apple Watch, here’s a bit of background: I like analog wristwatches. Before I got my first Apple Watch, I enjoyed wearing different timepieces for different occasions and collected more than a dozen of them over the years. I just didn’t think I’d be happy having to wear the same timepiece every day.
I was wrong. I have not worn a mechanical watch since I got the first Apple Watch in 2015.
5 years and 4 Apple Watches later, I still feel like a dork talking into my wrist in public—on a phone call or dictating an iMessage—but it’s so much fun (and so cool), I don’t care anymore.
What I Like About Series 5
While there was nothing wrong with my Series 4 Apple Watch, the Series 5 had several features I found enticing. First and foremost is the Always-On Retina display, which resolves one of my pet peeves—having to wiggle my wrist or tap the watch face in order to see the time or other information (and there’s a lot of other info available). Glancing at my wrist and seeing the watch face without touching it or waving my hand around to wake it was a revelation.
Second and almost as important is that even with an Always-On Retina display, Series 5’s battery lasts longer. I often found my Series 4 Apple Watch running low on juice by late afternoon or early evening. My Series 5, on the other hand, usually has 30 or 40% when it goes on the charger at bedtime.
Mine’s an Apple Watch Series 5 with GPS + Cellular ($499), so I pay an additional $10 a month (to T-Mobile) for its data plan. But, it’s worth it to me to be able to leave my iPhone at home when I walk the dog, hike, swim, or do almost anything.
And since the Series 5 is water-resistant to 50 meters, I don’t have to worry about it when I shower or swim.
What I Like about watchOS 6
Two more things I love about my Apple Watch that are not exclusive to Series 5:
One is using the watch as a remote shutter control for my iPhone camera. The watch displays a preview so I can trigger the shutter remotely from up to 30 feet away.
And two is the new (in watchOS 6) Noise app, which alerts me when ambient noise reaches 90 decibels. I didn’t realize how much or how often I needed ear protection; having a watch that monitors ambient noise and warns me if it’s too loud is priceless.