Are You Ready for a Smartwatch?
by Bev Bachel
Kristy Pack used to spend a lot of time looking for her phone. Now, she uses her smartwatch to make calls, read email, reply to texts, and much more.
“The watch makes my life super convenient,” says Pack, a mobile game developer and mom of three. “I no longer have to dig through my purse to find my buried phone. Instead, I answer calls and respond to messages from my watch. It’s super convenient.” What’s more, Pack says it allows her to be more “in the moment” with those around her while still being connected to calls, messages and notifications.
Don’t own a smartwatch yet?
You’re not alone. But you might be soon. Smartwatch sales are expected to explode — according to a new report by research firm IHS Technology, the smartwatch market will grow from 3.6 million unit shipments in 2014 to 101 million in 2020.
Here are five ways Pack and other smartwatch wearers are making the most of this device’s features:
“Reading texts is 10 times easier on my Apple Watch than on any other device,” says Ruth Herfurth of Manhattan.
About 80% of her smartphone use is devoted to texting, and now she can simply turn her wrist to read her texts, which is a huge convenience — and Tammi Wunderlich of Bethel, Minn., agrees. “All I have to do is tap my Apple Watch to make the type larger for easy reading,” she says. Who wouldn’t love that?
While typing email or text messages on a tiny touchscreen isn’t easy, many smartwatch wearers dictate their messages instead. “All I have to do is lift my wrist and say, ‘Reply. On my way. See you in five,’” says Pack.
Smartwatch users all seem to agree: the ability to track steps, calories burned, and other fitness- and health-related goals is a big plus.
Barb Stokowski, a Minnesota-based account manager for a specialty care pharmacy, spends a lot of time driving to and from customer appointments in five different states, and she uses her Samsung Galaxy Gear watch to reach her daily goal of 10,000 steps. She also uses it to monitor her sleep. And Herfurth, an avid exerciser, wore a Jawbone UP activity tracker for three years before switching to an Apple Watch and its activity tracker, which she says is “much more informative.”
Tom Ryan of Orono, Minn., flies a lot for his job as a consultant and sales trainer, and he sends all of his boarding passes to his Apple Watch. “It’s a lot easier than keeping track of paper copies or digging for my phone,” he says.
Changeable faces and bands
Wunderlich enjoys being able to customize her smartwatch face to match her mood, while Stokowski loves being able to change the color of hers to match what she’s wearing. “I use that feature nearly every day,” she says. Pack also appreciates the opportunity to show off her fashion sense. It’s one of the reasons she has both a pink sports band and a metal magnetic one.
Freelance writer Bev Bachel lives in Minneapolis and uses her phone to talk, text and email friends and family around the world. She’s the author of What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go For It!
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