Warming up to the Apple Watch took me a while.
When the first version of the smartwatch came out in 2015, I delighted in having an Apple-branded product on my wrist. When the novelty wore off, though, I realized the gizmo wasn’t useful to me in any life-changing way, and ended up leaving it on its desktop charger most of the time.
Apple’s initial, largely ineffectual stabs at a smartwatch operating system were part of the problem, but it kept iterating to make its watchOS better and better. An increased emphasis on fitness was a good move (pardon the pun).
Over time, I discovered more and more uses for the Apple Watch, some fitness-related, others not. I detailed this in a recent Pioneer Press column.
And that was before Apple released the groundbreaking Series 4 version of the watch, along with a vastly improved version 5 of watchOS.
Meanwhile, the Apple Watch has evolved dramatically as a health-monitoring device. As I note in a recent TidBITS article, the device has increased potential to save lives — literally.
The Series 4 model is now an electrocardiogram reader, allowing users to detect a possibly deadly heart anomaly. And all variations of the Apple Watch except for the original model are now able to detect irregular and potentially dangerous heart rhythms.