I switched from iPhone to Android way back in 2015 and didn’t look back — until recently. In November 2021, I tried to switch to iPhone because I had a MacBook and iPad Pro and figured I should try the benefits of being fully immersed in the Apple ecosystem. I lasted one week on an iPhone before I was back to the Apple store returning it.
When the Apple Watch Series 8 came out, I knew I had to try the new temperature tracking and ovulation confirmation features. I bought the watch from Costco for the 90-day return policy, and my husband just upgraded his phone, so I used his old iPhone 12 Pro Max to try the whole setup.
Normally, I’m that person who earns the name “geriatric millennial” by complaining about how people are way too attached to their devices and need to unplug. But here’s how the Apple Watch Series 8 won me over from Android and how it’s helped me developed healthy habits.
1. I’m more motivated to move
The Apple Watch has better GPS and metrics for walking and running than my phone did. Before I got the watch, I was already interested in getting in shape, but when I got the watch, I was more motivated to actually get some movement in for the day, even if it was just standing up every hour.
2. I stand up more often
Most days, I sit at my computer for many hours without moving. I’ve heard of people setting alarms to remind them to stand up and stretch or even using sticky notes near the computer, but those methods didn’t work for me.
The Apple Watch automatically reminds me to stand up every hour. Sometimes I swat it away, but more often, I take the opportunity to stand when it prompts me, and those little breaks help my body feel just a little better at the end of the day.
I appreciate the reminders on my watch because I find the haptic reminder more gentle and less obtrusive than a pop-up on my computer or an alarm on my phone. It’s the only thing that’s worked so far to get me to stand up more often, and it’s been great so far.
3. The Mindfulness app helps me fall asleep
If something is on my mind and I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I sometimes take hours to fall asleep. I have done breathing exercises on my own, which was effective sometimes, but the Mindfulness app is especially helpful because it has the haptic feedback to physically nudge me to breathe deeply.
When I first heard of this feature, I sort of turned my nose up at it and thought it defeated the purpose of meditation, but I find it super useful to have that vibration to focus on, especially if I’m feeling anxious and need some extra help calming down.
4. I can easily track medications
I don’t take medications often, but I do take a probiotic supplement as part of my morning routine. The problem is, I don’t always have my phone on me when I go to the kitchen. If I forget to bring my phone, it’s a pain to take the supplement in the kitchen then have to find my phone and record it in my app before I can move on with my day. But if I don’t record it right away, I will basically immediately forget. With the watch, I can take the supplement and log it directly in the watch. Easy!
With a probiotic, it’s not a big deal if I accidentally miss a dose or even if I take two in one day. But for medication that must be taken daily and can’t be doubled, this would be enough to convince me to buy an Apple Watch.
Medications need to be added in the app before this feature is available, but once they’re added, it’s 2 taps and you’re done. If you have medication that needs to be taken at a certain time, reminders can be added too.
5. Seamless integration with other Apple products is hard to argue with
The Apple Watch perfectly coordinates with my phone and computer. If I’m in a message on my computer or phone and receive a message from that person, the watch won’t notify me.
The health data that’s gathered from the watch is automatically synced with my phone, and I can Airdrop a PDF of it to my computer if I want it.
6. I don’t miss important messages or calls anymore
I never have the ringer turned on for my phone, so I was constantly missing important calls or messages. Sometimes that was on purpose or fine, but sometimes it was a time-sensitive message that was important. Like if my husband was on his way home and asked if I wanted him to pick up dinner, I was usually pretty bummed about missing that message.
I’m still minimal with what apps are allowed to notify me on my watch, but that means the notifications I get are the ones I want to actually see. I also find the vibration on my watch a gentle nudge rather than obnoxious like hearing sounds from my phone.
Last weekend, my husband and I dropped a friend off at his place after we had lunch together. Not a minute later, the friend called me to inform us that his keys had fallen out of his pocket in the backseat of our car. Since my phone was in my purse, I didn’t feel the vibration, but my watch notified me of the call and I was able to answer. It’s a good thing too, otherwise I would’ve missed the call and we would’ve had to drive back to return his keys to him.
7. The Apple Watch experience is just better
Before I decided to switch from Android to iPhone for the Apple Watch Series 8, I tried a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. I didn’t use it long enough to provide a full review, but I used it long enough to know it wasn’t for me.
Setting up a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 on my Pixel 6 took over an hour, required multiple app installs, and the experience just wasn’t as seamless. Certain functions (like ECG) only work on a Samsung phone, so I felt like I wasn’t getting the full value out of the watch as a Pixel user. Other functions are subscription only, which makes the product and experience incomplete. I don’t mind paying a subscription fee if the value is there, and I didn’t feel like that was the case with the Samsung watch.
8. All the little features add up to great convenience
The Apple Watch has a lot of little features that add up to simplifying my life.
- The alarm actually wakes me up in a more gentle way than setting a sound alarm on my phone.
- Having a timer at my wrist is even more convenient than asking Google Home to set a timer.
- Being able to ping my phone is useful for when my giant couch eats it.
Annoyingly, Apple is streets ahead of Android wearables. Samsung’s watch was nice enough, but aside from being too big for my petite wrist, it was just not a good experience.
The Apple Watch experience, on the other hand, was just wonderful. Other than the initial learning curve, everything was easy and intuitive. In the end, I’ve become a reluctant Apple user. I miss my Android still, but I probably won’t be switching back until Android has a comparable wearable.
Photos taken by the author; images of any apps or watch faces are property of their respective owners.