There are many things to like about the Apple Watch. (Mickey Mouse dial face for example?) While everyone has different needs and expectations – the Apple Watch definitely works for me (see related HERE ) But does it work for the traveler? I previously asked this question – before I actually had the opportunity to work with the Watch. Now that I’ve lived with the Apple Watch for a month or so it’s time to revisit the question.
IS THE APPLE WATCH GOOD FOR THE TRAVELER?
I really hate to write this, and I know this type of answer can be irritating. But the honest answer is – “It depends.” Sorry, there is no clear cut “yes” or “no” answer to this question. Why? Read on…….
The “Yes” –
The Apple Watch does many things well – many things which a traveler could find very convenient and helpful. The Watch can answer calls, provide reminders, updates, and information quickly and easily. You can check the weather report, get turn by turn directions, or consult Siri for information with the Watch. There’s a very nice photo feature travelers will enjoy. You can use the Watch as a viewfinder for you iPhone camera, frame your shot (or selfie?) just right and then trigger the shutter using your watch. Reminders and alerts from you iPhone Calendar or other apps can be very helpful – making sure you don’t miss that dinner reservation or that flight connection.
The list of conveniences for the traveler can be quite long. What you use will depend on how you travel and what your needs are. So in many ways I would say that the Apple Watch could be an excellent device for you as you travel.
The “No” –
There are a few downsides or limitations to the Apple Watch for the traveler. As I mentioned in a previous article ( here ), the Watch does really need to be charged on a daily basis. As a result the traveler will need to bring along the special charging cable for the Watch and have access to an electrical outlet ( or at least a recharging battery ) to keep the device alive and well.
The Watch also depends on having your iPhone nearby. After all, it gets the vast majority of it’s information and hence, functionality from being paired via Bluetooth to your iPhone. So if you travel with the Watch it means you also must bring your iPhone and it’s charging cable.
Finally, many of the nifty features of the Watch depend upon the paired iPhone having internet access. Without access for example, Siri is unavailable as are maps for gps routings and also any alerts, reminders, or updates coming from apps that require internet connections. Without internet availability the Watch looses many of it’s very helpful and convenient features. This won’t be a problem for most domestic travel but you will likely require an international data plan if you venture out of the country. You can get one from you mobil service provider but they can be pricey and they are really only as good as the local cellular service coverage in the location you are visiting. You might consider getting a local sim card for your iPhone. These tend to be more cost effective. But they require that you have an unlocked iPhone and again they only work if there is good cellular service available where you are traveling.
These limitations may or may not be a problem for the traveler. It depends on how you travel and what your destination might be. If your travel style allows for taking along a few extra gadgets and chargers then the Watch won’t present any problem in that regard. But if you are a true minimalist and travel very light, then you might not want to add the extra gear. In a similar fashion, if your travels take you to more modern and technologically up to date locations then internet access and access to electrical recharging outlets won’t be problematic (although there may be a bit of an extra cost involved.) If, however, you are backpacking or trekking out of cellular range and away from electrical outlets, or if you are traveling to countries and locations without dependable internet access, the Watch looses some of it’s appeal.
Bottom line –
Think about how you plan to travel and where you will be traveling. In the right locations and situations the Apple Watch can be a helpful and fun travel device. In the wrong locations or situations it can be more bother than it is worth.
Travel With The Apple Watch ………… And Enjoy The Adventure!
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