We’re huge Apple users, myself particularly, swearing by their interface and products considering I’ve always have done design since my little age. I’m currently typing this article on my MacBook Air as my iPhone 8 Plus buzzes from notifications and I’ll most likely later go home tonight and watch YouTube on my Apple TV while still working like my usual workaholic self on our old work Macbook Pro, too heavy now to be carried anywhere (haha). In saying so, I terribly miss my iMac I left to my parents back in Montreal, Canada, as it is quite tough to be a digital nomad with an iMac!
For many of people like us, Apple is part of our life and mostly when we travel. They say once you go Mac, you don’t go back. The portability of its products, the interface and the amazing camera on its phones just make us happy with the products we own from this brand. Syncing all products together is just a marvel, although now I struggle with few problems considering I refuse to upgrade my Macbook Air to not slow it down! It may be from 2014, but hell it works like a gem 4 years later!
Although Apple tries to make you update their product often, the iPhone seems to be the only product we both always update to make sure to always have the best camera for travel. In saying all this, there was still one product we haven’t converted to Apple yet, our smart watch. The Apple Watch was the accessory missing in my possession from their range of products. It always have seemed to be a luxury, a product we thought we could pass on considering the Fitbit was a good enough fitness watch and we needed nothing more. I loved my Fitbit Ionic, don’t get me wrong. I still believe it was the ultimate fitness watch, but then with the Apple watch on my wrist, I unlocked a whole other world I’ve never met before in the use of a smart watch.
Why the Apple Watch is so Travel Friendly
All the smart watches currently on the market are focusing in particular niches, be it fitness people, triathlon lovers, etc. Even though the fitness apps are good, the reason why I fell in love with the Apple Watch is for its panoply of apps that is making my life easier while I travel. Here are the perks of travel with the Apple Watch.
Airport security: I’m one of those that refuse to remove my smart watch when I pass through security. Mitch even forgot his Fitbit Ionic at the airport security once, such a hassle… and he could’ve kept it as it doesn’t ring! In a nutshell, if you find a way to pass removing it, it won’t be ringing once you pass by the body scanner.
Uber: You can call an Uber with the click of a button from your Apple Watch. How convenient, if you are travelling in a country that you don’t feel like removing your iPhone from your pockets and flashing it around while booking your Uber, then this app is marvellous! All you need to make sure is that your iPhone has some network.
Camera: The Apple Watch can control your iPhone’s camera. Super convenient to control it from far when you want to be hands free to film or take a photo of your group whilst it is sitting on an edge or tripod! I remember those times setting up the timer to 10 seconds and running back for the photo. This no more and defiantly has been an amazing feature!
GoPro: Another camera app that is super practical! You can control the GoPro with the Apple Watch like a remote. If the GoPro is too far away and you can’t voice control it, this is when the app on your phone becomes super convenient. Only inconvenient is that if you want to use this feature, you will have to connect your GoPro to your iPhone and keep the connection between the two.
Foursquare: Eating, drinking & shopping part of travelling essential activities and you certainly want the best places! Foursquare on your watch gives you all the info you need without pulling out your phone of the pocket. It will show you the best places to visit in the city, the best food alleys, the hot spot for drinks, etc. All you need to do is tell Foursquare what you want and/or like. You will have to be specific in your instructions to get accurate suggestions.
Swarm: Maybe an app that is less popular in the Middle East, but I LOVE using it to track where I was. I often forget to check-in, but gotta say since I have my Apple Watch, I do check-in more than I use to! This app is from Foursquare by the way!
App in the Air: This app is AMAZING for your Apple Watch. Why? Because it works offline (wohoooo no internet required) and sends you SMS on gate changes if it happens and flight status updates without any roaming charges, the dream. Basically with this app, after booking your tickets, you can stay updated with every detail related to the flight. Who doesn’t want a personal flying assistant that gives you real-time statuses? I almost missed flights over 5 times because I was in dreamworld lounges haha.
ClearTrip, Hotwire: Name it, there are many of these apps from travel operators, airline operators and etc that have amazing apps. You just gotta try them all!
XE Currency: Every proper traveller has this app on their phone! If not well you are either not travelling often or a weirdo that doesn’t care about your money exchange ( I mean who doesn’t care though? haha). XE Currency is, in a nutshell, THE BEST out there for currency rate updates. How convenient it works on the Apple Watch too! It works very fast in letting you convert currency at the moment in time you are checking. It converts based on live exchange rates and charts, which you can also consult. It also automatically stores your last updated exchange rates so you can access them offline. It’s so important for apps nowadays to create something friendly for offline mode.
Our key concerns with the Apple Watch
Battery life! With many more apps and an obvious advantage in apps and their capabilities, the Apple Watch isn’t meant to last over 3 days of battery. I have to say I miss ignoring charging my smart watch for 5 days like the Fitbit Alta HR and Ionic. Although, once you go that far with that many apps and capabilities, it’s quite hard to go back.
It’s tough to use intensively the fitness capabilities of the Fitbit and turn to the Apple Watch fitness one’s as well. Habits might stick and it can take time to convert!