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These are the two features on Apple Watch I couldn’t live without

I haven’t taken the Apple Watch off my wrist since I first put one on in 2015, around six months after it first launched. I even considered wearing it on my wedding day. Don’t panic, I didn’t, though I did have it on until I walked down the aisle, so that should tell you how much I rate it.

While its excellent marriage with my iPhone keeps the Apple Watch on my wrist, there are two features I couldn’t live without.

Apple Watch Series 8 $321 $399 Save $78
The Apple Watch Series 8 has a great design, heaps of sensors, and more features than you’ll probably know what to do with. Its battery life isn’t the best on the smartwatch market, but fast charging makes it easy to charge daily and the fitness features are superb.

The two features I love on Apple Watch
One of those is the button that helps me find my iPhone. Yes, the Apple Watch is capable of so many advanced features – taking an ECG, tracking heart rate or monitoring blood oxygen levels to name a few – but I’d trade them all for the button that makes my iPhone ping when it’s disappeared down the side of the sofa and I can’t find it for love nor money.

I’m also amazed at how many fellow Apple Watch wearers don’t know about this feature. So if you’re one of those, swipe up from the bottom of your Watch screen,hit the phone icon from the Control Centre menu and listen out for that ping. You might need to move around a little if you’re not within a certain range. It’s a game changer if you didn’t know about it though, so you’re very welcome.

The second feature I couldn’t live without is Apple Pay. Do you remember when contactless payments first arrived? Amazingly, it was 15 years ago. It was a while before the method really took off of course, but now many of us don’t bat an eyelid at tapping our card to pay for shopping, which became even easier when the limit increased from £30 to £100.

With Apple Pay though, there is no limit. And with Apple Pay on Apple Watch, there’s no double authentication either, so it’s super fast and incredibly easy. Of course you have to set up your cards, but once that’s done, double tap that side button and hold your wrist up to the payment terminal. Ping. Done. You don’t even need to look at your iPhone, let alone get it out.

If you want life to be even easier, there’s the Express Travel Card feature too which allows you to go through various transit options – like the London Underground or New York’s Metro – and simply hold your Apple Watch up to the payment element of the barriers. You don’t even need to double click the side button when you’ve set that up and, even if your Apple Watch dies, it will still work for a few hours. It only works on transit options though.

The two features I’d love to see
What’s Apple Watch missing though? I mean it’s come along way in eight years, but there are still a couple of features I’d love to see announced with watchOS 10.

First up is a step complication. Yes, you can see your step count if you click on your Activity Rings and then scroll down. And if you close the Activity Rings app whilst still on your steps, it will reopen in the same place when you tap on it again, which is a useful hack.

But that’s not the same as having a step complication from the Watch face though. We all know that 10,000 steps number that’s been doing the rounds for years, and while Apple has never placed a focus on it like other companies have, it’s still a figure I like to aim for.

Offering easy and quick access to your steps from a Watch face and then perhaps some extra data, such as how I’m doing compared to the day before, or the week before, would be a very welcome addition for me. Apple has all this data and you can find it all in the Health app on your iPhone, so I’m only asking for a quicker and easier way to access it.

The second feature I want to see is also related to fitness.

What I’m left wanting every week is more information about whether my body needs a rest day. It’s something Garmin offers with its Body Battery feature, Fitbit with its Daily Readiness Score, and it sits at the heart of everything Whoop does. With Apple’s focus on fitness in the Apple Watch it would make sense that a recovery feature is part of that package. After all, recovery is a key part of fitness.

Apple once again has all the information. It knows how I’ve slept, it knows how active I’ve been, it knows my resting heart rate, and more. So it also must know when I need to sit in my PJs for the day or only do a 10-minute brisk walk for the day rather than that Peloton class I did in the morning. Perhaps this feature can appear in the form of automatically adjusting my Move goal for example, or suggesting a new Move goal in the morning based on how well I’ve slept.

Either way, give me some form of a recovery feature similar to Garmin and Fitbit, and give me that steps complication and who knows, I might even invest in one of those ludicrously-expensive Hermés straps for the next wedding I have to attend so I can hit dance in the workout app and get recognised for my excellent moves on the dancefloor.

Apple Watch Series 8 $321 $399 Save $78
The Apple Watch Series 8 has a great design, heaps of sensors, and more features than you’ll probably know what to do with. Its battery life isn’t the best on the smartwatch market, but fast charging makes it easy to charge daily and the fitness features are superb.


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