I’ve had an Apple Watch for a while now, but I’ve never been that bothered about it. I was supposed to be an early adopter of the first generation thanks to a hefty employee discount, but I canceled it ahead of launch. I finally relented with Series 3, and I’ve since owned both Series 7 and Series 8.
Whilst I like the Apple Watch, I’ve never thought of it as indispensable. In fact, unless I need it for a purpose, such as tracking a workout or navigating an airport, I tend not to wear one day to day, and certainly never at home. I find getting notification pings on my wrist to be horrendously annoying.
This past week, however, I took some much-needed vacation and headed to the island of Mallorca. Turns out, the Apple Watch is absolutely indispensable when you head to the beach.
Beaches are great, but there are some drawbacks. Sand, sea, and seaweed get everywhere, and I mean literally everywhere. There’s sun cream, there are refreshments, sticks, dust, and anything else you can think of. What better place then, to lock your iPhone away in a bag and let your Apple Watch do all of the hard work?
The recipe for success
With a couple of complication tweaks, I found the Apple Watch to be a vital beach companion on my holidays in a way I’ve never found elsewhere. There’s navigation, which is handy in getting you to your destination, of course, but on arrival, the Apple Watch really begins to excel.
I set my Nike Apple Watch face to display the weather and the UV index. With temperatures consistently in the 90s and UV index readings of 9, 10, or even 11 (the stay-inside level), the sun in Mallorca is not to be trifled with. Without ever once picking up my iPhone, I had an ever-present guide to the outdoor conditions, ensuring that during my time making sand castles, I spent ample time in the shade and out of harmful UV rays.
When it was time to leave the shade and hop in the sea, setting an open water swim was perfect to capture my exertion as I floated around the med, snorkeled, and made several extremely poor attempts at standing up on a paddle board. I love the water lock on the Apple Watch, which keeps all the hatches battened down and ensures you can’t accidentally activate your watch display while swimming. As soon as you’re out of the drink, the water ejection vibration is a fun yet reassuring experience that ensures you’re not bringing any salty sea water home with you in your Apple Watch’s speaker.
Keeping in touch
As friends and my Wife went back and forth from our spot, our Apple Watches were perfect for sending messages or a quick walkie-talkie to keep everyone informed as to whereabouts and plans. Finally, when it came time to retrieve the all-important ice creams, Apple Pay was right there on my wrist to deliver the goods.
The Apple Watch is obviously more limited than an iPhone in terms of raw functionality, but the proximity on my wrist and the immense build quality of my Series 8 filled me with confidence that my watch could handle an afternoon at the beach the way my iPhone might not want to.
Sun, sea, and sand left my Apple Watch unphased, and provided me with all the tools I needed to stay safe and enjoy myself, all the while detaching me from my iPhone and the dreaded internet portal of doom-scrolling that can ruin even the most relaxing day.
Our next trip takes us to Lanzarote in October, and you best believe I can’t wait to take my Apple Watch Series 9 (or maybe my Apple Watch Ultra 2) along with me. If only it could help me stand up on a paddleboard for more than 10 seconds.