How and why do people use their Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch functions as a high-tech timekeeper and a health and fitness tracker, and that’s exactly how a large group of people surveyed are using it.

The most frequent task among more than 2,000 Apple Watch owners polled by research firm Wristly for its latest “State of the Apple Watch” report was “Checking your ‘Activity’ Rings.” And just what does that mean? The Apple Watch displays different color rings on its screen, each showing your status and progress on a certain activity, such as standing, moving and exercising. Glancing at one of the rings reveals a certain stat, such as how long you’ve been exercising or how many calories you’ve burnt.

Among the people questioned by Wristly, 70 percent said they check their “activity” rings more than expected, 19 percent said they check them as often as expected and just 11 percent said they check them less than expected.

Next on the list of popular activities was checking the time. Among the people polled, 48 percent said they check the time more than expected, 51 percent said they check it as frequently as expected, and a mere 1 percent said they check it less than expected.

Apple designed its first foray into the wearables market as a catch-all device to compete with the growing array of rival devices. The Apple Watch is part smartwatch, part fitness and activity tracker and part companion to the iPhone. The watch is available in three different flavors and at three different price tags — the entry-level Sport version that starts at $349, the Apple Watch starting at $549 and the Apple Watch Edition that starts at $10,000 and competes with high-end luxury watches. Trying to make the watch function as all things to all people could’ve easily backfired on Apple. But the Wristly poll results show that in general people are using the Apple Watch for the tasks for which it was intended.

Third on the list of most common uses was “Checking the complications,” a function that lets you decide the type of information you wish to check, such as battery life, an alarm, or the weather. Here, 46 percent of those polled said they check their watch’s complications more than expected, 35 percent as expected and 19 percent less than expected.

Other tasks that were used more than expected or as expected by a majority of those polled included measuring your heart rate, making and receiving phone calls and paying for items with Apple Pay. But drilling further down the list found a few items used less than expected by more than half of the people surveyed.

Enlisting your Apple Watch as a remote to control your Apple TV or iTunes library was used less than expected by 55 percent. Tapping into the watch for personal messaging was used less than expected by 59 percent. And listening to music or podcasts was used less than expected by 60 percent.


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