Few things unite Londoners more than a collective lack of time to get stuff done. The good news is that a smartwatch can shrinkwrap various micro-tasks into a more digestible form. Whether you are an Apple acolyte or Android fan, these gizmos can accelerate your day.
You’ll need to rejuice the battery fairly often but more smartwatches are now sold worldwide than the entire Swiss watch industry manages to ship each year. Still need convincing? Here are five reasons to give one a whirl…
Pay tube fares – or anything else – in a hurry
Get ready to dance through those turnstiles and shimmy your way along the supermarket aisles, because you’ll rarely ever reach for a credit card or cash again. Once you’ve set-up Apple Pay or Google Pay on your smartwatch, you can simply waft your arm across a nearby contactless payment terminal to settle bills of up to £100 per transaction, without fumbling for a phone or wallet. It’s an instantly addictive way to do things.
Elegantly find your way around
Yanking a handset out to check directions in the street makes anyone look like a tourist. If a smartwatch has GPS built-in (or if it’s twinned with the smartphone in your pocket) you no longer need to. Instead, you’ll enjoy discreet turn-by-turn instructions on your wrist to guide you to a destination. Apple Watch users don’t even need to look, as it uses haptic taps to reveal when to turn or if you’ve arrived. You’ll always look like you know the area.
Take control of your tunes
Smartwatches enable you to beam your music wirelessly onto a Bluetooth speaker or headphones. If you have a data connection, you can stream directly from the cloud but, if not, you can generally pre-load playlists onto the watch instead. In most cases, you simply open your choice of app on the watch and then either tap the icons or use the voice assistant to call the tune. This is especially handy, given that earbuds have fiddly controls.
Stay in touch on the hoof
If your smartwatch has mobile data, or is twinned with your phone, you can take calls or send messages without breaking stride. You can make a call with the voice assistant or dictate a message if the short pre-baked messages already available in your watch don’t suffice. Instantly transfer calls from your watch onto your phone or the other way round, if that suits you better at any given moment. Wireless headphones make everything easier.
Monitor your body
From the moment it wakes you, a smartwatch provides a wealth of health information and fitness features, from your heart rate through to oxygen levels. These can save your life – or at least help you to shed a little heft. The Apple Watch offers a ‘virtual gym’ service and its newest models promise to shine a light on ovulation. Just don’t be that crazed urban cyclist who blazes through road junctions without looking, simply to avoid dropping a notch in performance. That takes fitness-tracking way too far. You know who you are.