Over the past five years, the Apple Watch has moved from being an iPhone accessory towards being a stand-alone device. The watch came one step closer to completing the experience when Apple Music streaming was announced. For me, the addition of the Podcasts app in watchOS 5 makes the Apple Watch a bonafide stand-alone product.
Leave Your iPhone Behind
Everyone’s uses are different, but a majority of my time on the iPhone is spent listening to music and podcasts. This is especially true when I’m out and about. I’ve installed the watchOS 5 developer beta (not recommended) and being able to listen to a podcast during a long walk without needing the iPhone is excellent.
I was thrilled when Apple announced the Series 3 with LTE. I wrote about my initial experience with the Apple Watch Series 3 a while back, and the Podcasts app only adds to it. Untethering from the iPhone has been great, but I have run into situations finishing a run or a walk where I would love to switch over to a podcast. Just in the past week, I’ve been on a hike and a few jogs. The Podcasts experience is a bit buggy, but I’ve managed to get it working on all of these outings and listening to podcasts without needing an iPhone has been remarkable.
A Stand-Alone Device
One of the common criticisms about the Apple Watch I’ve seen over the years is its limited use cases. Apple has doubled down on the watch’s fitness capabilities, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best fitness devices around. However, if you aren’t into fitness, the Apple Watch has primarily been an expensive notification machine. For most people, only using the watch for notifications is not worth the price.
I have wanted the Apple Watch to handle a majority of the things I do on the iPhone since it was announced in 2014. The addition of the Podcasts app completes the watch’s stand-alone experience. The Apple Watch can now do a majority of the things I do on the iPhone. I am thrilled to finally be able to leave my iPhone behind and still have with me a majority of the iPhone’s functionality.
Let us know in the comments if there is anything else you think the Apple Watch needs to be a completely independent device.