I've been using the latest Apple Watch for 4 months — here are the best and most surprising features I've found so far (AAPL)

Apple Watch Series 4

  • I’ve owned the Apple Watch Series 4 for about four months, and I’m already impressed by it.
  • Exploring the Apple Watch Series 4 has led me to find features I really like — and wasn’t necessarily expecting.
  • Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.

When Apple released the first-generation Apple Watch to the public in early 2015, it felt like incredible hardware being held back by software limitations.

Four years later, the Apple Watch hardware has improved even further, but the software has finally caught up too. Navigation feels intuitive, apps launch quickly, and the overall experience feels more mature.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is Apple’s best watch yet. And in using it over the past couple of months, I’ve stumbled upon features that surprised me initially but that I’ve come to appreciate.

Take a look.

SEE ALSO: The Apple Watch Series 4 has converted me into an Apple Watch believer

The Apple Watch can unlock my Mac computer.

I bought a 2018 Mac Mini in December. Being able to walk up to my computer, press the mouse or any key, and be immediately logged in is super nifty.

I was surprised when this happened the first time. I started moving the mouse on my computer to wake it, then felt a tap on my wrist, and suddenly I was logged into my Mac.

It’s really cool knowing that the Apple Watch can act as a key, or a universal access code, to my other Apple devices.

The Apple Watch can control my Apple TV — and I love using it way more than Apple’s physical remote for the device.

The Apple TV is a perfectly good streaming device, but the Apple TV remote is, well, not as good. It’s very small, extremely slippery, and easy to lose in couch cushions. It’s also symmetrical in a way that you can’t hold the remote and be sure which side is up — I often pick up the remote and press a button only to return to the main menu, because the remote was upside down.

I never have this problem on the Apple Watch, and using it as a remote is as easy as lifting my wrist and pressing the button on the side to toggle my “dock” of 10 favorite apps. Once I’m in the Remote app on my watch, I can play, pause, scroll, and return to menus manually. (Siri support would be a nice feature, given how useful it is on the remote control.)

The Apple Watch is superior to Apple’s included remote for the Apple TV, and I’ll never misplace it because it’s literally attached to my arm.

Achieving your activity goals in the Apple Watch felt more rewarding than I’d anticipated.

I’d heard a lot of happy Apple Watch customers discussing the satisfaction of “closing your rings.” In the Apple Watch, you have daily activity goals that it will encourage you to meet: a standing goal, a movement goal, and an exercise goal. They’re easily achievable and adjustable, but what’s nice is the positive feedback the watch gives you when you meet a goal or are getting close.

The Apple Watch will occasionally remind you to stand — even the original watch did that — but I love how you’ll get notifications and shiny medals for when you beat your move goal or complete a certain workout for the first time.

It feels like having a coach there encouraging me to keep going, and I’m definitely more motivated to close my rings every day as a result.

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