Did you know that LifeAlert is at least $69/month? And it costs $198 to get started with their service, ostensibly to get the equipment out to you and setup correctly, plus gather all the info about you.

So, yeah, the watch is $799. 799-198=601, 601/69=8.7. This means that buy the 9th month of having LifeAlert, I will have paid for the Apple Watch Ultra. Yes, there are cheaper models that will do a lot of the same stuff, so the ROI is earlier.


Why is this math even applicable?

Well, you see, it’s because this Watch does just about everything LifeAlert did, except it handles it automatically instead of needing to push a button first. If I fall or am in a car crash, the watch gives me one minute to say I’m ok before it dials 911 with my GPS location.

Oh, and it tells my bestie, too.

But then there’s all the other stuff the watch does. Like keep tabs on my sleep. And heart numbers (informational only, not diagnostics). And reminders to move around. And so very much more.

For example. I have a Bluetooth toothbrush. It tells the health app how well my teeth were brushed, for how long, and so on.

Let’s start with the iPhone screens generated from Apple Watch data.

Here’s what I know about my sleep:

Screen from Apple's Health app showing a graph of how well I slept last night.
Last night’s sleep report

The high points in red are the moments I was awake (whether I knew it or not). The low parts in dark blue are the deep sleep. The blue is regular sleepy sleep. The aqua is light sleep.

Here’s some more good stuff:

Screenshot showing my sleep last night, steps so far today, how long I brushed my teeth, and how steady my walking is.
More iWatch Info

Just ignore the tooth brushing thing. I discovered that the fancy-pants Oral B does not automagically realize that brushing is happening. Meaning I wasn’t opening the app first to chat with said toothbrush. Now we know.

Here’s the bestest part, imo. If ya get an app called Welltory (I get no commission or goodies by saying this), there’s all kinds of awesome:

Holy 💩, that’s a lotta info! Ok, granted, it’s $79/year for this app, but day-umm. Maybe they’ll have a New Year special for all those resolution types.

But wait, there’s more!

Blurry photo of how I have the Apple Watch Ultra's face set.
Yeah, it’s blurry. This was the best one, I promise.

Note that this is a customized watch face. The standard options just didn’t cut it for me.

  • Remember the Pomodoro post? I can set a watch complication (whoever named this is an idiot) to the desired Pomodoro time, and tada, all I gotta do is tap the upper left corner and do the things. It’ll buzz me to let me know I’m done for now
  • The lower-left is how well I’m meeting the day’s fitness goals. When tapped, it makes the circles bigger and colors them. Swiping left shows our family. So if dad was still with us and had a watch, I could see his fitness on my watch. How frickin’ cool is that?!
  • The lower-right tells me whether there’s rain or snow happening outside so I can be properly prepared. When tapped, it shows me the local radar map, and tells me the expected next rain or snow. At the moment, that’s in 8 minutes.
  • I can tap the little bed in the upper-right corner to show the same sleep info as the first picture above.
  • Inside the circle, the top complication tells me the day and date. Tapping on it brings up the calendar, which can be set all kinds of ways. Currently it displays the week.
  • The left shows the moon’s cycle. Tapping on it doesn’t do anything fun.
  • The right tells me how deep I’m swimming or diving, and the water’s temperature. I was hoping it would assess the shower’s temperature, but it doesn’t. Oh, well. Gonna hafta replace that.
  • The bottom shows the time digitally. Long story, it’s tough for me to use a regular circle to tell time. Maybe I’ll post about it some day.

Now for the next weirdly awesomeness. Hand gestures can be set to do different things. For example, I have the double-pinch set to cycle through the various complications, and a single pinch to select the one it’s on.

I haven’t set the double or single zoom, yet.

Ya know that gallery of heart and sleep pictures? I can see that on my watch, as well, just by telling my phone to enable the Welltory app on the watch.

Now the totally fun part. Pandora, Apple Music, Shazam, Voice Memos, Audible, Podcasts, and dozens more are also enabled. Yep, dozens. All I gotta do to get to those is double-press the smoother button, and then scroll through and select one.

For example, it will

  • check my blood oxygen level
  • pay with the Apple Wallet
  • show a compass
  • display my banking info using facial recognition to log in
  • show how loud it is in here using the Decibel app
  • check my ECG
  • open Find My to locate any family member’s Apple devices
  • start my car
  • open Google Maps
  • open the Home app to control the lights and thermostat
  • track medications adherence
  • read and send SMS messages
  • show the Night Sky app so I can move the telescope around to know what I’m looking at

Seriously, that’s just a fraction of the list.

Whoops, forgot to mention that it connects to the AirPods Max to play whichever sounds I’ve selected. The watch also has speakers to play stuff, but why use that when the ANC (active noise cancelling) headphones are nearby?

Oh, and did I mention that it’s got it’s own phone number? Yep. It’s cellular.

This Ultra model is designed for outdoor types who may be alone doing something fun like repelling, deep sea diving, skiing, and the like. Meaning the person may be alone or not have a family member or friend nearby if something goes wrong.

When the bad stuff happens, it will call 911 (or the local equivalent in a different country), and send them the GPS location. In my case, this means an unsteady old lady living alone in a two-story home with two Velcro dogs has the peace of mind that if a fall happens, first responders can help.

Oh, and it reminds to get up and move a bit every hour cuz, ya know, disabled and sedentary. Granted it doesn’t always have to do that because the pups are pretty good at needing attention that requires me to be up and about.

It’s enabled to track wheelchair movement, as well. Not sure what all this tracks because I don’t use one. Yet?

My only unhappies with the Watch isn’t really about the watch. It’s about the Health app, which is only available on the Watch and iPhone. Meaning I can’t see all the default functionality on the bigger iPad screen. Thank goodness most of the third party apps have iPad versions.

For reals, if you’re gonna use a service such as LifeAlert, I strongly advise you to give the Apple Watch a try. There are cheaper models than the Ultra that will do most of the stuff it does. They’re not as durable for life events such as bathing the dogs, or roughhousing with them.