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Life After iPhone Day One

As a fun experiment, I am going to try and pretend like my iPhone doesn’t exist… in its place a combination of my LTE Apple Watch and LTE iPad. Here’s my introduction post

I have essentially four types of days - a work day with a one-hour (each way) driving commute, a work day with a one-hour (each way) train commute, a work-from-home-day, and a non-working day with misc family activities/life chores.

The lack of CarPlay will be something I would really miss for the driving commute and on days that I’m working from home or not working at all, my phone already plays a very limited role in my day so I doubt I will get much insight from either of those days. As a result, the work day with the train commute is likely going to be the most interesting/least frustrating day to try going iPhone-free.

Things That Happened

  • I cheated almost immediately - part of the one-hour commute involves a 15-minute drive to the train station (followed by a 45-minute train ride). I took my phone with me and plugged it into the car so I could have CarPlay. When I arrived at the station, I left my phone in the car;
  • Within five minutes of leaving my phone behind I was already checking my pockets thinking I had lost it;
  • For quick use-cases, iPhone is obviously better… on the train I use my iPhone to select a podcast or pick songs/playlists to listen to.. this was much more cumbersome with iPad;
  • While walking to/from the office I had my AirPods connected to my iPad and noticed that with fluctuating noise in the city, not having volume control was an issue. If it was streaming from my Apple Watch, volume control would be easier. I may have to consider putting my iPad in a specific position my bag to easily reach the volume buttons (like a more annoying version of hitting the volume buttons of the phone in your pocket over top of your pants);
  • A bonus of using Siri more often was that I was not burying my head in my iPhone as I walked;
  • Using a combination of Siri, Scribble, and the Quick Replies on the watch (depending on my surroundings) was mostly fine but I was definitely more comfortable using my iPad at my desk for more involved conversations;
  • A few hiccups aside, switching AirPods between my Apple Watch and iPad was fantastic. I will be first in line for over-the-air headphones with a W-series chip that can be charged with a lightning cable;
  • Getting up to go grab a coffee or go for a walk was oddly freeing as I would only have my Apple Watch during these moments;
  • Having Apple Pay on my Apple Watch was very useful… I’ve always known it’s there but would normally use my iPhone;
  • I’ve had my iPad at my desk for months, so having it open with iMessages or Apple Music at my desk didn’t seem odd to my co-workers but it is definitely less discreet than an iPhone;
  • There were two or three moments when I was away from my desk that I wanted to take a picture but couldn’t. These moments were insignificant so I wasn’t too bothered;
  • There was also a moment that I wanted to send a friend a picture from my camera roll but I could not do that from my Apple Watch (I did this with my iPad back at my desk);
  • When I got on the train to go home, my Apple Watch battery was at 10% - this is the only time I’ve ever worried about the battery on the Series 3 Apple Watch. Because I had my iPad, this wasn’t a big concern but I may have to re-think portable batteries and having an Apple Watch charger handy;
  • I got home, put my Apple Watch on the charger and realized I left my iPhone in the car;
  • I ended up using my phone a couple times in the evening out of convenience (my iPad was still in my work bag)

Day one was definitely a success. I’m looking forward to seeing how often I notice some of the same shortcomings.

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