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Fitness be damned, this is why I’m using the Apple Watch
The melodic trilling of my phone from the depths of the couch has become a sacrosanct sound.
Quite frankly, I don’t care about how many steps I’ve taken, or how many calories that workout burned. “Finish the day strong! Just a seven minute brisk walk will do it!” Yes watch, I'm entirely aware that I can do it but my ankle hurts and I don’t feel like it today.
Despite their overwhelmingly encouraging fitness focus, I love smartwatches. They bring a new level of convenience to basic tasks like setting a timer, peeking at a message, and gamifying your life to the point where you can literally watch your stats change in real time. There are plenty to choose from, but I'll keep using the Apple Watch purely because of how often I lose my phone.
I would guess that my phone is somewhat lost 70% of the time. It is nestled snugly amongst my blankets, left in the pocket of a pair of pants I've since put away, sitting on my kitchen bench in plain sight but my brain doesn’t recognise its existence.
My phone’s persistent independence is a daily problem. If I really could see my lifelong stats in a handy menu, the phrases “have you seen my phone?” and “I’m ready, I just have to find my phone” would easily crack my top 10 of all time. However, thanks to Find Devices on the Apple Watch those sentences might just get overtaken by my hyper-specific martini order.
Find Devices on the Apple Watch is an app aimed to help you locate Apple products that are off having their own adventure. You can connect devices, all registered under the same Apple ID, and use your watch to locate them by playing a sound, flashing lights, or in extreme circumstances, get directions to their location. While I haven’t needed a map to find my iPhone yet, the melodic trilling of my phone from the depths of the couch has become a sacrosanct sound.
This feature is available across pretty much every Apple product including AirPods, Macs, iPads, and even the MagSafe Wallet. Apple added the Find My Network in iOS 13, which lets you locate lost devices without a connection to WiFi or a mobile network by using other Apple devices nearby and Bluetooth. The phone/watch connection is simpler, if the two are within Bluetooth range then you can ping your phone from a shortcut in the Control Center.
During the latest Apple Keynote, the brand doubled down on the idea that the Apple Watch (among other products) could save your life by alerting you to a heart condition or calling emergency services in a car accident. Find Devices might not be a life-saving feature, but it is a time-saver.
Before my Apple Watch, every loss meant losing a further ten minutes retracing my steps in a mild panic. I’ve had the Series 7 for about three months, and I can safely say it would have saved me at least 12 hours of searching. Unfortunately, that is one life stat that I can’t track on my Apple Watch… Maybe an Absent Mindfulness menu is a worthy addition to the Health app.