A day without the iPhone

Last night, I decided to spend the whole day without my iPhone. This is a massive change for me because I do recall the last time I did not have my mobile on me. The intention is to distance myself from technology in general.

Today is one of those days I am working from my office, so it’s perfect for this experiment. I am not entirely without technology, though. I had my trusty iPad Pro, Apple Watch and AirPods Pro.

The day started at 6 am, and by 7:30 am, I was in the office. My iPhone was left in my study all alone.

Strangely, most of the morning, I was occupied catching up with people, so I didn’t miss the iPhone. My main concern was whether I would be able to receive calls. I had planned for this situation. My cellular Apple Watch already made it dead simple. However, my work mobile number did not have an Apple Watch plan. Frankly, I do not need a second mobile plan on my watch. My solution was to set up call forwarding on my work number to forward all calls to my personal number, which my Watch can receive. The only remaining problem is that I cannot make calls from my work mobile number because my iPhone is at home. This is not a massive issue because I can access the direct work phone number (the old school landline). This wasn’t an issue today, but if I want to do this regularly, I may have to find a solution for this. My clients and colleagues expect to receive calls from my work mobile number.

I spend most of my day listening to music/podcasts (Spotify and Overcast). This worked amazingly well with the Apple Watch and AirPods combo. I may switch to Pocket Casts because it’s Apple Watch app is much nicer.

Apple Watch Battery

This experiment’s backbone and superstar is the Apple Watch Ultra. I know I cancelled my preorder, but I got it from Amazon. Temptation overcame me; before I knew it, I had one on my wrist. Rest is history.

Battery notes:

6am: 79%

2pm: 35%

4pm: 25%

4:44pm: 22% (back home and connected to iPhone)

8pm: 16%

It is no surprise that running your watch on 4G all day is a massive battery killer, even for the Ultra.

My Apple Watch usage:

  • 2-3 hours of audio
  • 40 minutes of phone calls
  • Numerous iMessages
  • Apple Pay for groceries
  • Apple Pay to withdraw cash twice from the local ATM
  • 15 minutes outdoor morning walk

Apps used:

  • Overcast
  • Willy Weather
  • Spotify
  • Things 3
  • Due
  • Parcel
  • Reminders
  • Calendars

Impressively, all apps mentioned above worked well independently without the iPhone. The only app that did not work was VIP ACCESS which required a connection to the iPhone.

I missed messages sent on WhatsApp and Viber. It was not the end of the world, and it worked in my favour because I was not distracted by it.

Overall thoughts

It was fantastic. It was so freeing not to have a glass slab in my pocket. Occasionally, I felt I had misplaced my iPhone because my pockets were empty. Interesting, I felt more aware of my surroundings as I was more present in the physical world than having my head down on my iPhone.

Most importantly, I felt a stronger sense of focus towards my work. I get distracted easily, so this was a massive plus in my books.

In the future, it may be worth leaving the iPhone at home several times a week.

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