Snippet: Minimum Viable Technology ☇

Shared on January 8, 2023

M.G. Siegler:

Because I always have my iPhone with me, I probably utilize the Apple Watch about 25% as much as I should.² I know this is a ridiculous thing to say, but I also know I’m not alone here (and I’ve been saying this since the device launched). But given how powerful the Apple Watch now is — especially the Ultra version — I wonder if it’s not time to leave the iPhone at home, or in another room, or in the bag more. Sure, Apple Watch can’t do everything, or at least not as well as you can on the iPhone, but what if “good enough” is well, good enough? Until you get back to the iPhone.

I think the Apple Watch is at a great place where it can be a good stand-in for a lot of iPhone things, but my biggest gripe is how hamstrung it is by the stupid cellular carriers. I understand needing some “secret sauce” if you want to have multiple devices ring the same number, but why the heck can’t I set up a cellular Apple Watch on a standalone number and cheap plan and give it its own number? Is it not more like a phone than another kind of device at this point? iMessage and FaceTime would work with both numbers, so I’d only miss out on calls and potentially SMS/MMS if I was away from my phone. (For what it’s worth, a lot of postpaid carriers allow you to share your number with your iPhone or issue a standalone number, so it’s not entirely out of the question.)

Something like the $10 T-Mobile Connect plan on an Apple Watch would be a great addition to say, a phone on Verizon or AT&T (or a business account) if you can’t bundle it. The only option that might work is Family Setup, but that’s not intended for an individual who has an iPhone and Apple Watch.

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