With the recent Apple Watch and iPhone announcements, a couple of things stand out. There’s a pronounced way our behavior is being molded by these products.
Apple Watch Series 4 comes with the ability to take ECG measurements. While this sounds immensely useful, my wife pointed out this would potentially contribute to self-diagnoses and anxiety.
"Do you wind up catching a few undiagnosed cases? Sure. But for the vast majority of people it will have either no impact or possibly a negative impact by causing anxiety or unnecessary treatment," says cardiologist Theodore Abraham, director of the UCSF Echocardiography Laboratory. The more democratized you make something like ECG, he says, the more you increase the rate of false positives—especially among the hypochondriac set.
Another annoying outcome is the death of the small phone; Apple seems to have all but given up on the SE series, which in hindsight, was the perfect size for a phone. We’re left with a slew of devices that are clumsy and awkward to hold and use.
And not just hands. Bigger phones take up more pocket and purse real estate. They strain your thumbs and stress your jeans. They’re more frustrating to run with. They demand both hands to operate. They also arguably require more mental space; the larger the screen, the more you do with it, and the more easily it becomes the locus of your daily life.