Give thieves less to steal with the Apple Watch

Lately I've read a few news reports that cite a rise in the number of phone thefts in cities from people on bikes. Bike-bound thieves see an unwary pedestrian with their cell phone in front of them, texting or looking at the screen, and they intercept them and snatch the phone, then pedal away before the pedestrian has time to react. The Apple Watch gives you one way to help avoid these problems.

Obviously there are other things you can do to protect yourself, too. Choosing to not use your phone conspicuously and carelessly is probably the best advice. But if you do need access to your iPhone, cup it in your hands and keep them close to your body: That makes it harder for someone to snatch the phone away. Consider a case with a lanyard that loops to your wrist, too. It'll make it harder to drop as well, so you won't have to pay for an expensive screen replacement.

And remain vigilant with some situational awareness. Look around at all times, not just to avoid things like bike-bound thieves, but motor vehicles, other pedestrians and the occasional open manhole cover.

Here's another reason, however, that you might want to consider getting an Apple Watch at some point: One thing just about everyone who's worn an Apple Watch will agree on is that it helps you keep your phone in your pocket. You don't need access to the phone to take and make calls, respond to text messages or get directions — you can do it all from your Apple Watch.

Whether I'm getting turn-by-turn directions to wherever I'm meeting people for lunch, or asking my wife what I should pick up for dinner, I reach for my phone markedly less than I did before I got my Apple Watch in June.

If it sounds like I'm being ridiculous, read what my pal David Caolo had to say about his recent trip to New York City over at Apple World Today. He talked about navigating the unfamiliar terrain of Times Square and Central Park using taps on the wrist and an occasional look down, instead of staring at his phone constantly.

It took only an instant to glance at my Watch and retrieve the information that I needed. The process was unobtrusive, effective and safe; I wasn't worried about bumping into someone or dropping my phone.

That's why the Apple Watch can make you a safer pedestrian and a less likely mugging target, because you're not spending more time looking around you and less time with your nose buried in your phone.

Peter Cohen