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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.

19 Comments
  • Apple's new Apple Watch push. Scare people into buying one. :)PS. I own one and I love it.
  • If you've never seen someone on a bike get thrown off by the person they tried to rob you've missed something in life. Happened on campus last year. Dude tried to do a snatch and pedal, but the guy who's phone was getting stolen grabbed the bike and threw it, thief still attached. And then proceeded to slam his face into the concrete. And took his school ID number, so he could make him pay for the broken phone and put him in jail. Fun times. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Ah, yes, violence is considered fun in the USA.
  • Is that "violence" or retribution?
  • Okay, so if a stranger steals your stuff, do you politely jog after him and try to ID someone wearing a hood so you can tell the cops? Pleb. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Reading comprehension: I didn't comment on the action of the crime victim, I commented on your juvenile enjoyment of the violence. As someone who has been involved in violence, I can assure you it is not fun nor fun to witness (unless you are a disturbed person).
  • Your original sentence didn't make that clear. Idk m8, blame the video games or the fact that I grew up on WWE. Or maybe I think it was entertaining to see a prick get what they deserved. Pick one. Also, yes, I'm screwed up in the head. I often wonder how the mattress industry survives seeing as many people use them for 7-10 years, and not that many people should be buying them on a regular basis. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • OMG, really?
    Get off your high horse m8...
  • Too late, I dismounted yesterday. G'day!
  • One aspect of Apple Watch I don't see discussed is the opportunity to make it an actual security device. I can see it usefull for example - someone steals your phone on bike as described in the article - and you can use the watch to send a signal to the iPhone to beep at max volume and block everything just like you could on Find My iPhone. Loud noise might incline them to drop it. Sure you might be out of range more quickly in this scenario but hey - its an option. Also for example a person is attacked, you can by force touching the screen and clicking side button, call a specific person you set as an emergency contact or mayby 911? Same thing for a medical condition - your watch detects a irregular heart rate and the contact with the skin is not broken - it could show a message - are you ok? I will call X person in 5s if you don't cancel or send an emergency signal to their iphone/app. I don't see anybody exploring this possibility - at least on the websites I read :)
  • That would require fast reflexes for it to work before the watch is too far from the phone. A lot of people are probably too freaked out from getting robbed to think of activating something that quickly.
  • One of the commenters thought that iMore sounded desperate when it tried to find good spin for the Apple Watch, especially in response to that NYT article that pointed out that Facebook hadn't done anything with it. This seems to be in the same tone -- "here's something that Apple Watch can do that you might not have considered," that Apple-haters will pile onto as proof of bias and stuff. Peter's completely right, though. The quick glances for info without getting sucked into the phone vortex are the major draw for me and this device. It's really quite nice. Is it worth $400? Yeah, probably ... I would have just blown that money on an XBone, which would have sucked up my time and made me fat and antisocial.
  • This article is ludicrous.
  • Surely if thieves see you using an apple watch then they can assume you'll have an iPhone on your person too and make you an even better target? Maybe a bit more work and risk for them but the reward is much higher especially if they have others helping. Sent from the iMore App
  • He's talking specifically of snatch and grabs. You won't snatch and grab something from a pocket. But they could follow you to a less populated area. Or they could grab the phone of the person beside you. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Just take a gun with you, and when the robber comes close BAM, !360 HEAD, NO SCOPE!
  • Slow news day, that's for sure smh
  • Hey Peter, I think you want to remove the word "not" from your last sentence. Loving my Apple Watch everyday. Thanks for your articles.
  • This happened to me in London. Let me tell you - it sucks! Sent from the iMore App