My father and grandfather came from an era where television was cheap. Stick an antenna on the roof, run a wire to the TV, and you were good to go– to watch four or five channels, and mostly in the evening hours.
Times change and the time we devote to gathering information and getting involved in entertainment communicating with each other has skyrocketed beyond the earth and seems heading toward another planet. Look around. Where does your time go?
Click. Touch. Watch.
My father told me his TV antenna cost about $15 and included enough wire to get it connected to the living room television which was priced at $200 back in the last century. After that, everything was free– news and TV shows. My cable TV bill, which includes internet access, approaches $200 a month, and instead of four or five local TV channels and network access, I have at least 300 channels on TV, and tens of thousands of YouTube channels, plus Hulu, Apple News+, Apple Music, and a few other subscriptions I may have forgotten.
What’s the point?
Almost all of those news, information, and entertainment sources require an Apple device. A couple of Macs, an iPhone, two iPads, Apple Watch, an old iPod touch, and an older iPod, HomePod, and Apple TV. That gives my thousands of sources of content almost a dozen devices to run on, and most of them are capable of going with me. Mobility rules.
Since it arrived on iOS 12, I have yet to devote much time to Apple’s Screen Time app to see what I’m viewing and using. The Battery apps seems more important. Yet, after rummaging through my growing list of Apple gear and the many and varied sources of content– websites, applications, movies and photos, YouTube, and the cable TV app– I wondered how much time I spend on Apple products.
Whatever the amount, the time is growing and I have reached a tentative conclusion– it may not be healthy time.
What I want from Apple is a cross platform list of time accountability where I can fire up an app, look backwards– 30 days, 90 days, the past year– and see how much time each device is being used. No, not carried around in my pocket or sitting on my desk– but being used. That should include the time on each app, and perhaps even include the time the device was on but was not being used.
Apple’s Screen Time and Battery app are useful, but do not handle the basics. Which apps are used and when; 30 days, 90 days, a year.
For example, I wear Apple Watch about 20 hours a day, but I don’t use it– look at it for time, use an app, check exercise stats– more than an hour a day. I want to know the usage vs. the time when the device is on. Ditto for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and let’s toss in Apple TV and HomePod.
Apple is good at collecting information and keeping devices synchronized, so this is a feature the company’s customers will love to use.
How much time do you spend on Apple products each day?