Apple Watches at Trump impeachment turn senators into scofflaws

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Series 3 6 months on
An Apple Watch is almost as capable as an iPhone (and neither is allowed in the Senate chamber this week).
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Some U.S. senators apparently just can’t be without their Apple gear, even when they aren’t supposed to have it. Lawmakers have been noticed wearing Apple Watches during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, a violation of the agreed-upon rules.

Among the rules set for Trump’s trial is the following restriction: “No use of phones or electronic devices will be allowed in the Chamber. All electronics should be left in the Cloakroom in the storage provided.”

But eight senators — six Republicans and two Democrats — have been spotted by Roll Call wearing Apple Watches in the Senate chamber during the trial.

Apple Watch is as powerful as a phone

Long gone are the days when these wrist computers reverted to being simple timepieces when away from an iPhone. Apple Watch versions released in the past couple of years can include built-in cellular connections, enabling them to make calls or send texts.

That said, so far there have been no reports of senators using their watchOS devices during the trial as anything but wristwatches.