This is almost a good fit for the how we used to live thread i reccon.
but yes.. a smartphone/automation is definitly there to "improve life" (and yes i'm putting that in quotes)
and to a degree make things more streamlined/perfect. I see it as almost a trans-human development to a degree in how you and your personality are intricidly linked to the device's features. Everything from heatlh apps, increased streamlined communication, positioning and route optimization, enhanced memory function etc.
and also yes It does seem to turn people into zombies. Or at the very least encourages rude/anti social behavior to a degree. I think this is partly due to its rapid development. I think we've all been in that scenario where, after the conversation with your mates or collegues stalls for 5 seconds, someone (or all) instinctly grabs their phone for reasons.
I see automation not as an end goal but more as a tool, much like a shovel. and like most tools, its also basically just another thing for us humans to do (the same) stupid things with, only more sophisticated.
I mean if you where to travel back in time and show Sir Isaac Newton or Einstein that you and the rest of humanity now carry an electrically powered Super Calculator using quantum mechanics on multible levels, twice the computing power of the machines used to send people to the moon, in the pocket. +
And he (they) would ask you:
"Blimey! Thats (or zat is) Amazing! what do you use it for?"
you would probably honestly have to answer "arguing, aswell as watching cat video's and pornography"