Apple Watch to reportedly offer 'Power Reserve' to help extend battery life

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2015
Apple will offer a low power mode on Apple Watch to help boost it through longer days, according to a new report that also takes a stab at dispelling rumors that the company may have elected to all some long-rumored sensors last minute.




With the exception of Pebble products, most current and upcoming smartwatches - including the Apple Watch - will last no more than a day on a single charge. To help mitigate this issue, Apple has reportedly developed a still unannounced software feature of the Apple Watch called Power Reserve, according to the New York Times. It's said to cut power to all non-essential functions and display only the time, helping to extend the watch's life in cases where a recharge may not be possible. The function is similar in concept to the Battery Saver mode in Android 5.0, which can push smartphone battery life from minutes to hours by reducing processor use.

Apple previously stated that the Watch's battery should last only a normal day, requiring a fresh charge at night. Although standard among smartwatches, the issue has created controversy, since many had been hoping Apple would solve the smartwatch industry's battery woes with its inaugural effort.

The report also notes that despite some recent claims to the contrary, Apple's decision to abandon some advanced health tracking features came over 18 months ago, rather than at the last minute. Early experiments in tracking factors like blood pressure and stress are said to have been ditched after the sensors proved unreliable and otherwise unworkable. Instead, the first-generation device only features motion and heart-rate sensors, once again mirroring some competing smartwatches.

The Times also highlights some of the challenges that faced the Apple Watch's development cycle, noting that Apple not only encountered technical difficulties in achieving its ideal design but was also forced to battle the loss of key engineers, some of whom were poached by Google-owned home automation outfit Nest Labs. Among them was Bryan James, who became an Engineering vice president at Nest early last year.

Chief among some of the later challenges was keeping a tight lid on secrecy surrounding the product while simultaneously deploying evaluation units into the real world, for which Apple engineers created dummy casing, including some resembling Samsung smartwatches.

Apple is due to reveal more details about the Watch at a San Francisco press event on March 9th. AppleInsider will be offering live coverage of the event as it progresses.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    A commentator on The Verge noted that Tim Cook typically gets up at 3:45am and goes to bed at 9:30pm. Let's hope Tim's comment about a day of use falls under the number of hours he awake and active.

    With the exception of Pebble products, most current and upcoming smartwatches - including the Apple Watch - will last no more than a day on a single charge.

    Cue people citing examples of glorified fitness trackers, analog watches with some fitness tracking capabilities, and vaporware to prove the author wrong.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    dewinterdewinter Posts: 14member
    I would think that Starbuck's and any sort airport vendors would make apple watch chargers available to patrons.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    dewinter wrote: »
    I would think that Starbuck's and any sort airport vendors would make apple watch chargers available to patrons.

    I wouldn't. They don't offer any Lightning or micro-USB chargers so I wouldn't expect them to have any ?Watch chargers. Even if they did have smartphone and tablet chargers I still wouldn't expect them to offer ?Watch chargers because 1) you have to take your ?Watch off to charge, and 2) the ?Watch induction chargers are considerably more expensive than a Lightning or Micro-USB charging cable and generic power supply with a USB Type-A port.


    edit: Even if you're referring to an inductive charging table, I still don't see that being done because of ?Watch.
  • Reply 4 of 27

    This sounds like a desperate move akin to Samsung's power-saving mode, in which the phone goes black and white and functionality is rendered almost completely obsolete.

     

    It also tells us that Apple haven't made some great breakthrough with battery life, so all those worrying about battery life will probably have to wait for the next model, if Apple are still making it by then, or abstain completely. 

     

    If the Apple Watch is this fragile as it stands, no wonder they didn't include GPS; that would have killed the battery like it’s going out of style.

     

    The anticipation for the unicorn continues.

  • Reply 5 of 27
    brlawyerbrlawyer Posts: 828member
    This sounds like a desperate move akin to Samsung's power-saving mode, in which the phone goes black and white and functionality is rendered almost completely obsolete.

    It also tells us that Apple haven't made some great breakthrough with battery life, so all those worrying about battery life will probably have to wait for the next model, if Apple are still making it by then, or abstain completely. 

    If the Apple Watch is this fragile as it stands, no wonder they didn't include GPS; that would have killed the battery like it’s going out of style.

    The anticipation for the unicorn continues.

    Exactly right - "battery saving mode" is another name for "we have failed to achieve the desired breakthrough"; can't remotely imagine SJ settling with such a kludgy compromise.

    Still bulky, still fugly, still battery-weak and quickly obsolete, no matter how many Vogue covers they pay for.

    What about focusing on Macs again, Apple?
  • Reply 6 of 27
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,114member
    The New York Times article also essentially predicts that the AppleWatch will be tough going for Apple.

    We should check back with the author in six months.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Apple is focusing on Macs. A new Mac is next I hear. Believe it or not, Apple can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    I predict luxury models of the Apple Watch will sell out almost immediately, then they will sell 10 million in CHina alone, and about 25-30 million worldwide. Chinese love expensive sexy watches, and the Apple Watch will be a huge seller. It will also take a big chunk out of Swiss luxury watch sales.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BJNflicks View Post



    Apple is focusing on Macs. A new Mac is next I hear. Believe it or not, Apple can walk and chew gum at the same time.



    I predict luxury models of the Apple Watch will sell out almost immediately, then they will sell 10 million in CHina alone, and about 25-30 million worldwide. Chinese love expensive sexy watches, and the Apple Watch will be a huge seller. It will also take a big chunk out of Swiss luxury watch sales.

     

     

    I predict that the Apple Watch stands a chance of not being released at all.

     

    If it is, I predict that it will sell less than 15 million in the first year, and probably less than 10 million.

     

    10-14 million=disappointing.

    Less than 10 million=failure.

  • Reply 9 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post



    Exactly right - "battery saving mode" is another name for "we have failed to achieve the desired breakthrough"

     

    That's right. Just make sure when Samsung puts battery saving mode into their products, you spin it as clever innovation. Samsung certainly does.

  • Reply 10 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post



    Exactly right - "battery saving mode" is another name for "we have failed to achieve the desired breakthrough"

     

    That's right... 


     

    Agreed.

  • Reply 11 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

    I predict that the Apple Watch stands a chance of not being released at all.

     

    If it is, I predict that it will sell less than 15 million in the first year, and probably less than 10 million.

     

    10-14 million=disappointing.

    Less than 10 million=failure.




    Android watches:

    More than 10 total=victory!

    Less than 10 total=disappointing.

    0 total=failure

  • Reply 12 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

    I predict that the Apple Watch stands a chance of not being released at all.

     

    If it is, I predict that it will sell less than 15 million in the first year, and probably less than 10 million.

     

    10-14 million=disappointing.

    Less than 10 million=failure.




    Android watches:

    More than 10 total=victory!

    Less than 10 total=disappointing.

    0 total=failure


     

     

    Lol!

     

    Might as well be. There is no smartwatch market to speak of. I saw 6.8 million or so touted, but, no doubt, most of these were sitting in drawers.

  • Reply 13 of 27
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,063member

    I hope all the trolls are right and that no one buys the Watch.

    That way, there will not be lineups for it and I can get one on the first day!

     

    Look back to the first gen iPhone.  Would you buy one today?

    Are expectations too high for the Watch?

    Mine aren't.

     

    Apple products are about evolution when released.

    Some call it planned obsolescence, but I consider it an investment in the future.

  • Reply 14 of 27
    adamcadamc Posts: 569member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post





    Exactly right - "battery saving mode" is another name for "we have failed to achieve the desired breakthrough"; can't remotely imagine SJ settling with such a kludgy compromise.



    Still bulky, still fugly, still battery-weak and quickly obsolete, no matter how many Vogue covers they pay for.



    What about focusing on Macs again, Apple?



    Perhaps you can do better so how about coming out with your own smart watch to show how clever you are.

  • Reply 15 of 27
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    sog35 wrote: »
    14 million would be 400,000 less than the fastest seling apple product of all time.

    14 million would be more than the first year sales of the Mac, iPhone, and iPod.........COMBINED.

    I agree.

    Anything over 5 million would be a huge success for the Apple Watch since the competition is all struggling to sell 500,000 of their respective devices.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    gonevwgonevw Posts: 45member
    I bought the original IPhone, now unopened its worth 10 grand, I will be buying two Apple Watchs
  • Reply 17 of 27
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

     

    Look back to the first gen iPhone.  Would you buy one today?


     

    No 3G, no GPS, no apps. Why did Apple even bother releasing it?

     

    I'm sure that Benjamin Frost would have been just as negative about it.

     

    Personally, I'm looking forward to buying an Apple Watch. 

  • Reply 18 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    I wouldn't. They don't offer any Lightning or micro-USB chargers so I wouldn't expect them to have any ?Watch chargers. Even if they did have smartphone and tablet chargers I still wouldn't expect them to offer ?Watch chargers because 1) you have to take your ?Watch off to charge, and 2) the ?Watch induction chargers are considerably more expensive than a Lightning or Micro-USB charging cable and generic power supply with a USB Type-A port.





    edit: Even if you're referring to an inductive charging table, I still don't see that being done because of ?Watch.

     

    Well for what it's worth, my local Starbucks actually does provide free iPhone chargers to patrons.

  • Reply 19 of 27
    richl wrote: »
     
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Look back to the first gen iPhone.  Would you buy one today?</span>

    No 3G, no GPS, no apps. Why did Apple even bother releasing it?

    I'm sure that Benjamin Frost would have been just as negative about it.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to buying an Apple Watch. 

    Sadly, Apple Insider didn't have the delights of my input back then, but you're right, I was negative about the original iPhone.

    The original iPad, on the other hand, I thought would be a huge hit.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    Smartwatches and watches designed for physical training are growing closer and closer together:

    [VIDEO]
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