LTE Apple Watch details: iCloud Music Library streaming, 16GB of storage, LTE talk time an...

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in Apple Watch edited September 2017
After announcing Apple Watch Series 3 onstage at a special media event on Tuesday, Apple provided additional details about its latest wearable, noting increases in onboard storage, music streaming information and expected battery life when connected to an LTE network.




Compared to the outgoing Series 2, and the Series 1, the LTE Series 3 doubles onboard storage to 16GB, a good amount for music, podcasts, apps and other content.

Interestingly, Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS -- and no LTE radio -- keeps storage at 8GB, meaning customers who buy the LTE version are paying a $70 premium for 8GB of memory and cellular capability. For reference, Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) comes in at $329, while the LTE model starts at $399 and moves up to $1,299 for the high-end Apple Watch Edition.

As for battery life, Apple provides estimates based on testing conducted in its labs in August using preproduction hardware and prerelease software.

For the Series 3, Apple quotes all day battery life of 18 hours under simulated normal use conditions involving 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) was connected to a host iPhone via Bluetooth for its test, while the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) ferried data over LTE for 4 hours and Bluetooth for 14 hours.

Moving on to voice calls, Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) lasts a mere hour when connected directly to an LTE network compared to three hours over Bluetooth. By comparison, talk time on the Series 1 is also pegged at three hours over Bluetooth.

Apple's document goes on to say Series 3 can last up to 10 hours in an indoor workout session with heart rate sensor on and GPS off. Outdoor GPS-assisted sessions without a host iPhone can last up to five hours on the GPS-only model, while the GPS with LTE Watch dies after four hours.

Finally, Apple confirmed to AppleInsider that Apple Watch Series 3 is capable of streaming music from a user's iCloud Music Library using iTunes Match, meaning users are not forced into an Apple Music subscription. Of course, users can also load up tunes by syncing with their iPhone, as with past Watch models.

Apple Watch Series 3 goes up for order this Friday, with initial shipments due to arrive on Sept. 22.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    A dumb question, I know, given how many years I've done this. But better to be safe than sorry. And heck, I'll be doing a public service. 

    Does 'Friday' mean 12.01AM Friday (i.e, late Thursday night, technically Friday morning) or does it mean early Saturday morning?
    rezwits
  • Reply 2 of 29
    A dumb question, I know, given how many years I've done this. But better to be safe than sorry. And heck, I'll be doing a public service. 

    Does 'Friday' mean 12.01AM Friday (i.e, late Thursday night, technically Friday morning) or does it mean early Saturday morning?
    There isn't really a 100% reliable definition. I think there have only been 2 "off" times, where it was some random 9:00am-10:00am or something? But MOST LIKELY it's 12:01am or more like 12:03am by the time the servers kick-in...
  • Reply 3 of 29
    Can it be paired to iPad, Mac or direct to iCloud and not have an iPhone at all?
     
  • Reply 4 of 29
    mattinoz said:
    Can it be paired to iPad, Mac or direct to iCloud and not have an iPhone at all?
     
    It can't (yet). The Series 3 watch requires an iPhone 6 or newer for initial setup, whereas older models required the iPhone 5s or newer. We also asked Apple at the event today and confirmed that the watch cannot be paired with multiple phones (say, for example, if you wanted to switch between a work phone and personal one). Even though data is possible on the go, you're still dependent on an iPhone for setup and iCloud backup.

    Another key factor missing on other platforms: Apple's Health app is not available on iPad or Mac, which would create another problem for syncing with those devices.

    As a big Apple Watch fan, I would hope that watchOS 5 (or even a 4.1 update) would make strides in a more independent direction. It would be nice to see Continuity features from Mac/iOS come to the watch, such as receiving Mac notifications on your wrist when away from the computer, or being able to sync health data and setup/restore with an iPad/Mac.
    fastasleepmattinozGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 29
    That red dot though. Does anyone have a plausible reason for that? I mean, I'm not one to usually criticize Apple's design choices, but I simply cannot understand why the high contrast red dot that serves no obvious purpose on an otherwise monochromatic design.
    shaunkorechia
  • Reply 6 of 29
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,161member
    That red dot though. Does anyone have a plausible reason for that? I mean, I'm not one to usually criticize Apple's design choices, but I simply cannot understand why the high contrast red dot that serves no obvious purpose on an otherwise monochromatic design.
    Easy identification for one thing. I think this is more to help the retail workers than customers. 
  • Reply 7 of 29
    Rayz2016 said:
    That red dot though. Does anyone have a plausible reason for that? I mean, I'm not one to usually criticize Apple's design choices, but I simply cannot understand why the high contrast red dot that serves no obvious purpose on an otherwise monochromatic design.
    Easy identification for one thing. I think this is more to help the retail workers than customers. 
    That's ridiculous. If you worked in retail, you'd flip the Watch over and read the back, or look at Settings if you had to. There is absolutely no way they decided to put a bright red dot on the new Watch to help retail.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    A dumb question, I know, given how many years I've done this. But better to be safe than sorry. And heck, I'll be doing a public service. 

    Does 'Friday' mean 12.01AM Friday (i.e, late Thursday night, technically Friday morning) or does it mean early Saturday morning?

    Generally, it has been midnight Thursday night/Friday morning, though IIRC, midnight pacific time/3am eastern.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 9 of 29
    Rayz2016 said:
    That red dot though. Does anyone have a plausible reason for that? I mean, I'm not one to usually criticize Apple's design choices, but I simply cannot understand why the high contrast red dot that serves no obvious purpose on an otherwise monochromatic design.
    Easy identification for one thing. I think this is more to help the retail workers than customers. 
    That's ridiculous. If you worked in retail, you'd flip the Watch over and read the back, or look at Settings if you had to. There is absolutely no way they decided to put a bright red dot on the new Watch to help retail.
    Yeah, but the big red dot is an instant identification. I don't have to flip the phone or switch it on and make my way to the settings. I see the dot, I know not to flog it at the non-LTE price. 

    Hell, if I have a couple of watches on the kitchen table, then at least I'll know which is mine. 

    Oh, and bragging rights.

    For me, the dot isn't a deal breaker. How much the providers feel like charging might be. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 29
    nhughes said:
    mattinoz said:
    Can it be paired to iPad, Mac or direct to iCloud and not have an iPhone at all?
     
    It can't (yet). The Series 3 watch requires an iPhone 6 or newer for initial setup, whereas older models required the iPhone 5s or newer. We also asked Apple at the event today and confirmed that the watch cannot be paired with multiple phones (say, for example, if you wanted to switch between a work phone and personal one). Even though data is possible on the go, you're still dependent on an iPhone for setup and iCloud backup.

    Another key factor missing on other platforms: Apple's Health app is not available on iPad or Mac, which would create another problem for syncing with those devices.

    As a big Apple Watch fan, I would hope that watchOS 5 (or even a 4.1 update) would make strides in a more independent direction. It would be nice to see Continuity features from Mac/iOS come to the watch, such as receiving Mac notifications on your wrist when away from the computer, or being able to sync health data and setup/restore with an iPad/Mac.
    Strange that the 5S cannot 'sync' with the AW...    Oh well...
    But, being able to setup with an iPad would add a whole new dimension for the Apple Watch.   That is:  Except for Apple Maps, I think I could ditch my iPhone in favor of using an AW with LTE while away from home and an iPad while at home for all the large screen stuff.
    jdgaz
  • Reply 11 of 29
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,946member
    How much of that 16GB of storage be used for music? Did they say? Apple's website is mute on the subject at the moment, or I can't easily find it. The current limit on the 8GB arch is 2GB or 250 songs. Does that mean that's doubled? Or is the additional storage entirely allotted to music? So 10GB? 
    emig647
  • Reply 12 of 29
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 220member
    AW4 to be delivered with camera module and FaceTime. Dick Tracy will have arrived.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    Building LTE into a $400 Applewatch is a remarkable achievement. Unfortunately $120 a year for the LTE service is a deal breaker. You may feel that $10 a month is worth spending for access to the cell service you have already paid for but what happens when LTE connectivity is built into many other of your smart devices? As the article points out, the cost difference between the LTE and non-LTE versions is only $70 and those are Apple dollars. The actual LTE module probably only costs a few dollars. LTE could be built into all kinds of devices like your car, bike, drone, lawn mower, or anything else that can move around outdoors. Do you want to pay $10 a month for each of them? We need comprehensive cell phone plans that allows the addition of as many devices as we own on a single reasonably priced plan.
    palomine
  • Reply 14 of 29
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,161member
    I'm actually surprised they support voice calls. I wasn't expecting that. 

    Will folk use it? Hopefully not without AirPods or something. 

    cgWerks
  • Reply 15 of 29
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,316member
    At this point in time (and technology), it still isn't really feasible to have the AW be standalone without a paired iPhone.  And Apple isn't marketing it as so.
    - The LTE usage is great for companion use (outdoor fitness, trips to beach, water activities, quick run to the store), but still is not long enough for all day use.
    - The small screen limits the UI to be completely standalone
    - A lot more s/w and iCloud work to be done to allow the AW to pair to other than iPhone

    And really, how many people plan on ditching the smartphone - the most used device of all time?  Because they have an iPad or Mac at home?  For the billions that spend every spare moment on FB, Instagram, Snap, iMessage,...?  Extreme minority.

    Apple did better here than most (including me) expected: LTE and UMTS, traditional mobile voice calls, and no larger - while keeping the same (standard) battery life.  Once again, further leaving the competition behind w.r.t. overall package (fit/finish/size/fashion), LTE capabilities, fitness functions.

    The barometer was a nice add, and one I expected to round out the fitness capabilities (and since it has been on iPhone for a couple years).
  • Reply 16 of 29
    A mere hour? I actually think that's an insanely incredible feat. I was thinking more like 10-20 min max.
    jdgaz said:
    AW4 to be delivered with camera module and FaceTime. Dick Tracy will have arrived.
    I think that's too soon. Battery life for that kind of thing will remain a huge problem. In fact, I'm amazed they can get 1 hour of voice out of it.

    I sure hope people get AirPods, though, as the thought of people talking at their watches and little speakers blaring might make good sci-fi, but it would be horrible in reality.

    grangerfx said:
    We need comprehensive cell phone plans that allows the addition of as many devices as we own on a single reasonably priced plan.
    Unfortunately, unless more competition is introduced (and less collusion), they aren't going to kill their cash-cow.


  • Reply 17 of 29
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,392member
    mac_128 said:
    How much of that 16GB of storage be used for music? Did they say? Apple's website is mute on the subject at the moment, or I can't easily find it. The current limit on the 8GB arch is 2GB or 250 songs. Does that mean that's doubled? Or is the additional storage entirely allotted to music? So 10GB? 
    I'm trying to find this information too. I find 2gb is a bit too little for running. I could live with 4gb, but would like to choose how much I store like I do on my phone.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    grangerfx said:
    Building LTE into a $400 Applewatch is a remarkable achievement. Unfortunately $120 a year for the LTE service is a deal breaker. You may feel that $10 a month is worth spending for access to the cell service you have already paid for but what happens when LTE connectivity is built into many other of your smart devices? As the article points out, the cost difference between the LTE and non-LTE versions is only $70 and those are Apple dollars. The actual LTE module probably only costs a few dollars. LTE could be built into all kinds of devices like your car, bike, drone, lawn mower, or anything else that can move around outdoors. Do you want to pay $10 a month for each of them? We need comprehensive cell phone plans that allows the addition of as many devices as we own on a single reasonably priced plan.
    Before when Qualcom was building them it sure didn't cost them a few dollars cause Qualcomm wanted a cut of the WHOLE DEVICE's PRICE.

    That has been the main obstacle to LTE in everything. With Intel coming on line I think that stranglehold has been broken.

    If they can be used seperately, they're all using tower ressources, so probably there should be a price for that : not $10, but $5 maybe for the first device and you could buy a bundle say $25 for 10 devices ($15 for 5)
  • Reply 19 of 29
    The LTE Series 3 will be my next purchase from Apple, but that red dot - yikes! Makes an otherwise sleek design look clownish. Maybe we should start calling this version the It.

    fastasleepGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 29
    So to confirm, you could turn the LTE off on the 3 (GPS+Cellular version) and expect the same 18 hours of battery life under 'normal' conditions, in other words any other battery drain that is expected with LTE (antenna on screen etc) being 'always on' that will make it less ? Also with the workouts, assuming that heart rate straps will therefore still allow longer workout sessions/battery life due to not directly tapping into Watch but instead connecting over BT
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