The New York Times has published a piece about the culmination of the Watch project, as Apple transitions from product development stages to production and marketing to consumers. The piece reiterates that Apple was working on a vast array of health tracking sensors that were later dropped, which 9to5Mac covered extensively at the time.
However, the post includes one new piece of information about a previously-unannounced mode called ‘Power Reserve’. According to the report, users will be to enable a special low-power state that conserves battery life. In this mode, users will be able to see the time but cannot interact with the ‘smarter’ watch features like other apps. It is likely that other power-sapping features, like the constant connection to an iPhone for notifications, will also be disabled in this mode…
Apple has said the watch battery is estimated to last a full day, requiring a user to charge it at night, similar to a smartphone. The company also developed a yet-to-be-announced feature called Power Reserve, a mode that will run the watch on low energy but display only the time, according to one employee.
9to5Mac has previously reported that Apple was targeting to achieve approximately 19 hours of average usage time per day, combining in-app functions with standby time, as well as 2.5 hours of straight heavy app usage. According to many reports, improving battery life has been a key goal of development since the Watch’s initial debut in September. It is unclear exactly what battery life was finally attained, but Tim Cook has repeatedly said that the device will need to be charged every night, implying approximately one day of battery life. Apple may offer more specifics at its event on March 9th, where the company will reveal more details about Apple Watch.
One more perhaps humorous tidbit from the NYTimes: Supposedly Apple used specialized cases for the AppleWatch which disguised it as a Samsung watch, though we’re not certain how widespread this was since lots of Apple Watch sightings have happened around Cupertino and elsewhere.