battery life ▪ April 1

nanowatchsnoopbieber

Over the past month, I spent several weeks testing the battery of an Apple watch. Not the Apple Watch, of course, but the first product Apple released with the option of being worn like one: the sixth-generation iPod nano. Back in 2010, Steve Jobs mentioned during the “instantly wearable” nano’s introduction (video at 26:30) that one of Apple’s directors planned to use it as a watch. That brief aside directly inspired the creation of nano watchband makers Lunatik and Hex, as well as simple, cheap bands from Apple accessory specialists including GriffinIncipio, and SwitchEasy. A year later, Apple updated the nano’s software to expand its watch functionality, adding “16 new digital clock faces and improved built-in fitness features.” The nano-as-watch test was at least somewhat successful; Hex even shared pictures showing Snoop Dogg and Justin Bieber wearing its nano watch bands.

Today, Apple is three weeks away from releasing the “real” Apple Watch — a product that clearly shares the old iPod nano’s DNA, but was thoroughly redesigned from top to bottom. Yet despite including a battery that’s around twice as powerful as the nano’s, the Watch is promising only 18 hours of typical battery life, maxing out at three days if used solely as a watch in a low-power mode. So when I ran a “watch-only” test of my used four-year-old nano and found that it ran for just over three weeks, keeping perfect time without ever touching a charger (or synchronizing with an atomic clock), I was genuinely surprised. It turns out that Apple really optimized the nano to work well as a timepiece without requiring constant recharging. So what happened with the Apple Watch?…

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battery life ▪ March 9

In addition to making a general claim that the Apple Watch will run for up to 18 hours per charge, Apple has quietly added a new battery test results page to its web site discussing the Apple Watch’s performance across a variety of different tests. According to Apple, the 38mm and 42mm versions of the Watch will have different run times, and the 42mm Apple Watch “typically experiences longer battery life.” The company does not note how much longer the larger Watch will last for, but does disclose the 38mm model’s times for everything from phone calling to music and workouts…  expand full story

battery life ▪ March 6

Apple-Watch-reserve-strap-02

The possibility of third-party accessories for Apple Watch is still something Apple hasn’t made official, but that isn’t stopping a slew of companies from announcing products before the Apple Watch ships next month. The latest is a band accessory called Reserve Strap that aims to combat any battery life issues with a strap that includes embedded batteries to charge the device while you wear it.

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battery life ▪ February 25

battery-life-phil-schiller

A recent poll of over 3,100 9to5Mac readers indicates that most are not satisfied with current-generation iPhone battery life. Over 90% of respondents said that they want to see Apple improve iPhone battery life, versus less than 7% saying that “iPhone battery life and battery cases are good enough as-is.”

The split in responses interestingly suggests that Apple can safely stop prioritizing thinness over superior battery performance. A solid majority of over 60% of respondents said that Apple should thicken the next iPhone to improve its battery life, which is especially noteworthy given that there were other poll options. Over 31% said that Apple should achieve whatever battery improvements it can by improving the iPhone’s chips, while just under 2% said that Apple should instead focus on improving battery cases.

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battery life ▪ November 2, 2014

Screenshot 2014-11-02 18.38.08

The Apple Watch’s launch is scheduled to occur in the “spring,” according to Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts, later in 2015 than some had originally anticipated. Ahrendts stated the timeframe to retail employees in a video message, a transcript of which was provided by a source. While explaining that employees need to conserve energy for upcoming shopping seasons, Ahrendts stated, “we’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring:”

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battery life ▪ September 22, 2014

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