You knew this would happen, right? It happens every year about this time; or anytime when Apple introduces a new product. The critics slice and dice and howl it to a near death, but after the new gizmo launches, customers buy in such quantities as to keep the new Apple Whatever on back order for weeks to months.
We’ve seen that happen with every new iPhone, but also new Macs, iPads, Watch, AirPods, and other Apple products. It happened again.
Without actually touching or using Apple’s new cellphone enabled Watch, critics have pointed out the obvious. Using the cellphone on Watch depletes the battery. Imagine that. Why would Apple sell an electronic gadget with a battery that actually gets used up while using the device?
Here’s what Apple says:
All-day battery life is based on 18 hours with the following use: 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours.
In other words, you can use Watch from 6:00 AM to midnight, charge it from 12-midnight to 6:00, and get all that functionality.
In the real world, I get more 24-hours battery life and get more notifications and alerts, use apps more, and do a work out– beyond Apple’s specifications. For obvious reasons, Apple is being somewhat conservative with battery life.
What about Watch Series 3 using Bluetooth connect to iPhone, and just using the built-in LTE cellular connection?
Tested with call placed from Apple Watch. Up to 3 hours of talk time while connected to iPhone via Bluetooth. Over 1 hour of talk time while connected directly to LTE.
There’s more, and it points out what is happening with Watch also happened with early iPhone models.
- Up to 10 hours indoor workout
- Up to 5 hours outdoor workout with GPS
- Up to 4 hours outdoor workout with GPS and LTE
Once Apple opened the App Store and we began using the iPhone for more than just calls, texts, email, and occasional browsing, battery life and cellphone networks took a big hit. Why? Simply put, we found more ways to use the iPhone and that had a major impact on batter life.
It still does.
Here we are again. Watch launched, critics howled, users loved it, but now, just a few years later, we have a similar problem because Watch users have found more ways to use the device.
Good grief, folks. A device on our wrists can do phone calls, track heart rate, enable GPS tracking, play music, and run a few dozen applications with alerts and alarms and notifications, and we’re surprised when the battery goes down?
Fortunately, Apple has a solution for we Watch users who actually use Watch for what it can do, battery be damned. Watch charges fast. I don’t believe it’s the ‘fast charging’ you see showing up in premium Android smartphones, but I can go from 50-percent to full in about an hour or so, and two hours gets me to full almost always. Yes, your mileage may vary, but I have a hole in my daily schedule that doesn’t require Watch.
I’m at my desk from about 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. I plop Watch onto the charger and it’s good to go for the rest of the day, after an overnight charge. Weekends are different. Exercise changes the schedule so the two hour fast-charge needs to be moved but it works the same way.
Technological limitations put limits on the battery, but there are fewer limitations on how we use Watch, iPhone, or any device that requires a battery. Once batteries make the next leap forward, we’ll call this era, ‘the good old days.’