How Apple Watch Is Like an Ancient Timepiece

Apple Watch Charger

Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted during a Q&A at the WSJD Live Conference that the upcoming Apple Watch would need to be charged once a day.

Apple had spent the past month playing coy about the Apple Watch’s battery life, which led some pundits and bloggers to hope that the company had figured out a way to make the device’s battery last at least a few days between charges. Given the sophisticated hardware (the small form-factor packs in a heart-rate sensor and accelerometer, in addition to an “S1” proprietary chip and a sensitive touch-screen) and the expectation of near-constant use, it’s clear that any wearers will need to charge their Watch pretty much as often as their smartphones.

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Unless optimized for minimal power consumption, it’s also likely that third-party apps could quickly drain the Apple Watch’s battery power, similar to what happens now with poorly designed apps on smartphones.

Apple design chief Jony Ive has spent the past several weeks talking up the Apple Watch’s aesthetics, often harkening back to how timepieces ended up on the wrist only after centuries of lingering on pendants or in pockets. “It’s fascinating how people struggled with wearing this incredibly powerful technology personally,” he told Vogue.

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While the Apple Watch is an evolution on many of the principles that guided the evolution of timepieces over the past several hundred years, the need to recharge the device on a nightly basis is a throwback to ye olden days, when a lady or gentleman needed to keep winding her or his pocket-watch in order to keep it running. Watch batteries were supposed to bring “winding” to a decisive end, except for those people who insist on carrying around a mechanical timepiece. But with Apple Watch’s requirement that the user constantly monitor its energy, what’s old is new again.

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Image: Apple

5 Responses to “How Apple Watch Is Like an Ancient Timepiece”

  1. Vincent Phan

    So the thrust of your article is this.

    The Apple Watch is like an ancient timepiece because it will require daily charging.

    I guess that makes current smartphones and electric cars ancient too since those will require charging (or filling up) more often than their older counterparts.

  2. John Fox

    Well, that would be true if it were a watch.

    It’s not, it’s a wearable computer. I charge my Samsung Gear 2 less often than I charge my Samsung S4 (every 3 days v/s every day). But they are both done at night before I go to bed. It’s really not a big deal to tap it, check the power level, and then plug it in. I could do it every night if I wanted to, I just like seeing how many days I can get out of it.

    If someone can show me a ‘watch’ that has the ability to show me text messages, remind me of appointments, take phone calls, store multiple alarms, in addition to telling time, being a stop watch and a timer, I’d be very interested in it.

    But so far, I haven’t seen a watch that could do that. I only see a wearable computer that has one out of many apps that displays the time.

    Kinda like what my phone used to do.

    You know .. that thing that made watches obsolete for anything except being pretty jewelery and or used by luddites??

  3. I wear an Omega Speedmaster. A watch I do wind up every day so it keeps ticking.
    It’s not a problem because it requires no energy as in “power source” besides me turning
    its little knob once per day.

    The problem with the Apple Watch is what will happen if you go on trekking or in nature, and you have no power source around. Not sure a solar power panel will do it, and if there’s no sun…

    The problem is not the daily thing. It’s like brushing your teeth.
    It’s the power requirement _every_day_