Apple fans hoping Cupertino’s reality distortion field was going to do magical things to the battery life of its forthcoming Apple Watch had better reset their expectations to something far more average: the wrist computer will likely need charging daily according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. So, in other words, much like other high end smartwatch wearables already on the market.
And indeed, much like the mechanical watches of yesteryear which needed winding daily.
“We think people are going to use it so much you will end up charging it daily,” said Cook, speaking in an on stage interview at the WSJ:D live conference — and attempting to put a positive spin on the disappointment of another daily recharging routine.
So, on the plus side, if you end up not using your expensive Apple Watch very much at all you might not need to recharge it every day. Er, great!
Battery life continues to be a serious bugbear for wearables. And indeed an ongoing pain-point for smartphones — although one that typically passes without much comment from Apple.
Instead the company routinely shaves a few millimeters off its handsets every year, thereby squeezing the amount of on board battery real estate in the interests of being able to announce an ‘even sleeker’ iPhone. (When most users would probably cry tears of a joy for an iPhone with a fatter battery.)
While smartphone users are largely resigned to the daily charging grind (and/or keeping a spare battery pack close by) it’s a pretty big ask for a secondary device to also need juicing daily. Especially one that’s worn on the wrist.
The Apple Watch competes for wrist space with far less smart watches that nonetheless have far superior battery lives — being good for years of use. Or indeed having automatic mechanisms that are powered by the movement of the human body so never need recharging. For all its smarts, a smartwatch that prematurely runs out of juice and reverts to a blank slab of glass is going to feel pretty dumb in comparison.
The Apple Watch has a magnetic induction charging mechanism — using a magnetic connector that attaches to the back of the device. Whether that familiar magnetic tug will help lessen the friction of daily charging an expensive wrist-worn wearable remains to be seen.