There are just a little over two days to go before Apple’s big “Spring Forward” event on Monday, and new information about the Apple Watch has become available.
9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman says his sources have leaked new information on the device’s real-world battery life, health and fitness features, apps, and more.
Power Reserve Mode and Battery Life
Gurman says his sources tell him that Apple’s software tweaks and optimizations to the Apple Watch have resulted in a battery life of approximately five hours of heavy application usage, and it should make it through a typical day of mixed active and passive use. His sources do note that the device will still need to be charged nightly, as one day is about all a user will be able to squeeze out of the device.
Apple has added a new “Power Reserve Mode” that cuts optional services to preserve as much of the Apple Watch’s core functionality as possible. The mode can be activated via a Battery Glance, or via the device’s settings app. The Battery Glance will display the remaining amount of battery life remaining, the amount of time since the last full charge, and a large button to activate Power Reserve Mode.
Power Reserve Mode can be activated at any time, and not just when the Apple Watch’s battery life is low. The mode dims the display. knocks down communications with the iPhone to an on-demand level, and puts the display to sleep after two seconds of inactivity.
The battery glance indicates low battery life by turning an orange/amber color at 20% battery life, turning from orange/amber to a red color at 10%.
Heart Rate Glance
The Heart Rate Glance will display the user’s Beats per Minute. An outline of a heart will appear, After a button is tapped to begin heart measurement, the screen will show a continually updating BPM display.
Gurman’s sources tell him that Apple Watch will feature a full Notification Center. To access it, a user will swipe down from the top of the display in any screen. The list of notifications will show each app name as well as short descriptions of the alerts.
As previously announced, the Apple Watch will be able to store music to be played when not linked to an iPhone, Prototypes are said to include 8GB or storage, it isn’t known if production models will all include the same amount of storage.
Users will specify which songs, albums, and playlists are to be copied to the Apple Watch via the Companion app on their iPhone. Users will also be able to stream music from the watch to Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
iPhone Companion App
The settings for the Apple Watch will be controlled via a Companion app on the iPhone. Users will be able to control various settings and their music choices, as well as rearrange the icons on the Apple Watch’s Home screen.
When a user downloads an iPhone app that includes a WatchKit component, the Watch app will automatically be installed on the Watch. Users can remove the WatchKit component from the Watch without needing to remove the app from their iPhone. If the iPhone is not connected to the Apple Watch, the Watch apps can still work for a period of time, using cached data.
Gurman’s article at 9to5Mac delves into more detail about the Apple Watch’s feature, and is highly recommended reading for anyone who is interested in the features of the soon to be released wearable device.