Report: Apple Watch to Offer Low Power ‘Time Only’ Mode

Report: Apple Watch to Offer Low Power ‘Time Only’ Mode

The Apple Watch will offer a low power, “time only” mode to help conserve battery strength, says a new report from The New York Times.

Apple Watch


With the exception of Pebble products, most current and upcoming smartwatches – including the Apple Watch – will last no more than a day on a single charge. To help mitigate this issue, Apple has reportedly developed a still unannounced software feature of the Apple Watch called Power Reserve, according to the New York Times.

The feature reportedly cuts power to all non-essential functions, displaying only the time, helping the watch conserve precious battery power in situations where a user may not have access to a charger. Apple has previously said that the Apple Watch’s battery will only last a “normal day,” with a nightly recharge required.

The report also indicates that Apple’s decision to omit some advanced health tracking features actually occurred over 18 months ago, and was not, as some reports have indicated, a last minute decision. Early experiments with sensors that tracked such factors as blood pressure and stress are said to have proved unreliable, leading to the decision to remove the sensors from the first generation of the device.

The Times report also delves into the challenges Apple faced during the development of the Apple Watch – including the loss of key engineers to other companies, such as the Google-owned Nest home automation company – and the ways Apple kept a lid on secrecy while deploying test models of their new device, even going so far as to creating dummy casings for the devices, including some that resembled Samsung smartwatches.

Apple has scheduled a media event for March 9th, where it is expected Apple will reveal more details about their new smartwatch.

  1. MRonin ⚜ says:

    Yeah it’s looking more and more like the watch will either well and truly succeed after the first couple iterations. Or it will end up their first “newton” of the modern Apple era. I’m hoping for the former, but honestly I’m not sure the technology is at a stage where wearables are ready for prime time.

    1. Chris Hauk Chris Hauk says:

      Yeah, we definitely have to keep in mind that this is “version 1.0.” I think we’ll see more out of the whole platform a couple of versions down the road.

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed though, because I really want to have a good argument ready for telling my wife why I need to spend $400 on a watch. 😉

      1. MRonin ⚜ says:

        I’m a watch ho, so 400-500 is what I normally expect to pay :). Besides I watched the initial announcement with my girl and we looked at each other at the same time and said “yes!”.

        I hear you about the version though, it’s true this version will inherently be the most limited in feature set and capability. If they can keep the momentum though I really believe they have a winner on their hands.

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