Since people are going to be wearing it all day, it’s only reasonable that the Apple Watch battery should be able to last a full day on a single charge, and the company’s decision to push for 19 hours of typical mixed-use per charge was one of the factors that pushed the Watch’s launch from 2014 to 2015, reports Mark Gurman for 9 to 5 Mac.
Apple Watch battery life target scaled back slightly
Just like with your smartphone and your laptop, battery life depends on usage, so Apple has to take its best guess at what a day’s use will look like. Gurman reports that in 2014 Apple had been targeting up to four hours of app use, three days in standby mode, and four days in sleep mode as a good mix to reach nineteen hours of typical mixed use, but they’ve scaled back those goals for the first generation model. Now they’re targeting 2.5 hours of processor-intensive app use, 3.5 hours of standard app use, and 4 hours of exercise tracking. Apparently Apple has spent time making the exercise tracking features more efficient, probably a good move since it’s expected to be one of the main selling points for the Apple Watch.
Those targets are pretty close to the original ones set in 2014, but it suggests that if you buy the first model it might sit lifeless on your wrist from time to time. That’s not the end of the world (who hasn’t had their phone die on them from time to time) and having both a Watch and an iPhone makes it unlikely they’ll both die at the same time.
Battery life only has to be long enough not to matter
Battery life is really a hygiene issue: if it’s too short it can drive people away, but it’s not really a reason to buy a new gadget. Based on the targets that Gurman is reporting, it sounds like Apple Watch’s batteries will last long enough to be a minor issue for most people. Besides, if the main complaint is that people are using their Apple Watch so much that it dies too quickly, it means that Apple has yet another big hit on its hands in need of a bit of refining.