I spent most of last week keeping track of my Apple Watch Series 5’s battery life. While the results in my case were remarkably consistent, they weren’t what many Watch users are looking for.
I noticed several complaints and issue reports from Apple Watch Series 5 users and reviewers over the weekend, so I figured I should start paying attention, as well. I didn’t do a lot last weekend besides go out with my family for my daughter’s birthday Saturday night, so my usage didn’t really push any limits. As such, I didn’t notice any battery shortfalls in the first three days I had the new Watch. However, I was back at work today on a long-running project in an NBA basketball arena, and even on a light day I cover a lot of territory here.
While I unboxed two Series 5 Apple Watches yesterday, I didn’t get to do anything with them for reasons I wrote about earlier. However, I am off and running today and so far, I really like what I see.
Sleep tracking has been considered by many to be the Apple Watch’s white whale since the original Series 0 released. While other competing health and fitness products have offered this capability for a few years, battery life has prevented Apple from including it as a built-in feature on the Watch. One of the recent pre-release rumors has Apple finally adding this in their 5th generation product, but I can’t help but wonder if this is really a difference maker for the Watch.
Photo Source: Patently Apple
According to Patently Apple, Apple has been awarded some interesting patents related to new technologies that may potentially find their way to Watch bands.
Photo Source: Mr-white on Twitter
While this picture doesn’t appear to tell us a lot, the tweet that it was associated might. If correct, it could mark a significant advancement for smartwatch health and wellness monitoring.
Apple has been kicking the tires on next-gen microLED displays for a few years now. If you keep up with the company, that shouldn’t come as any surprise. While they may not be the first to roll out new technologies and materials, they are definitely working with them and planning for when the time will be right to release them in new products. When it comes to microLED, it looks like that time may be next year.
Picking up from Part 1 of my WWDC Preview, let’s take a look at the Apple Watch. The Watch and watchOS have grown up quite a bit since their release in 2015. Four years have brought much more speed and stability, a better app experience, a smart focus on health and wellness features and even LTE and the ability to use an independent data connection.
Apple has been on a hardware hot streak this week, releasing new iPads, updated iMacs and new AirPods. However, they dialed things down a bit today and quietly released their annual Spring refresh for iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands.
The smartwatch field is still crowded, but Apple remains all alone at the top. According to a recent report from Strategy Analytics, Apple’s Watch platform still makes up a majority 50% of the market, with 22.5 million devices shipped in 2018. Considering that Samsung continues to pour money into their platform and that Fitbit and Garmin have been able to capture solid niche audiences, it is impressive that Apple can still command over half of the market.
The Apple Watch wasn’t the instant hit that some thought it would be, but it did grow steadily through its first couple of years. Now that pace has picked up and the Watch can’t be thought of as anything but a huge success for Apple. They now own the smartwatch market the way they once owned portable music players.