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.
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.
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.
With the new Series 4, Apple finally has its act together when it comes to the Watch running apps. The Series 3 brought the speed up to par, and the latest evolution brings even more in that department and pairs it with a dynamite screen. Unfortunately, the situation for developers was so poor in the Watch’s infancy that many of them bailed before things got interesting.
One of the standout features of the new Apple Watch Series 4 is its gorgeous screen. I have owned the Series 0, Series 1, and Series 3 Watches, and I would call their screens adequate, with each a little better than its predecessor. This isn’t an insult, as an adequate screen on a smartwatch that got a full day or better battery life was nothing to sneeze at a couple of years ago when this category was in its infancy.
However, the Series 4 is a completely different story. There is really no comparison between it and what came before. If you look at it next to any previous version, the difference is immediately noticeable. The Series 4 screen isn’t only larger, but it is also brighter and has a much higher resolution. Text, colors, and images just pop in a way that they couldn’t on previous Watch hardware. As much as the coming EKG capability grabbed the headlines after Apple’s release event, the screen is the real star of this show in my book.
Some of the usual suspects have started to weigh in on Apple’s Watch and iPhone XS and XS Max preorders. Leading off, Ming-Chi Kuo says that sales are following the pattern that I suggested yesterday (I make no claims of genius or inside knowledge, just common sense). He reports that sales of the iPhone XS Max are meeting expectations, which I don’t think is a surprise. It has a novelty factor that the XS no longer holds. Speaking of the XS, Kuo says that pre-orders are “lower than expected.” I don’t find this surprising in the least, either, as the majority of people who wanted this design got an X last year.
As much as I complain about the 1:45 AM wake up call and the 2 AM preorder, I have to admit it was pretty painless this year.
I love Apple hardware events and all the reveals. This year was a little light on those thanks to all of the leaks, but there were still bits and pieces to be enjoyed. I also love getting my hands on new Apple hardware. It’s the getting up at 1:45 AM Central part that I’m not so thrilled with.
Apple announces the Apple Watch Series 4, which not only upgrades the screen size and resolution, but the Health monitoring features, as well. They call it “An intelligent guardian for your health” Here are some of the highlights: