How many years before all the "first generation" shortcomings disappear?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Cory Bauer, Apr 8, 2015.


How many years before Apple Watch gets all the hardware requests mentioned below?

  1. 1 Year

    9 vote(s)
  2. 2 Years

    16 vote(s)
  3. 3 Years

    17 vote(s)
  4. 4 Years

    4 vote(s)
  5. 5+ Years

    12 vote(s)
  1. Cory Bauer macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    There's a pretty consistent list of first-generation shortcomings from the reviews that will surely be addressed in future versions of the hardware and software. But I get the sense people maybe think this will all magically come to pass in version two. Realistically, how many versions out do you expect it'll take before the Apple Watch features:

    - 3-Day+ Battery life
    - 4x CPU Performance
    - GPS
    - Sleep monitoring
    - Twice as thin
    - (mostly) Always-on display
    - Full Waterproofing
  2. MacFan23 macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    Out of interest, why specifically 3 days of battery life?
  3. totten76 macrumors regular


    Mar 12, 2015
    How thin do you need a watch to be? Regular watches aren't super thin, why should a smart watch have to follow the natural progression of a majority of Apple products?
  4. NOLF1 macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2009
    Here is the deal.... Apple counts billions. They can (and will) throw tons of money at R&D for this device going forward.

    The battery life, however, is outside the scope of Apple. They have no major background in battery technology. In order to get a massive battery life increase, we are going to need a breakthrough in battery technology. This will likely happen at a state university somewhere (think team of brilliant grad students led by some PhD) OR at a private sector company that specializes in battery tech. Outside of that, apart from increasing the capacity of the battery (making it bigger), all Apple can do is continue to develop the CPU and OS to be more power efficient, but there is only so much you can do with that.

    Waterproofing can be done today. Why wasn't it? Probably planned obsolescence in typical Apple style. Could be as early as gen 2.

    GPS can be done today. Why wasn't it? Probably due to a massive battery hit that it would be. Probably won't see this until that battery breakthrough I mentioned above happens, which could be tomorrow or ten years from now.

    Sleep monitoring - can be done today. Why wasn't it? Probably just low on the list of priorities. Could be a gen 3/4/5 feature.

    Twice as thin - have to make the battery smaller. Very unlikely until, again, the battery breakthrough.

    Mostly always on display - could be done today with a few changes to the Watch OS code, but battery life will be impacted accordingly. Again, probably not going to happen until a battery breakthrough.

    4x CPU performance - will happen naturally as CPU tech progresses. Probably 18-36 months to see this, think Moore's law.
  5. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a


    May 27, 2006
    The 2nd gen will take care of a lot of the problems the reviews had, and judging by the reviews, Apple had better have that ready for next year. It sounds like another iPhone to iPhone 3G or iPad to iPad 2 type of jump.

    The biggest issue that the reviews all pointed out will be much harder to fix, and that is the spot the watch occupies in your life. It seemed the reviewers all felt that while it was convenient, it wasn't something they had to have. Apple hasn't told the story of why yet, and that is very surprising.
  6. Cory Bauer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    Most all reviewers wanted to charge it less, and I think CNET used 3 days as a bar for where competing (less functional) smart watches are at today.
  7. technosix macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2015
    West Coast USA
    Apple seems to be consumed with their watch obsession. I'd guess they'll have the gen 2 model well sorted. If this version proves worth it, I'll buy the new and improved model.
  8. Cory Bauer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    That's how I see it; most of these missing features would require massive amounts of additional battery, while at the same time everyone wants better battery life. Example: the Garmin Viviactive (which basically has the screen of a Netwon) battery life drops from "up to 3 weeks" to 10hrs with GPS enabled.

    I'm sure sleep monitoring was left out because...battery life.
  9. Vanilla Face macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2013
    I think 24 hours of decent usage would be sufficient. I'm not looking for more battery life, but faster charging. if I could charge it in 30 minutes I'd be happy. But as another user pointed out, thats outside of apple's control and will require a breakthrough in battery tech.

    I don't see the need for the watch to have a better cpu. The phone does all the grunt work and that's fine as it maximizes battery life. Same with GPS. I can't imagine when I would need GPS and not have my phone but have my watch.

    Sleep monitoring will probably happen with a third party app. I'm looking forward to sleep cycle. Apple will probably come out with it when there is a breakthrough in battery tech.

    "Twice as thin" doesn't make any sense. "Twice as" means multiply by 2 so twice as thin would mean it would be twice as thick. I'm really not sure what you are trying to say.

    There is no need for an always on display and that likely won't ever come. Faster response is going to be what people are looking for.

    The watch is water resistant. Tim says he showers with it. I don't see the need for more than that.
  10. Cory Bauer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    Faster charging! That was another one for the list that I'd forgotten.

    Half as thick, Vanilla Face. The watch is thin, but it'd be great if it were twice as thin as it is today ;)

    Read John Gruber's Watch piece to get an idea for why alway-on display would be ideal.
  11. kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    I doubt battery life will change at all. They hit their mark. They'll use any advances for performance or thinness.
  12. Cory Bauer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    I think this is more realistic, and how it's been for the iPhone and iPad; improving performance and adding battery-sucking features while maintaining same battery through optimization and more energy-efficient components.
  13. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    3-4 years they are always slow to make it rite lol
  14. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    So basically, aside from waterproofing, you want something that is much faster with more features and a battery that lasts three times longer in a space half the size.

    PHYSICS, yo. I mean sure you can improve battery and CPU efficiency, but how in tarnation do you expect to cram all of that into a device? The iPhone's battery has gotten marginally better over time despite continued speed improvement, and recently a lot of that has to do with expanding the area available for a battery.

    And sleep monitoring? When is this thing going to get charged?
  15. AFDoc macrumors 68030

    Jun 29, 2012
    Colorado Springs USA for now
    What? You mean OP's expectations don't jive with reality? Nooooo say it ain't so!!

    I think people are simply "special" if they think anyone can pull off what some have in mind.....which of course is a paper thin watch with 7 day battery life, full GPS with ability to cook your eggs in the morning it's quite silly if you ask me.
  16. teamzissou00 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2015
    How about social features with the exercise? I want to compete with friends like my fitbit
  17. gorkt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2007
    Waterproofing could be done now if you want to send your device to Liquipel.

    The three day plus battery life is the real tough one and is going to take the longest and the most effort to resolve. There is a reason why the iPhone has been stuck with 5-6 hour battery life for years - it's a tough problem. Apple has been really good at squeezing all the battery life it can out of the current technology, but it is going to take awhile to get to the next level which would power a small device for a week at a time that has the performance AW does.

    I think what is more likely to be feasible would be a rapid charger technology. If I could fully charge my iPhone/watch in 5 minutes, I wouldn't really care as much about battery life.

    Most of the other things on your list are related to battery life, especially GPS, thickness and sleep monitoring.

    That being said, Apple has cash, and if I were them, I'd be throwing a lot of R&D investment into the next gen of battery technology or rapid charging.
  18. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    I would say that both the iPhone and the iPad weren't properly cooked until their forth generation. While they have got better since then, that's when I would say they became finished products. So I'm going to guess forth gen with the watch as well.
  19. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    We are on 8th generation iPhone, and still can't multitasking without having to reload Safari tabs.

    Don't get your hopes up.
  20. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    By the way I don't think that 3 day battery life will be done by 4th gen. I'm not sure that it is a priority. Personally I could see me running out of battery more with a 3 day battery than I would with a 1 day, as I would get out of the habit of charging it.
  21. VFC macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    SE PA.
    - Improved marketing

    Apple needs to spend more on marketing R&D (Reality Distortion) to convince the general public they can't live without the AW.
  22. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    I think the answer is never..

    Once they sort out the things you want today, you will be pissed that it don't have the things you want then..

    You can change "phone" and "feature" to what ever, it´s always the same type of complaints :)

    Year 1: Phone X sucks, it´s only 2g. Must have awesome 3g or useless..
    Year 3: Phone Y sucks, it´s only useless 3g. Must have awesome 4g or useless..
    Year 5: Phone Z sucks, it´s only useless 4g. Must have awesome 5g?

    Throw in some redesigns here and there just to keep the "first-gen" problems from never going away :)

    Welcome to the tech-industry :D
  23. Vanilla Face macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2013
    That still doesn't make sense. You'd measure thinness in the same way you measure thickness. Doubling it would still make it thicker.

    "That's half an inch thin"
    "I want to to be twice that"
    "Now its an inch thin"
  24. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    They can be if you pay enough.
    It's a lot harder to make a super thin watch.

    Any fool can make a chunky watch.
    why do you think all the really cheap watches from china are thick?
    Because it's easy and cheap to make them like that.


    Must be hell for you going food shopping every single day :D
  25. Wiesenlooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010
    I think it will take some serious time to get up to 3 days battery life But maybe they can do a workaround - imagine the watch charging three times as fast.

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