Is the display permanently on? Or does it go to sleep

luke lau

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 25, 2015
133
29
Belfast
Has anyone heard if the watch's display goes to sleep similar to most phone screens? That would be a deal breaker to me as it would kind of look silly wearing a watch with a blank screen on your wrist when you're not raising your wrist to wake it or whatever
 

DC Wallaby

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2014
133
51
Prepare to be disappointed.

The Watch displays a blank, black screen most of the time. If it didn't, the battery would run out in a handful of hours in all likelihood.
 

rasputin1969

macrumors 6502
Mar 4, 2010
409
249
In addition, according to the New Yorker interview, Marc Newson one of the designers was showing off the "tilt to activate screen" feature and it failed three times. He had to pointedly raise his arm before it switched on. This was back in September, so I'm sure they've ironed out that problem.

"For Marc Newson, it took three attempts—an escalation of acting styles, from naturalism to melodrama—before his screen came to life. "
 

Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,288
2,471
I think we should be honest and admit this is a technical limitation that we just automatically accept.

Real watches don't vanish all the time, and we would prefer smart watches to be the same.

We accept it yet.
That does not mean it's ideal.
It would be better if such a limitation was not there.
 

dc52nv

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2011
60
0
I can see this being a problem for those of us that are in meetings and want to descretely check our watch for the time. With the iWatch that would be a problem since that wouldn't be possible without having the watch right in front of my face. Hopefully a jailbreak will be available for it soon after release to fix that problem.
 

Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,288
2,471
I can see this being a problem for those of us that are in meetings and want to descretely check our watch for the time. With the iWatch that would be a problem since that wouldn't be possible without having the watch right in front of my face. Hopefully a jailbreak will be available for it soon after release to fix that problem.
As I said, this is simply something that we have been programmed to accept is how things have to be.
We know batteries are poor. Perhaps one day, with a new display tech, this won't be the case.
It is simply something we have to live with for the foreseeable future.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,140
3,829
Atlanta
I can see this being a problem for those of us that are in meetings and want to descretely check our watch for the time. With the iWatch [Apple Watch or :apple:Watch, no such than as iWatch] that would be a problem since that wouldn't be possible without having the watch right in front of my face. Hopefully a jailbreak will be available for it soon after release to fix that problem.
You can push the Digital Crown to turn on the display.
 

dc52nv

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2011
60
0
You can push the Digital Crown to turn on the display.
Again that wouldn't be as descrete as simply taking a peek at your watch face. It's no biggie as the jailbreak will fix all the issues it will have.
 

Squid7085

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2002
558
45
Charlotte, NC
Again that wouldn't be as descrete as simply taking a peek at your watch face. It's no biggie as the jailbreak will fix all the issues it will have.
Yes, having your watch dead by lunch will certainly "Fix all the issues." Instead of being blank when you aren't looking at it, it will just be blank the rest of the day.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
As I said, this is simply something that we have been programmed to accept is how things have to be.
We know batteries are poor. Perhaps one day, with a new display tech, this won't be the case.
It is simply something we have to live with for the foreseeable future.
Most Android Wear watches have an always-on low power screen mode. Even if it goes off completely, they wake up just with a slight stroke of a finger on the screen.

Recently you extolled the supposed virtues of Apple controlling its own hardware design and software, and how therefore the Apple watch "must have better battery life when asked to do the same thing" as other watches.

Although it sounds good, any engineer can tell you that it's not always true in real life. Especially the way that Apple traditionally keeps its hardware and software people isolated from each other, in order to keep secrets.

(The biggest surprise to me when the Apple Watch was demoed, was that they had not used a display that could be kept on all the time. That's so last year. Heck, my 2011 WiMM had a dual mode B&W low power, color active power display. I was expecting Apple to do something likewise cool and clever.)
 
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s1m

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2008
497
138
Why do I need something on all of the time when I am not lookng at it?
 

hattonna928

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2014
102
0
You don't have to hold it up to turn it on... It uses the built in gyroscope to measure that you turned over your arm and turn on the screen... So you can still use it "discreetly"
 

Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,288
2,471
Why do I need something on all of the time when I am not lookng at it?
Because it looks nice that way, to you and perhaps others around you?
You would not have to worry about needing to turn it on when it's not at the ideal angle for it.

There is no way for the Apple Watch to know you are looking at it.
Technically it's possible to make a device that can do that, but it would be REALLY hard to incorporate that technology in a watch.

Would be interesting if your TV at home only turned the screen on, when you sat or stood in a certain position and the rest of the time it turned the screen off to save power, so if you just glanced at your TV, perhaps from around the door, or across the room the screen was blank :)

As I say, let's be honest, it's a limitation we have just accepted at "The Norm"
Also, let's be double honest. If due to some amazing screen or battery tech, the Apple watch was on all the time, unless you wanted it to be off, but lasted just as well, on all the time.
And then say a Samsung watch had to turn off after say 10 seconds of not being touched to save battery and acted just like the Apple watch will.
Everyone here would rip the ass out of Samsungs watch for having a black screen almost all the time.

Unfortunately, as I say, it's a limitation, we all have to live with, no matter what make.
Unless if course, you also have incorporated an additional layer on the screen that was LCD or E-Paper or something that could be on all the time, and only the full colour screen coming on when you needed to do more.

I'd like to see that done well.

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You don't have to hold it up to turn it on... It uses the built in gyroscope to measure that you turned over your arm and turn on the screen... So you can still use it "discreetly"
it's an interesting idea, though I suspect very hit and miss.
 

valleian

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2014
224
83
Pennsylvainia
Any reason? Do you need to have the time displayed while not looking at your watch?
Thank you! These questions (I want the screen to be on when I'm using it, I want to shower/swim with it, I want it to transport me to Mars, etc.) are so tedious. Do you only want these things because you can't have them? It's a first gen smartwatch, are we even sure this is what smartwatches will be in a few years? I thought that Blackberry was the peak of smartphones, then iPhone came out, and smartphones are still evolving. What I'm trying to say is accept :apple:Watch for what it is, that goes for all smartwatches right now. Give it support and that will show tech companies that there is public interest, they'll invest more money into it, and one day, your personal request may come true.
 

JFazYankees

macrumors 6502
Feb 12, 2012
436
169
Again that wouldn't be as descrete as simply taking a peek at your watch face. It's no biggie as the jailbreak will fix all the issues it will have.
I hate to burst your bubble, but a jailbreak for the Apple Watch seems very far fetched, simply because there is no way to connect it to a computer. The only conceivable way would be to use the iPhone it's connected to in some way, but that may not even be possible.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Thank you! These questions (I want the screen to be on when I'm using it, I want to shower/swim with it, I want it to transport me to Mars, etc.) are so tedious. Do you only want these things because you can't have them?
People want those things because they make sense in a wearable.

It's a first gen smartwatch, are we even sure this is what smartwatches will be in a few years?
First gen smartwatches came out in the 1980s. We're way past those.

I thought that Blackberry was the peak of smartphones, then iPhone came out, and smartphones are still evolving.
Well, there's the rub. People were hoping that Apple would redefine the smartwatch. They didn't.

Except perhaps for quickie wristband changes :)
 

dc52nv

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2011
60
0
Yes, having your watch dead by lunch will certainly "Fix all the issues." Instead of being blank when you aren't looking at it, it will just be blank the rest of the day.
I'm not requiring the watch to be on full brightness or even crisp color screen at all times. It should be able to use very little battery if it displayed the time in b&w with a simple font. It can then display all of its bells and whistles when I hold it up to use it.

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I hate to burst your bubble, but a jailbreak for the Apple Watch seems very far fetched, simply because there is no way to connect it to a computer. The only conceivable way would be to use the iPhone it's connected to in some way, but that may not even be possible.
Well I sure hope they find a way. Can't imagine using any iOS product with stock firmware. Apple needs the jailbreak community to steal ideas from jailbroken tweeks and use them on future updates.
 

Cashmonee

macrumors 65816
May 27, 2006
1,168
832
This is one of those decisions that Apple makes that I don't fully understand. If they had lowered the resolution of the screen and lowered the framerate, they would have significantly increased battery life. Why does the watch need to be Retina with 60 fps?
 

hattonna928

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2014
102
0
There is no way for the Apple Watch to know you are looking at it.
Technically it's possible to make a device that can do that, but it would be REALLY hard to incorporate that technology in a watch.
The "New 3DS" models from Nintendo do this... They use it for better 3D on the screen. The original model required that you look at the screen from a certain angle (straight on) for the 3D to work. The New 3DS uses the inner camera to track your face so that as your eyes move, it adjusts the way the 3D effect is displayed so that you can see it from any angle. The New 3DS XL sells in the US for $200. So its definitely possible.
 

luke lau

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 25, 2015
133
29
Belfast
Any reason? Do you need to have the time displayed while not looking at your watch?
Fashion is a big part of the watch right? It's aesthetic. It's as much about what other people see as what you see. What's the point of an 18-carat frame if it's blank.
 

lunaoso

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2012
1,331
50
Boston, MA
The "New 3DS" models from Nintendo do this... They use it for better 3D on the screen. The original model required that you look at the screen from a certain angle (straight on) for the 3D to work. The New 3DS uses the inner camera to track your face so that as your eyes move, it adjusts the way the 3D effect is displayed so that you can see it from any angle. The New 3DS XL sells in the US for $200. So its definitely possible.
The watch would need a camera and said camera would always have to be on looking for your eyes, which would drain battery like crazy. The 3DS can do this because if you are in a game, you are obviously using it, so it turns the tracking on. It doesn't need to look all the time to see if you are looking at it. The apple watch doesn't know when you are going to use it, so the eye tracking would have to be on 24/7 for it to work.

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Fashion is a big part of the watch right? It's aesthetic. What's the point of an 18-carat frame if it's blank.
I personally wouldn't want it on all the time, because unlike a conventional watch, it is emitting light. I could see the aesthetic reasoning though.