With OS2 battery life will change

mikezmac

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Jun 4, 2014
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As many developers have pointed out right now the iPhone burns most of the cpu cycles for the :apple:watch apps, cpu and processing = a battery hit. Native apps means more responsive apps Watch apps which means that we use the apps more. It's no secret that we will see lower battery life on the watches. The question is how much?

Native apps Will rock! It's not all roses though, along with battery life also remember that every time you need to query the Internet/load data for the app you will need to go through the Bluetooth connection and that will give us the familiar "wait wheel" we all love. ;)

So what I'm saying is temper your expectations. It will be great, but at a cost.
 

mcdj

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Jul 10, 2007
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You could also argue that as native apps spend less time traveling across BT/Wifi that battery life might increase. Native doesn't necessarily mean more use, but it should mean less processing power spent on unpacking data from the iPhone.

Don't assume Apple just came up with the idea of native apps last week. This was the plan all along, and the watch has been designed to facilitate them all along.
 

bmustaf

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2007
244
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Telluride, CO
For a whole bunch of uses, many thousands of CPU cycles cost less in terms of battery draw than even modest RF comms back to an iPhone (even over BTLE, forget WiFi).

If anything, I'd expect it to get *better* for workloads that can cache data. Now, if it's network intense operations, then, yes, no battery life increase, but also, it's not likely going to get much worse, either in this case, as it's already offloading that work to the iPhone.

The only way it is getting worse is if devs start moving work to the Watch that is more battery intensive in terms of CPU than the equivalent of doing that work on the iPhone and using the watch purely as a UI with BTLE as the link between the two.

As I said above, I don't think that's very many use cases, if any. The kind of use cases for Watch just don't/shouldn't involve that much CPU.
 

fischersd

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Oct 23, 2014
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FaceTime audio and wifi calling users will see big hits to their battery life. Especially if both work completely independently of the iPhone, then people are more likely to have a bluetooth headset paired with the watch to improve the voice quality.
 

LewisChapman

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Jan 10, 2015
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Lets not also forget that the Watch does have it's own WiFi capabilities.. so surely the Watch would be able to access the internet without communicating with the phone in some cases.
 

Neo1975

macrumors 6502
May 11, 2015
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I think the battery is good enough to handle it. Now I am used to the watch, and using it normally. I put it on at about 7.00 and by 23.00 I have about 40% left.

Loads of battery left for native App use.
 

spiezer

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2009
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If I'm remembering this right, during the recent interview between John and Phil posted on Daring Fireball, I think Phil said that the implementation for native apps was still in the process of being finalized. They opted to have some solution for developers in place interim.
 
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fischersd

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Oct 23, 2014
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@spiezer, yeah, the 3rd party apps that exist today have a thin portion running on the watch, but most of the app is running on the phone. The change with the new watchkit is having apps entirely housed on the watch, running independently of the iPhone.

@LewisChapman - the watch has its own wifi stack now, they just didn't implement the VoIP piece yet (that comes in 2.0).
 

MoodyM

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Aug 14, 2008
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If I'm remembering this right, during the recent interview between John and Phil posted on Daring Fireball, I think Phil said that the implementation for native apps was still in the process of being finalized. They opted to have some solution for developers in place interim.
Why not just delay Watch launch till it was ready?
 

mikezmac

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Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
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Don't assume Apple just came up with the idea of native apps last week. This was the plan all along, and the watch has been designed to facilitate them all along.
It does. Apple is aware and it's not an issue with apple but an issue with the app developers.

Anything that takes touches the processor uses battery, the screen and hardware also. you will get some savings from the lower Bluetooth use as well however it's doubtful it will outweigh it.

There is a lot of discussion on this and how to manage it by developers. Coding portables is a constant effort to make them efficient. It's most likely we will see more of a drain on the watch.

This isn't a dis its fact.
 

mikezmac

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Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
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The catch 20 is with faster more responsive apps we'll use them lots more!

;)
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
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Gotta wonder why native apps weren't part of OS1...
I'm wondering if it got to a point where they needed to launch to see how it would all work out. Maybe some OS developing to save enough battery for native apps was going to take until the fall. With a new device, limiting features can be good to help iron out bugs. Any worry about battery life now is non-existent because I can go about 24 hours without a charge. I don't, but I think I could.

Developers had better understand that for the most part we don't need you sucking up the battery. We also are probably going to interact 15 or 30 seconds at a time max, so YouTube doesn't need to bother with video playback. We also do not need extensive games at all on this. We my wrist hurt after playing a game of solitaire. At best I think you might see tic tac toe or some turn-based stuff.
 

Shinigami301

Suspended
Jun 5, 2010
216
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cogito, ergo zoom.
As people evolve their use of the watch, it will become more watch like and less game console. In other words, mainstream users of the watch will interact with it for glances and a peek at the topics of incoming mail.

The wild card is of course messages. Those with a heavy message habit will perhaps spend more time with the watch than most.

But in a few months the primary use of the watch for the vast majority will be very short interactions, not as a gaming toy or news reader. Or even a phone.

Many people who have had the watch for more than a week or two have already trimmed back on news headline glances and other distractions. They have quickly found the balance of using the watch vs going to the phone. Pay at Starbucks? Watch. Scan headlines on BBC? Phone.

I predict overall improvements or a wash in battery life once the watch can handle more with less RF comm traffic to the phone. But by the time watchOS 2 yields meaningful app traffic, I also think the majority of users will have settled down with how they interact with the watch, and overall battery life will be relatively unaffected.
 
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Aluminum213

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Mar 16, 2012
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Third party apps suck to use because they're so slow


Once they're fast, you'll use more, battery drains faster
 
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mikezmac

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I was also thinking that maybe we will see a slight battery improvement from our phones at it won't be sending apps over Bluetooth either. Thoughts?
Yes, the phone's batteries should improve some. How much is open for debate.
 

JD92

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2005
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I think you have to remember that Apple Watch apps will remain simple affairs. They're not going to be crunching anything particularly intense. I suspect that the energy saved by not having to engage the bluetooth connection as often will outweigh any extra energy expended by this app logic.
 

mikezmac

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Original poster
Jun 4, 2014
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I think you have to remember that Apple Watch apps will remain simple affairs. They're not going to be crunching anything particularly intense. I suspect that the energy saved by not having to engage the bluetooth connection as often will outweigh any extra energy expended by this app logic.
It should be ok for most people, yes. I think so as well. But the expectation I was trying to set is don't expect to see 50% at bed time anymore (unless you don't use apps at all) :)

My worry is how fast that 8G space will be used up by the apps.
 

mikepepe86

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2015
149
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I barely use 3rd party apps now for my watch. Not a whole lot that interests me...

I'm kind of thinking battery life will overall be a wash. Not better, not worse; unless Apple's own software refines battery usage behind the scenes. I typically have about 30%-40% battery left at the end of a basic length day with normal use as it is so there's definitely enough room if 3rd party apps need a little juice.

I'm just hoping native apps will get me interested in some 3rd party apps that are developed!
 

mikepepe86

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2015
149
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It should be ok for most people, yes. I think so as well. But the expectation I was trying to set is don't expect to see 50% at bed time anymore (unless you don't use apps at all) :)

My worry is how fast that 8G space will be used up by the apps.
Also in response to this...

I really don't think most Watch apps will exceed 20-50mb. I'm sure Apple will employ some sort of 'cap' (they should); and being the micro-interactions the watch is based around I can't imagine an app needing a whole lot of physical space. We're not trying to use the watch to do heavy lifting functions like a phone or iPad
 
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