Saturday, 7 March 2015

Hands-on Apple Watch details surface: Battery life, Reserve mode, Glance, apps and more!

Just ahead of Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event on March 9, some sources with hands-on experience with the Watch have disclosed vital details to 9To5Mac. The sources have divulged details about the battery performance, apps, touchscreen and more.
Earlier, there were reports about how the company will not achieve the target it set for the battery life. Now, Apple has reportedly improved the device’s battery life, and it spruced up to handle 5 hours of fairly heavy application usage. The report further states that the wearable won’t run out of battery during a typical day of mixed active and passive usage. The sources have now confirmed to the news site that the Apple Watch will require to be charged nightly, and definitely not last through a second full day.
Image: 9To5Mac
Image: 9To5Mac
Apple is also known to come with a Power Reserve Mode that will cut optional services and preserve the wearable’s core functionality. The new report adds that the Power Reserve Mode can be activated using ‘a Battery Glance that’s accessible at any time, or via the Apple Watch’s Settings application’. The Battery Glance displays the percentage of battery life available, time since the last full charge, and also a button that can be used to activate Power Reserve Mode.
Now, the Reserve mode can be accessed even when the battery life shows 100 percent charge. As soon as one activates the mode, it dims the display, slows down communication with the iPhone and even puts the display to sleep after about two seconds of inactivity. “One unit tested allowed access to all Apple Watch functions while in Power Reserve mode, while another unit was limited to the Clock face. We’re told that some test units took between four and five hours to charge up to 100% from 0% via the wall-attached MagSafe charger. This is a notable improvement, we’re told, from fall 2014 prototype,” adds the report.
Talking about the Heart Rate Glance, it is a new feature that will let users see their Beats/minute anytime. The Glance option will show a heart image and one has to tap a button that will start updating the screen with BPM reading. According to the report, the sources who tested this feature told that the reading were displayed instantly and ‘seemed accurate’. We’ve been hearing about the heart rate sensor communication feature, and these readings can also be transferred on the iPhone. The Glances reportedly installed on the Apple Watch by default include Fitness Stats, Activity, Clock, Weather, Music, Quick Settings, Calendar and Maps.
Apple Watch will be out in March.
Apple Watch will be out in March.
The report further confirms it comes with a notifications center, just like the iPhone. The notifications can be accessed by simply swiping down the screen. The report further adds that the Clock faces come with an ‘insane’ level of detailing and customizing, and calls the quality of faces ‘incredible’. Each face is supposedly like an app and the company won’t yet allow third-party faces. “The source also said that the astronomy Watch Face is smart: in one mode you can use the crown to scroll through time and see planetary alignments for the whole solar system,” it further adds.
Apple watch may most likely support 8GB storage, just like the prototype watches. It will let users store music and play even when unlinked to an iPhone.
As per 9To5Mac, the Watch will come with settings for individual Apple Watch applications that can be controlled by a Companion application on the iPhone. The Companion app with a dark black user interface will allow to control the various settings, music storage and also with re-arranging the icons on the Apple Watch’s homescreen. “This can be done from the Watch itself as well via a long press, just like on the iPhone and iPad. When a user downloads an iPhone application from the App Store with a WatchKit component, the Watch app is automatically installed on the Watch,” it further adds.
According to the report, the sources with the hands-on with the Watch have praised the force-sensing touchscreen interface. They reportedly said “the screen feels like a giant button than you just want to press in the manner needed for Force Touch.” The Watch comes with a Digital Crown input. There is no keyboard input at all. “All forms of input are handled with pre-populated options and voice dictation,” adds the report further. All voice control features are labeled ‘Voice Control, instead of Siri. This version of the Watch doesn’t support replying to emails (no voice support either), and one has to send all replies from the iPhone.
Apple Watch collection
Apple Watch collection
The S1 chip in the Watch is comparable to the Apple A5 chip, as the sources told the news site that the Watch feels very fast. “The sources say that the display will light up when the iPhone is locked for all of the phone’s notifications, but if the iPhone is unlocked, the Watch will not light up for new alerts,” says the report. The report also talks a designer who claims that the Apple watch screen is the best ever like a vibrant digital paper and doesn’t look rendered.
Apple’s Sport Band, the default on the $349 aluminum Apple Watch, will “take time” to get used to, says the report. Apple watch doesn’t come fitted with a ‘power off’ button and reportedly one can do so by long-pressing the ‘communications button’ seen on the right side. It also gets the option to Force Quit an unstable app using the same shut down screen. The Settings app brings the toggle option between Bluetooth and Airplane mode. Wi-Fi doesn’t get a dedicated settings panel and needs to be controlled on the iPhone.