The Apple Watch can’t always stay on the wrist … due to the battery.
Vanessa Hand Orellana / CNET
More than spending, more than active minutes, I have focused on making sure I sleep well enough each day. It was a problem working from home for much of the 2020-2021 period. Apple’s latest Watch and WatchOS software have focused on adding sleep tracking, among other things, which could help make bedtime times more regular. It looks fantastic. Except … Apple Watch battery life gets in the way.
I could say that the Apple Watch needs new health sensors or some other medically approved metric like blood pressure. (I have high blood pressure, so that would be nice, albeit unrealistic right now.) But actually, first, it needs better battery life. Of all the fitness trackers and wearables I’ve alternated in the past year – Oura Ring, Fitbit Sense, Amazon Halo band, and Withings Scanwatch – the Apple Watch has remained the last in battery life.
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You, the owner of the Apple Watch, might say: charge it every day, no problem. It’s not that easy when you wear it all night and supposedly keep track of your sleep, though. The watch can run for a day and a half in a row on a charge, in my experience, but then it’s about figuring out when that time would be: while taking a shower? While I was sitting at my desk? It takes at least half an hour to collect a reasonable amount of charge.
Longer battery life isn’t always the perfect answer. It’s easy to lose track of how many extra nights a ring or watch can last. I missed a day or two of tracking with Fitbits, Oura, or Halo Band or anything else I don’t charge daily. However, having more days, or even hours, of battery life helps. Apple could incorporate a power saving mode or a new chip that helps with the battery. Or, perhaps, insert a larger battery. Or add some sort of battery strap, which would be the equivalent of that smart battery case for iPhone.
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That said, don’t expect a new watch until fall, just like always. Apple released its Fitness Plus service connected to Apple Watch last month and perhaps has more connected services in store like the one for 2021.
I’ll just say that the Apple Watch is working quite perfectly for me right now. Except for the battery life, of course.
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There are many other ways the Apple Watch could improve. It could become a better remote control for connecting to phones and computers. (I always use the camera remote to start and stop self-timer videos, but I’d like more.) It should have some sort of biometrics, like Touch ID. It might have a real watch face shop.
I’d give up those for better battery life. If the Apple Watch only gets one novelty in 2021, let it be.
The informationon contained in this article is for educational and informationonal purposes only and is not intended as medical or health advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care practitioner with any questions about a medical condition or health goals.
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