Author Archives: Arnold Kim

Apple Watch Impacts iPhone Battery Life… One Way or the Other

With the launch of the Apple Watch on Friday, the first wave of consumers have received their Apple Watches. Our forums are abuzz with activity surrounding Apple's newest device. While there were initial concerns about the Apple Watch's battery life, reports seem to indicate that the Apple Watch, itself, has no problem lasting a full day.

Apple-Watch
However, there have been mixed reports about the impact the Apple Watch has on iPhone battery life. The Apple Watch needs to be paired to an iPhone for full functionality. The iPhone connects to the Apple Watch via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to feed it data and notifications throughout the day.

Some users have found a notable improvement in iPhone battery life with the addition of an Apple Watch. This suggests the act of offloading notifications and quick interactions to your Apple Watch, could make your iPhone battery last much longer.

However, several other users have noticed a significant drain on their iPhone batteries in early usage with the Apple Watch.

Former Engadget editor Ryan Block had as similar experience and pinpointed the Apple Watch Companion app as the culprit. John Byrne also puts some blame on the Companion App, saying that force-quitting the app seemed to help at least a bit. A discussion thread in our forums provides similarly mixed results, with one user blaming his battery drain on checking email on the Apple Watch. Due to the inconsistency in reports, it seems that either a software bug or particular usage pattern could be a culprit.


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Apple Watch Sport Destroyed in Torture Test Video

A CNet video shows the new Apple Watch Sport undergoing a variety of torture tests in a kitchen setting to see how well it holds up to a variety of abuse.

Previously, video bloggers have subjected the Sport's Ion-X screen and the Sapphire screen to a variety of scratch tests.


The video shows the Apple Watch Sport holds up remarkably well in various scenarios. The watch is washed, submerged in water for 10 minutes, boiled, grated, spilled on, dropped and finally smashed with cast iron skillet. The Apple Watch Sport screen did shatter with the skillet impact, but seemed to remain perfectly functional until that point.

The Apple Watch was officially launched today with pre-order deliveries arriving for the first customers.


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Retail Apple Watches Still Have a Hidden Diagnostic Port [Updated]

The Apple Watch became available for pre-orders on Friday as well as for try-on appointments in Apple retail stores around the world.

One MacRumors reader, Louis, was able to slip off the bottom band during his Apple Watch try-on appointment to discover that the hidden diagnostic port on early models still remains in the retail versions.

diagnostic-apple-watch
The presence of the diagnostic port was first reported in March by TechCrunch with speculation that it could eventually open up the market for "smart" band accessories that can interface with the Apple Watch, itself. Apple, however, has made no such promises and doesn't even acknowledge the presence of the port in any official documentation. Louis also reports the retail staff had no training on the use of the port.

Thanks Louis

Update: John Gruber notes that his review unit has the port, but it is covered up:




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Faster ‘NVM Express’ SSD Interface Arrives on Retina MacBook and OS X 10.10.3

Apple has quietly introduced support for the next generation NVM Express (NVMe) interface to SSD Flash drives in their latest OS X 10.10.3 update as well as in the new Retina MacBook which was released on April 10th.

nvmeSystem Report on new Retina MacBook

The NVMe software interface replaces the AHCI software interface in Apple's previous notebooks, and offers improved latency and performance over the old protocol. Anandtech offers a good overview between the technologies:
AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) dates back to 2004 and was designed with hard drives in mind. While that doesn't rule out SSDs, AHCI is more optimized for high latency rotating media than low latency non-volatile storage. As a result AHCI can't take full advantage of SSDs and since the future is in non-volatile storage (like NAND and MRAM), the industry had to develop a software interface that abolishes the limits of AHCI.

The result is NVMe, short for Non-Volatile Memory Express.
The new protocol is not to be confused with the underlying hardware that connects the SSD to Apple's notebooks. Apple has already upgraded the physical interface to the much faster PCIe connectors a number of years ago.

Going into the future, NVMe will allow Apple's hardware to take further advantage of the performance of SSDs as well as improve battery life with less time spent transferring data. Intel expects NVMe to also be coming to tablets and phones in the near future.

Thanks Jonathan


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Apple Won’t Allow Swapping of Bands at Apple Watch ‘Try-On’ Appointments

The Apple Watch will be available for in store previews and Try-On appointments starting on April 10th. The Apple Watch comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and band-types which can make the decision of how to pick a band and Apple Watch combination complicated.

applewatchtable
Apple has a number of recommended combinations highlighted on their online store, but also sells bands separately, allowing customers to potentially mix and match between the various Apple Watches and bands. Some combinations could yield a mix of materials that readers feared may not look natural together, such as an aluminum Apple Watch Sport and a stainless steel accented band. The stainless steel Apple Watch is the most cosmetically versatile but carries a $200 premium over the aluminum Apple Watch Sport.

Apple, however, will not allow customers to try arbitrary mix and match options during their Apple Watch Try-On appointments, presumably in the interest of time and simplicity. According to retail training materials MacRumors received, Apple specifically states that they "will not size links or swap bands" at the Try-on table or Try-on cases. Try-on appointments for non-Edition Apple Watches are meant to last only 5-15 minutes. Apple will have 18 specific Apple Watch combinations on display at their Try-On tables and 10 specific combinations at their Try-On cases.

Apple Watch pre-sales and try-on appointments start on April 10th, and the official launch of the Apple Watch is April 24th.


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Apple Watch for Sale in Retail Stores by Reservation Only, No Walk-In Sales

As the Apple Watch launch approaches, details have been leaking out about how Apple will be handling sales of their new device. According to leaked Apple documentation, the company will not be selling the Apple Watch to walk-in customers at launch.

Apple Watch Case
Apple will begin offering online pre-sales of the Apple Watch starting on April 10th, with the first deliveries occurring on April 24th, the official Apple Watch launch date. During those two weeks, customers will be able to have hands-on "try-on" appointments at Apple retail stores in order to help make up their mind.

However, according to training documents that MacRumors has received, Apple is not allowing any walk-in retail purchases for the Apple Watch at launch. Instead customers must make an online "Product Reservation" to hold a specific Apple Watch model at a retail store. This new "Product Reservation" system is used instead of Apple's "Personal Pickup" system for Apple Watches. Apple's retail training documents indicate that "If a customer walks in and wants to purchase a watch, offer the option to try on a watch. Then help them place an order online or through the Apple Store app."

Apple seems to expect low inventory for the Apple Watches, and notes that "try-on" appointments also do not reserve a specific Apple Watch for purchase. Apple expects to eventually allow walk-in purchases, but not until the initial wave of demand has passed.


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Apple Watch Roundup Updated

There are less than 24 hours to go until Apple's big "Spring Forward" Apple Watch event, where we're likely going to find out about Apple Watch pricing and get a solid launch date on the device.

Leaks and details on the Apple Watch have been coming out at a rapid pace as we lead up to the event, so make sure to check out our Apple Watch Roundup for everything we currently know.

Read the roundup



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