NYT: Apple Watch will have power saving mode

A New York Times piece from Brian X. Chen published this past weekend suggests that the upcoming Apple Watch will feature a power saving mode designed to stretch out the devices battery life.

Apple has indicated that the Apple Watch battery will last a full day – something many see as a problem, comparing it to the nightly routine charge required of most smartphones.

Chen’s piece details that one unnamed Apple employee shared details on a unannounced ‘Power Reserve’ feature. The mode is said to run the smart watch on low-energy, only displaying the time on the watch face.

Chen’s piece also looks out how Apple biggest challenge with the Apple Watch lies in front of them: selling them to a supposedly uninterested public.

Advice on designing apps for the Apple Watch

Reuben Bos, Creative Director at Mangrove takes a considered look at designing apps for the upcoming Apple Watch.

The article covers the basic steps to think about, to exploring the challenges posed by a new form factor and deliberating on how people will prefer to use the device.

When designing for the Watch it’s key to be aware of both the possibilities and limitations.

It’s hard to say what will be the killer feature on the Apple Watch. Will it be the actionable Notifications? Will users prefer Glances to the full App? Or will we use a Watch App to read stuff in a way we never expected on such a small device? It probably completely depends on the goal of the App and its users’ preferences.

Image via Mangrove

Thinking about Glances

Mobile strategist Lou Miranda writes that app designers should think of the Apple Watch’s ‘Glance’ ability as similar to the iPhone’s Today view extensions, but with less interactivity.

For those unaware, the Glances interface offers a customisable view of live data from any number of given apps — allowing the user a quick way to ‘glance’ at data from an application, without the need to open it. Apple describe Glances as follows:

Viewed together, Glances are a browsable collection of timely and contextually relevant moments from the wearer’s favorite apps. Individually, a Glance is a quick view of your app’s most important content. — Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines

Miranda explores how he believes this should be thought of from a design perspective:

Your app can only provide one Glance. So how do you think about a Glance from a design and interactivity viewpoint?

It’s simple. A Glance is a dynamic view into your app’s data. It’s dynamic in the fact that you can update the data (using a timer), but it’s completely non-interactive and confined to a single screen.

The only interactivity is this: a user taps on it, and it opens the app. There can be no buttons or other interactive controls on a glance, and it won’t scroll.

It’s almost like a screenshot of your app’s most important data. In a user-friendly layout.

Remind you of something? Yes, it’s very much like a Today Extension on an iPhone or iPad. But it’s more limited in that a Today Extension does allow some interactivity, although Apple downplays that.

→ An Apple Watch ‘Glance’ is a Today Extension for Your Watch