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Apple Watch Series 7 (apple.com)
139 points by kumarvvr 12 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 284 comments

I keep hoping they're going to announce battery life that lasts longer than a day, not this time...

It charges to 80% in 45 mins. I don't wear it overnight, but some friends who do, charge it in the office without much of an impact to usage.

For me it's never been a problem, it wouldn't have changed my usage pattern to have 1 week of battery.

The challenge, at least for those that want to use the watch for sports, is not the "daily" use, but that the watch runs out of juice so quickly when using its location tracking, aka GPS sucks battery.

So, the reason that I want longer battery life is not, per se, to charge once a week, but so that I can use it on a longer run, and not be afraid that the battery will give out as I get close to the finish line.

Without any special preparation my apple watch will last a full day of hiking while recording the GPS/heart rate/etc. (i.e. 5-7 hours hikes in the mountains.)

Cellular, on the other hand, can drain the watch relatively quickly. Mine lasts 2-3 hours when streaming music from the cloud and relaying to bluetooth headphones during a workout (i.e. when it can't piggy-back off the phone's cellular.)

would be nice to reverse-charge from phone to watch - is this possible?

The S10-line from Samsung has that feature so it's certainly not impossible

There was speculation when the 8/X came out that they would have that feature. I would love it. Too many times, I have forgotten to charge my watch in the morning and only remember when I go to to run errands and see it in red. It’s not like you can just plug it into a lightning cable in the car and top off. I refuse to get a watch charger just for the car.

That's not possible (and probably ill advised as the watch will usually outlast the phone) - however it is possible to charge your devices from an iPad.

My issue is that I wear it overnight and through the day. And what happens is that around an hour before bedtime, the battery gets to 20-30% but since I'm not constantly checking, I forget about that and don't take it off my wrist to charge it.

The only low battery notification I get is at like 10%. It'd be handy (heh) at least if we could get better notification reminders that align with our schedules to know when exactly to charge the watch so there's enough power for a night of sleep.

My Apple watch pops a notification to "charge before bedtime" if it's going to die while I'm asleep. Does yours not? Maybe it only does it if you have the sleep features enabled?

That's odd, I definitely have the sleep features enabled and it's a Series 6.

There is an option in the Watch app on the phone (what?). Look under Sleep for “charging reminders”. It will give you a reminder on your phone just before bedtime and you can use that time to charge it up before sleep tracking. It gives you the reminder no matter what charge level it is at.

Mine definitely only gives the reminder if it actually needs to be charged. I don't get the reminder if it doesn't.

Another downside to wearing at night and charging during the day - automatic updates don't happen automatically.

I charge it when I shower and get ready to go to bed, then put it back on to wear overnight because I like the sleep tracking. Never runs out of power.

Likewise. I suppose an always-on display is a big boon for most customers, but I would like if I had the option to opt out of that and get considerably longer battery life instead. Conceptually I really like the watch with all the health-related sensors and such, but until the battery life improves, it's hard to be convinced.

You can opt out. I have, my wife hasn't. It definitely has an impact on the battery life (we both have the series 6). My watch easily makes it a full 24 hours, I charge it in the mornings when I work from home, or in the evening when I'll be at the office the next day. Hers lasts about 18 hours right now, though I also suspect that the fact she drops it on the charger both in the morning and as soon as she gets home from work has impacted the battery life in her case.

I wouldn't like it for camping or long hiking trips (not day hikes since I'd be able to charge it at some point easily enough), the Garmin's are definitely better for that if you want something for tracking your hike and heart rate.

I have Series 6 with the always on display enabled and make it to 30 hours. I have 55% left after 18 hours.

Do you do any workouts with it? I can't see going through 24+ hours on my Series 5 with always-on display and workouts.

Ah, no I don't. Once I can workout again I'll definitely watch the battery life if that is a drain.

Workouts use a lot more sensor and GPS data. Series 6's 18-hour quoted battery life includes an hour workout. However, if you want to run it with a continuous workout, you can get "up to 11 hours indoor workout, up to 7 hours outdoor workout with GPS and up to 6 hours outdoor workout with GPS and LTE".

I disable Always-On at home and only enable it temporarily when I’m going out and feel like people need to see my edgy anime faces.

Then turn it off? It’s in the display settings

Did they actually make the battery a lot bigger to support always on? I have one from before they added always on, and its battery life is also naff.

> I would like if I had the option to opt out of that and get considerably longer battery life instead

If you would really like that you would have clicked on display settings and realized that they’ve had the option to opt-out since the day Always-On Displays were announced.

You can. My Series 6 lasts about 36 hours per charge.

Not going to happen.

The only upgrade that makes sense is 7 days.

2-3 day battery life means that people will forget to charge, because there is no routine. And then they run out of battery and blame Apple for shitty battery life.

45 minutes from 0 to 80% isn't that much. You won't be ending many days at 0% and don't need a 100% every day.

Since I wear my 6 at night, I need to charge it in the morning. That takes about an hour. The last 10% is at about one quarter of the bulk charging rate.

If life interferes, and I have to pull it off the charger after 40 minutes, the watch typically won’t make it through the following night.

Two days would be helpful. Either that, or cut the charging time down to 30 minutes, which is about the time it takes me to get ready in the morning.

I know there are limits to battery technology but I'd much rather see the watch track towards 7 days than see additional sensors / a larger brighter screen.

This may be compounded by the fact that the watch needs its own special charging cable, my main pain point is that I always forget to pack the watch charger when I travel so my watch always dies if I'm going for a night.

My aged Pebble Time Steel lasts 8 days (fresh from factory, it was 10!). I still consider it the pinnacle of smart watch tech.

The tradeoffs are that the screen is "e-paper" without touch functionality. Personally I think it's the right choice: always-on tech and having tactile controls vs a clumsy touch-screen (due to small size).

The watch itself is pretty small so there's room to increase battery life by making it bigger.

We’re in 2021, why wouldn’t a watch last a month. I don’t know, use e-ink, use something else than bluetooth, have a solar panel behind the screen, innovate!

If you want a watch whose battery lasts that long, it can’t be a smart watch.

All the other stuff these things do use too much power for to get that battery life from just switching to a even a (not physically plausible) 100% efficient photovoltaic e-ink screen.

It could be a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Zip (advertised at 4-6 months), or a plain watch like the Casio F-91W (when I had those as a kid, the battery outlasted the straps), but it can’t be a smart watch.

It's like people speaking fondly of their old nokia phones with week-long battery life, while ignoring that it only had a 2 hour talk time. The Apple watch lasts all day when used normally (workouts, apps etc) - for people who are just using it to receive notifications, a bit of siri and telling the time - it easily gets up to 30+ hours.

All of this is moot anyway, it can get 8 hours of sleep tracking in 8 minutes, or fast charge in 45 minutes to 80% - these are far better metrics than if they managed to get it to last 2-3 days.

You can get a smart watch with battery life over 30 days: Garmin Enduro.


Huh, I’m genuinely surprised! Thank you :)

> Get up to 80 hours of battery life in GPS mode[1], up to 300 hours in max battery mode[1] and up to 65 days in smartwatch mode with solar charging[2].

2-3 day battery life is perfect for weekend trips without worrying about charging.

If you have a daily routine like charging your phone, why not just charge your watch as well?

Seems like more cognitive effort to change routine just because you take a weekend trip.

It's fine if I don't need a different additional cable.

Right, I have a Garmin 245 that I regularly get 3-5 days on a charge (lots of GPS runs though) and I don't have a problem finding an hour here and there to charge it. Once a day would become a big frustration though, because I typically have a days window where I know I'll need to charge in the next 24 hours and can be flexible.

45 minutes can be a lot if you keep it in hand over night for sleep tracking. You'd then need a to find a 45 minute slot every day to charge it and be consistent with it. With one day battery life you can't forget to charge it every morning for example. Or what if you didn't bring a charger with you for an overnight trip? Anything less than a full two day battery life is a deal breaker for me.

I've found the iPhone notifications to be very handy in this regard though - I throw my watch on the charger when I shower and then pick it up whenever my phone notifies me it is done charging.


It takes 8 minutes to charge for a full night's sleep tracking according to Apple. That's about the time it takes to wash and floss your teeth coincidentally :)

I usually take my AW2 off when I wake up and put it in the charger while I do my morning stuff. Same with showering etc.

I imagine that in the near to medium future at least, they'll optimise for fast charging. 45 minutes to 80% is good, but 20 minutes to 80% would mean that you could just charge it while having a shower and it should be practically fully charged.

Several of the higher end Garmin smart watches have battery life longer than 7 days (depending on GPS use).

2-3 day battery life makes sense with sleep tracking, since you can sleep a couple of nights with it before you have to charge it.

I sleep with my watch; my routine has become “charge it while showering”. The ten minutes or so a day is usually plenty to keep up with my usage. Series 6 40mm GPS only.

Yep, I'm hanging onto my Pebble until that happens. The battery life is deteriorating, but I can still get 5 days out of it if I put it in airplane mode overnight.

Oh, that's a nice hack!

It doubles as DND, which is good for work-life balance!

I feel like a broken record but I'm in the same boat. I can't stand a watch that has to be charged daily or is useless. After switching from an early android wear with ~30 hours of battery life to a Garmin watch I just can't imagine being stuck with nightly charging anymore. Countless times I forgot the charger at home on a trip and basically had a fancy bracelet for the week. I don't understand why there seems to be 0 focus on extending battery life, I can't see buying an Apple watch until they get it to at least a week with normal wear and 3+ days if I'm doing hour+ fitness activities every day.

same here - I went for 600km MTB marathon and Garmin devices lasted the whole trip. I had to bring a charger for my iPhone though :(

How long do you want/need it? I have the series 6 and get around ~30 hours. I've been wearing it since 9am and it's now 2:52am, it's still 55% remaining.

It turned out to be more battery than what I thought (18 hours?!?)

Do you use workout tracking ? If I went to the gym it would significantly impact my galaxy watch.

These days I use a withings scanwatch hybrid - it lasts 20 days and is more low-key than a giant screen on your hand. But still has ECG/HR/activities/sleep and notifications (so I can keep my phone muted all the time l). The only feature I'm missing is find my phone.

> Do you use workout tracking ?

Nope :(

I had not considered this impacting the battery, due to being stranded in Singapore I haven't been working out. But now that you and someone else mentioned it I will definitely monitor battery to see how it impacts me when I can get back into a gym.

More than the gym, it's when you're biking/running or anything that uses active GPS tracking. That is the real killer. My garmin can last 7 days without GPS, and 7 hours with active GPS tracking.

I’ve never seen a hit from normal workout tracking, though anything with the gps does hit the battery. It still would normally get through a full day and night with sleep tracking unless I were doing a multi-hour walk/run tracking session, too.

Is it really that low? My fitbit sense gets around 4 days but I just use it for health tracking and nothing else.

Sometimes I get it to go 36 hours but that's only with very light use

I wish it had a charger similar to the Whoop fitness band. It's a separate battery that you place on top of the band while wearing it, so it can charge while you're sleeping or even while you're just wearing it throughout the day.

My series 5 lasts from after breakfast to when I wake up the next day (I sleep with it, it charges while I eat, shower and dress). If that isn’t all day, I don’t know what is.

But I miss my Pebble’s ability to last the week…

Same. Not into smart watches until they have a week long charge at least.

The Steel HR from Withings is the perfect middle ground for me. Doesn’t look like a slab, 3 weeks charge, still some smart features.

Or at least decently fast charging. The new onePlus can get you 0 to 100 in 30 minutes.

Knock it down to 20 minutes and you can charge the watch while you shower in the morning.

It does last longer than a day, but not a full 2 days; more like 30 hrs or so (even with sleep tracking). Using GPS does ding the battery quite a bit.

My Series 5 definitely lasts longer than a day…

Do you use it for anything?

I just use two watches and alternate every night.

my series 6 definitely lasts way longer than a day, and i use it for tracking gps on hikes almost every day. i think being judicious with screen brightness is very impactful.

Those bezels are crazy thin. I can’t think of any other product that has such thin bezels while still being uniform all the way around. Clearly some R&D went into that display.

It was rumored the Series 7 had production issues; the "later this fall" basically confirms it.

The complete lack of tech specs is weird despite that though.

Apple hasn't flaunted the tech specs of Watches ever.

Usually we find out the specs when iFixit cracks one open.

No mentions of memory, CPU architecture or clock speed in there.

Mostly just external measurements and features.

I feel like Apple often talks about the processor. The Apple Watch 6 had the S6 processor that they boasted about.

Underwhelming. I guess I keep my Series 4 another year.

Still waiting for the blood glucose monitoring. I wonder what tech remains to be developed.

Is there a way to non-penetratively monitor blood glucose?

I have heard that there are such systems, probably using optical analysis of tissues, but what I heard was that they were not reliable enough for any medical use. More for dietary monitoring.

It’s a hard problem. Here’s a wikipedia article about it:


we are working on it (www.diamontech.de) but our device has still the size of a shoebox. I don't think there is a device in a smaller form factor out there that can measure glucose non-invasively (at least with a decent accuracy).

For me, there's enough from the Series 4 to 7 to make it worth upgrading.

What's the feature that makes it most compelling for you? Screen size? I'll grant that going from 3 to 4 was a pretty big screen bump -- maybe this will be similar, in which case it could pique my attention.

The always-on display is appealing, I've been looking forward to getting that ever since the Series 5 was released. But it won't be enough by itself to get me to put down the cash.

I was hoping for thinner, and sorta hoping to see a design update along the lines of the iPhone 12/13.

It sounds like you two may place different value on some aspect of these devices

Apparently, the Series 3 is so similar that Apple decided to keep selling it another year.

Actually, I think the reason they're still selling the S3 is because it is quite different visually. If you don't mind having a watch that has a much smaller screen (which affects usability and isn't as 'prestigious' among Those Who Care) then you can get an Apple Watch for a price point that rivals Fitbit etc.

Note: I am not one of Those Who Care — I still rock my Pebble Time Steel!

Was the Series 3 the one where you have to perform pagan rituals in order to update the OS?

It is. However the LTE models (and I think the ones they’re selling now) have more storage space, and iOS 8 also allows updating with less free space as well. Still, the S3 is completely outdated now

Supposedly watchOS 8 changes the upgrade mechanism such that it does not require pagan rituals. Although you need to get a pagan ritual to get it initially onto a Series 3.

No, this model specifically requires two rain dances and a dream catcher. Close though!

I was about to say same, but I think one of my family would like a watch and my series4 makes a great handmedown.

What warrants such geoblocking for Apple Fitness+? Content does not seem to be very specific or have overly difficult copyright rules.

Cultural differences in sensitivity to the appearance (clothing, gender, race, etc) of those appearing on screen seems to me a plausible explanation.

They're adding Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE but not, for example, Sweden, Norway or Denmark. I don't see anything plausible in that.

That's not even to mention features like ECG that are certified EU-wide, yet only available in half of the EU countries, 4 years after launch.

These country limitations are truly mind-boggling. It's as if they put a map on a dartboard when making these decisions.

I can imagine an “all products must be adapted to the local market” type of rule leading to this situation with Fitness+. My country has been added this time around with subtitles, but I’m struggling to imagine how they are useful when the workout is going to constantly take your eyes off the screen.

Music licensing is probably the biggest one.

They already have Apple Music available in a lot more countries, so I don't think that is the issue.

There's a difference between being a streaming service and licensing audio for commercial products. Having Apple Music available somewhere doesn't have any bearing on whether the audio is licensed in a region for other uses.

Maybe more relatively to the languages they have available? Also, licensing video content also tends to be per country.

Don't think it's to do with Language. Malaysia is on the list for the next lot of countries, but not Singapore.

Singapore is (primarily) an English speaking country.

They will release it to a lot more countries and have subtitles in 6 different languages, audio english only. So I'm not sure if the language barrier is the difficulty.

Is the reason for an underwhelming update related to supply chain issues? It seems like such a lackluster update compared to all the rumors.

It can't help.

I'm looking at -no joke- 100 week lead times on an ARM cortex m4 we have in an existing product.

Practically, does this mean that cheap consumer electronics junk (think Bluetooth speakers, or streaming sticks, or cheap Chromebooks) will become scarce soon?

IDK! I wish I had some better idea because there is money to be made at least in options I think.

On one hand, I hope that cheap landfill-express electronics take a hit.

On the other hand, I’m well aware they will manage somehow and it’s the good stuff that will be hard to find/make.

For one thing I am certain, we absolutely have not seen the height of the supply shortage bullwhip. It’s going to get worse.

I'm seeing the > 52 weeks for every microcontroller I'm using in designs including old 8051's and MSP430's.

I was wondering the same - another article claimed they were aiming for the ability to measure blood pressure, but were having trouble with it. I can't imagine how that works, it'd literally squeeze my wrist?

It doesn't squeeze at all. It's something about measuring the speed of the blood flow optically and determining blood pressure based on that.

There hasn't been a single blood pressure gadget that's been able to get even remotely accurate data with that.

It's about as trustworthy as rolling a dice and multiplying the eyes

I'd definitely buy it if it were possible though... But it's not, you can only get pulse/heartbeat through that.

I read that Apple had internally experimented with it and had the Health app publish blood pressure trends and not the actual measured values, and that employee feedback questioned the usefulness of it.

Quoting from the article (emphasis mine): [1]

> As opposed to the common methods that measure blood pressure using an inflatable cuff wrapped around the upper arm, Apple's system measures the speed of the wave of a heartbeat through a user's arteries using sensors. The Apple Watch would then show a user how their blood pressure is trending, but would not be able to provide a baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurement, leading some Apple employees have to raise questions with managers over the usefulness of the feature.

[1]: https://www.macrumors.com/2021/09/01/multiple-new-apple-watc...

Well, Apple is working with a company called Rockley Photonics, who claims that they've done it: https://rockleyphotonics.com/rockley-unveils-end-to-end-digi...

I like how they copied flick type after booting it off the Apple watch for being a keyboard...

Response from Kosta Eleftheriou, founder of FlickType:


What's the alternative for Android? After broken straps and finally a dead screen with my Fitbit Versa, I don't want to buy another Fitbit again. How about Garmin? Any other?

I recently purchased a Galaxy Watch 4. It is similarly specced as the apple watch, but it has quirks. It uses the new Wear OS, which is great, but compared to what i've seen from the Apple Watch, i'm not sure it's in the same league software wise. The Apple Watch just seem superior in software and hardware quality.

I have a 645M that's almost 4 years old (purchased Jan 2018). It has outlasted by a factor of 2x my previous smart watches in terms of taking physical abuse. It still has nearly a week of battery life when not using GPS, and variable if using GPS.

The one drawback to it is that on iOS, the notifications suck. I have no control over what apps can send notifications to my watch; its all or nothing. Back when I had a Pixel on Android, I could control which apps could send notifications to my watch. I'm assuming there is some API limit to 3rd party watches in the Apple ecosystem that prevents Garmin from being able to filter out notifications.

> The one drawback to it is that on iOS, the notifications suck. I have no control over what apps can send notifications to my watch; its all or nothing. Back when I had a Pixel on Android, I could control which apps could send notifications to my watch.

I have experience with Apple Watch since Series 3, and what you say about notifications isn’t true (if I’ve understood it right). If you go into the Watch app on the iPhone, then into Notifications and into the specific Apple app, you see a “Mirror my iPhone” and a “Custom” option. For third party apps, you see the list below (in the Notifications screen) with a toggle for mirroring your iPhone (or not). You can control this for each app. The scheme for third party apps is not (yet) as rich as it is for Apple apps, but you don’t have to suffer through every app on the iPhone where you have setup/allowed notifications also sending notifications to the watch.

I'm talking about a garmin watch, not an apple watch. Either the Garmin software is to blame, or Apple is not giving them the API access they need to send through only the desired notifications.

Looking at the processors behind the watch, it seems like Snapdragon 4100+ is the latest and greatest for Android [1].

I've been using a TicWatch Pro 3 and I'm pretty happy with it, although I'm not a "smartwatch poweruser", if there's such thing.

1: https://www.smartwatchseries.com/a-list-of-snapdragon-4100-s...

My 3.5 year old Garmin can easily track activity for 18 hours with normal GPS mode (high accuracy) and probably much longer with power saving (less frequent data recording).

I don't think it's a great smartwatch, but I don't know because the last thing I need in my life is a device on my wrist with push notifications.

If there's one problem I have with Garmin, it's that I open the watch page on their website and I'm presented with a wall of products (I counted 27 different watches.) In addition to that what should be just a different app is a distinct product. If I'm a swimmer who also plays golf, I need two watches. If I also run, I need another. If I also want a smart watch that looks good, I need a fourth.

That part Apple does get right.

> That part Apple does get right.

In the sense that they don't bother, by those standards. AFAIK Apple's watch that does everything is virtually comparable to the "watch that looks good" in its running analytics, cycling features, swimming connectivity, etc. Put another way, the mid-tier and above running-focused Garmin devices (can't speak for the other sports) should not be considered to be in the same class as an Apple watch for running.

I replaced my Fitbit Versa with a Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music and have been a huge fan. Many day battery, GPS for runs etc, can play music and podcasts from the watch.

I have a Garmin 945, lasts a whole week and love the thing.

Love my Garmin Instinct. It's just enough of a GPS smartwatch. Super durable, waterproof, great battery life, modest price.

Galaxy Active 3 is fine, but the software and android app are just meh.

How do you get the galaxy to show stairs climbed on the home screen?

There are lots of watchfaces that show different data, and you can create custom ones.

Xiaomi MiBands are surprisingly good at what they do, especially for the money. Not a premium product by any stretch but still nice. I like it especially because it looks more and more like a simple bracelet with each iteration, instead of trying to be watch, huge watch or mini-ipad like the others.

The bands also last way longer than any fitbit I had.

Of course, you health data is probably going straight to CCP but then you already have Android.

I like my Mi Band 4 also branded as an AmazFit. They actually have a whole line of watches some with more traditional watch designs: https://us.amazfit.com/collections/smartwatches-bands

I stopped using an Apple Watch after my Series 1 broke. I bought a cheap Casio watch:

- display always on

- at least 5 years battery life (edit: 10 years!)

- no accidental switching of watch faces

- no PTSD from notifications

I look at that watch with joy everyday.

Stopped using my calculator after it broke and bought an abacus.

- Always on

- Infinite battery life

- No accidental resets

- Looks pretty on my desk

I look at my abacus with joy everyday.

I think you're being satirical, but actually I've always wanted to learn to use an abacus - and I suspect the knowledge would actually be useful in enhancing my understanding of small math operations and making my on-the-fly calculations more accurate. Better isn't always better.

First time I went to China (1991), we visited a department store where we were checked out by someone with a cash register and abacus on their table. They ignored the calculator on the register, and only used its cash drawer while summing our purchases with the abacus.

I have a mechanical watch which is similar.

Good luck with that!

PTSD from notifications hit hard.

I thought a phone was addictive, but at-least you could put it in your pocket / bag / car and keep a distance.

A watch is like that tightly hugging tail-wagging dog.

"Look at me, look at me, look at me !"

I find the opposite to be true - with a smart watch I can glance at what the notifications are about and avoid reaching for my phone for way longer.

Yep I'm super happy with my nasty old android watch for exactly this reason.

I mentioned this elsewhere but I really like hybrid smart watches for this - battery on my withings scanwatch goes 20 days, does notifications OK, activity longing, sleep tracking, HR monitoring.

Features I'm missing from galaxy watch are find my phone and answering phone on the watch, but it's so much lighter I don't need to take it off (the bulky strap on my galaxy watch would bother me when resting my hands on laptop edge), and it's very low key - I can wear it in any setting. Smart watches look like toys to me TBH.

This makes sense, but I guess personal disposition makes a difference.

I don't get the problem here. You're able to select which notifications are allowed to come through to the watch.

I only have notifications from a few apps allowed to come through, and out of those I also filter them with the in-app settings to only get ones I'm interested in getting pinged about.

I never get more notifications than I can handle, and especially not ones I don't want to be harassed by.

So why don’t you disable the notifications you don’t like?

I don't know how to answer to these points, especially in tech debates.

"Why don't you put your phone in flight mode?" "Why don't you turn off the internet" "Why don't you just turn off your PC and go to sleep"

The questions are easy. The actions are too damn hard to pull off.

Turning off notifications is a set and forget thing. It’s a setting. It’s not a habit, not a technique, not a vague concept. It is a literal toggle switch.

Is it ? Is it too damn hard to turn off notifications? I fail to see how disabling one feature is equivalent to Airplane mode or turning off a PC which disables multiple functionalities (with the later making it unusable). The matters are obviously not solutions since other use cases require their useless. Turning off notifications have no effect on any other feature of the watch.

When you get a notification on your watch, spend 5 seconds thinking "Do I want this notification on my watch?" This question is apparently the easy part.

Now for the "hard" part: swipe to the left on the notification, tap the "..." button, and tap "Turn Off on Apple Watch". Now you won't get notifications from that app on your watch. Should take you about 2 seconds.

> The actions are too damn hard to pull off.

Wow, I am surprised by this sentiment. In iOS notifications are an opt-in situation, I just never turn them on for anything but the smallest subset of apps (iMessage, Discord, Slack, Signal currently). For those apps I’m super aggressive about limiting noise, I’ll unsubscribe to things and tweak notification settings literally every time I get spam.

It has been pretty easy for me because they let you filter exactly which apps can notify your watch.

I find this complaint surprising. You can turn notifications off. I have everything disabled apart from health metrics on my watch.

Just turn off those notifications

It baffles me that notifications are on by default. It’s also weird to complain that you didn’t turn them off, but each to their own.

I believe I did turn them off but after some update they got turned back on. I got tired of maintaining/troubleshooting my watch like any other computer. Also, I accidentally scratched the display which couldn't be repaired without much expense. I don't want to wear something that precious/fragile on my wrist.

Most basic Casio watches last at least 10 years on one battery.

Even better!

I guess it's a matter of perspective. I could never replace my smart phone with a flip phone... because I don't really use it as a phone. In the same way I don't really use my smart watch as a watch. My smart watch is a fitness tracker first, and the watch part is a bonus feature.

That's why that famous model number (can't look up at the moment) for $12 will never die, it's fashionable, cool, practical, and no one know if you're wearing the one you got when you were 12yr old or you vanity seek and seen a celeb in GQ and thought yeah minimalist man I'll dip that trust fund twelve dollars and have it air delivered. Decent watch for a watch, apple watch can potentially disrupt the medical scene though so thats my interest in these new devices (cgm, EKG,sleep) but fully agree on the casio

But no voice recording. I bought mine mainly to have a recorder one tap away. Don't really care about them showing time.

Can someone sell me an Apple Watch?

What is a feature you can’t live without?

Ever since getting my Apple Watch I basically don't use my wallet anymore since Apple Pay is so convenient and ubiquitous where I live.

I look at my phone less because I just glance at my wrist for new notifications and don't get hooked into a whole 15 minutes of distraction.

Using Siri is surprisingly easy and not awkward when you can just lift your wrist and speak quietly into the watch.

Nice 2FA 2nd factor, quick spoken messages ("tell wife on my way"), Apple Pay (killer app - much easier than phone or wallet), Strava/workouts, plays music/audible on AirPods or BT headset, opens my garage, can lookup calendar without opening phone or PC.

This all applies to other smart watches: getting the vibration on my wrist for notifications is the killer feature. When I travel without it, I miss so many notifications because I didn’t feel my phone vibrate. Similarly, having the vibration on my wrist makes a big difference in not sleeping through my wake up alarms. I can’t recall the last time I slept through one.

It pushing me to be active, Siri and Wallet are probably the ones that I use the most. Instantly getting to glance notifications doesn't hurt either. And while Siri may have trouble understanding me properly, I still use it constantly to control the house and set timers since I can do it by simply lifting my wrist.

I can detach further from my phone because notifications go to my watch. I hate being tethered to my phone, so that's the killer feature for me. With the cellular model, I leave the house without my phone sometimes, which is nice. When I worked in the office, the phone stayed in my bag most of the day.

How realistic is it to go out all day with just the watch, and no phone?

It’s hard to give that a fair simple answer. What it doesn’t do great is texting, so your laptop/tablet/phone are still clear better choices there. Maybe the new one is better there with swipe.

So if I’m sitting at your laptop and have signal/imessage up, I can lose track of my phone, but that’s kinda cheating. For little outings like the grocery store or gym, you can definitely leave the phone and just dictate what you need to. So for a WFH day with little outings, you can easily just leave your phone on the charger and ignore it all day. But for a full day out and about where you might text a bunch, you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to do it all on the watch. If the new swipe thing changes that, I’ll be very happy, but I’m not betting on it.

Notifications on my wrist let me receive phone calls/alarms without waking up my partner. That is probably my big reason, but since I use it for that, I also use it for run tracking and fitness+ app.

Unlocking my Face ID iPhone while wearing a mask, using time-of-flight from the watch on my wrist.

It works perfectly.

What’s time-of-flight?

Measuring the communication latency between the iPhone and the Apple Watch to determine the distance. If it isn't close enough (2 meters or so from the watch), iPhone won't unlock.

Personally, the wallet, health tracking, and music w/o phone is enough to justify the purchase for me. Actually, jogging / exercising without my phone is enough to justify the cost.

Having music and podcasts without taking my phone with me to go for runs or bike rides and still having the ability to make a call in case of emergencies.

Autosleep app. The best sleep tracking I've used so far.

By using it for around 3 months I figured out patterns that lead to better sleep. Highly recommended.

Gamifying my exercise and workouts, also making it more social.

It's nice that the watch can tell how fast a tennis serve is, but I don't know anyone who wears a watch on the hand that they hold their racquet in.

Also, the watch presumably can't tell how fast the ball is served, which depends on the racquet speed and whether you make good contact with the ball.

> Also, the watch presumably can't tell how fast the ball is served, which depends on the racquet speed and whether you make good contact with the ball.

I think I disagree here. It should be possible to build a model that infers things like racquet speed and where the ball made contact with the racquet based on accelerometer data. At the end of the day you have an arm attached to a racket moving at some speed, that impacts a ball that is relatively not moving.

A straightforward model could calculate the lost momentum in the arm + racquet, assume the ball's mass, and work backwards to the ball's velocity from there. I'm assuming there is more ML magic behind Apple's implementation though.

To mix a metaphor, all good serves are the same; all bad serves are bad in their own way. A model might work well for people who generally serve well, or for an individual person who serves badly in a particular way. But how do you make a model that works for many different types of people, and many different types of serves?

It would be great to see if the data that the Apple Watch generates is similar to what speed guns show. That would make a great experiment for a high schooler!

Pretty sure that was SwingVision, an app based on real-time video analysis of your swing, rather than the hardware on your watch. The watch is just a screen to relay feedback to the user.


That would seem much more plausible! If that's the case, I wasn't the only person who was fooled; Ars Technica is reporting that:

> the Series 7 can measure users' tennis serve speed or the distance of a golf drive, and "Hey Siri" prompts can tell users how far they've biked.


Looks like a bare minimum update.

I honestly don't know what else can be added to it.

I am waiting for a fully standalone version that does not require an iPhone at all and can get me through the day with its more basic capabilities. Would love to be able to stop carrying a phone on most days. The current capabilities are close but would need to add a camera, even if it wasn't particularly amazing.

If I recall correctly I think there's actually a company[1] that has added a camera to the apple watch. I have no idea how it works though. Maybe the camera wristband + cellular Apple Watch would achieve what you need.

[1] https://www.wristcam.com/

Samsung tried the watch camera thing and buried it really fucking fast.

The creep potential is a lot bigger than its usefulness.

It even had a creepy ad with a man skiing taking photos or something with a stranger (woman) in it.

Link for a report on this from 2013: https://www.theverge.com/2013/12/22/5235278/samsung-awkward-...

That's an excellent point and a reason I may never get a smartwatch. For me, I would not really want to leave the house for long periods of time without a camera. Beyond seeing something share-worthy, I use it as an instant note taking, scanning and memory device. My camera roll is filled with maps, posters, receipts, street signs, scans, shop windows, product labels, and other various things I needed a record of.

Yep—my phone's gone the day they announce that, as in, I won't have one anymore at all (well, the watch will be my phone, I guess). The only thing that'll even make me hesitate, maybe, is the camera, but ultimately that won't be enough.

What kind of features do the cellular version of the watch not have that you would need to be truly standalone? It gets pretty close for me... I can take calls, view and respond to texts, listen to music, track my workouts, etc. all without carrying my iPhone. While still requiring the watch to be connected to the iPhone for system updates, installing apps, etc. is not ideal, that doesn't preclude somebody from using the watch without also carrying an iPhone at all times.

Basically just a camera and the ability to do setup, apps and updates without the iPhone. I don't want an iPhone accessory, I want a wrist computer.

A camera is not a "need" for me. I'm still waiting for a standalone watch so I can ditch my phone entirely.

A 20% screen size increase is pretty significant.

There are a huge range of sensors they can add in future.

I know I'm in a very different demographic from the average Apple user because I just don't understand the appeal of a big, bright OLED screen on my wrist. I still wear my Pebble Time Round every day. If it ever dies I'll get a Garmin with an always-on non-backlit display that looks great in the sun and lasts for days.

IMO I'd rather see this tech used to shrink the size of the watch to make it thinner, rather than expanding the size even larger. It's a supplementary device, the idea that you might use a keyboard on it is laughable. I wonder if we'll see the same size creep in the watch space that we've already seen with phones...

I have a love/hate relationship with my Garmin. I would certainly appreciate the better integrations with my iPhone that the Apple Watch provides, but the battery life is a non-starter. My Fenix feels very disjointed from my phone, but it can get me through a 3-day backpacking trip with the GPS on.

The Fenix is also chunky compared to the Apple Watch.

I use a Garmin head unit for cycling and its interactions with my phone and also other services (e.g. Strava) are simply appalling for 2021. Garmin’s own services are also pretty bad to use.

I struggle to understand how a group of smart people could put out that product with such gaping flaws and think, ‘yes, we did a good job there’.

The Apple Watch is smaller than many high functionality watches, including most garmins.

However I agree with you about the battery life issue. I have an Apple Watch I use as a beater for specific sports. The rest of the time I use an automatic. Not having to worry about whether it is charged is a major win.

I agree on size, biggest issue with AW is its size. On the other hand it’s so damn useful to always have access to your digital life. Calendars, weather, reminders, timers, notifications. Those are the things I use the most. I have never had a problem with sunshine.

They didn't increase the case size, just reduced the bezel. That means there is probably less space to use for more sensors.

> There are a huge range of sensors they can add in future.

It would be worth an update at that point.

Agreed, I’m not upgrading.

In the given form factor, what sensors could be added, without dropping existing ones?

I guess, one way would be to introduce special categories of watches, such as medical ones, that drop gps and others for oxygen / ECG or new sensors.

It already has GPS and oxygen / ECG sensors, so no dropping would be needed there.

That said, blood glucose seems like the next big win. Rumors have been that they're working on it.

I think the biggest hurdle as they get into more "medical" areas is approvals from the FDA (in the US) and international regulatory agencies.

What you recommend based on measurements or people acting on that information can have asterisks on asterisks, but still needs to hit a minimum threshold for usefulness.

Doesn't glucose level sensing require contact with blood?

It's apparently doable optically, similarly to blood oxygen, albeit much more challenging. There's an actual product out for it from one of Apple's suppliers, even: https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/07/14/apple-supplier-la...


There are bloodless sensors now and in development.

Not necessarily. See section on non-invasive methods: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7731259/

Believe they acquired a company that did it via light, hence the belief that it is coming.

This would really be great. Is there any other watch that has more health monitoring than apple watch?

"In the future" is a long time.

Short-term, more likely that they would build integrations with existing stand-alone sensors. For example, glucose readings from Dexcom G7.

An radio for ANT+ sensors would be helpful if they want to compete against Garmin in the fitness market. There are a lot of sensors like heart rate monitors, bicycle power meters, running foot pods, etc which work best with ANT+ and support Bluetooth poorly or not at all.

Totally agree with your point, though Apple’s modus operandi would more likely be to create their own protocol and expect the manufacturers to adopt it…

The big screen + keyboard might be the headline feature, and as silly as it sounds it may be enough.

Why is that silly? The screen size increase is significant, and it’s hard to imagine a more noticeable or useful improvement to a smart watch.

>it’s hard to imagine a more noticeable or useful improvement to a smart watch.

It'll be fun to look back on this comment in three years.

> It'll be fun to look back on this comment in three years.

Despite over a decade of smartphones, screen size and resolution is often touted as the number one or number two feature.

Screen size, quality, and ease of use for watches will still be one of the biggest factors in three years.

I mean in the context of a yearly update, of course. I don’t mean that over a long period of time we shouldn’t expect much more significant changes to smart watches.

Apologies, I thought you were stating in general.

Front-facing camera would be nice.

I was really hoping for a cgm, this would be game changing for type 1 diabetics, tech is ready or near ready. What can one do to advocate for this? It was rumoured, guess they don't have a vote system (accepting the flaws with such)

What is your source for the tech being "ready"? I'm sure they are trying but it is extremely difficult. Also, CGM will require FDA approval. You can't make a mistake or people die. If your measured pulse or respiratory rate is wrong, it is nbd. If your steps are wrong, who cares. Glucose is different. We are just now getting to CGMs that don't require frequent recalibration.

Why will people die, it isn't an automatic insulin pump, surely the same issues exist in pricks and existing cgm tech at existing reliability levels. I'm mobile at the moment but they was an article about only one company would provide the cgm tech and apple had invested, there some reason too the analyst suspect cgm - I've made it sound quite flimsy but it wasn't (or at least didn't sound so) will find and report back.

Perhaps same with pricking, if it doesn't correlate with how you're feeling test again, cgm can provide a guide and if in doubt prick. I still think at 99% confidence it would be game changing

Of course it would be game changing if it got to 99+% but I don't think we are there yet. If people don't take any other testing supplies and the watch isn't accurate, they they could go hypo easily especially during exercise and not try to remedy it until too late. If a single person dies trusting the watch's cgm it will be unlike any other testing device failing.

They were totally silent on the processor. Did not mention it anywhere. Couldn’t find it on their site. You can’t compare Series 7 watch. Something’s going on.

At least on Series 6, processor is more than enough. Batterylife improvements with new provessor is another story.

It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve gone a year without a processor update. The series 5 had no performance gain over the series 4.

Related to chip shortages?

I was really hoping that apple would implement a "stress" or "body battery" type feature like Garmin and Whoop have. Adding more health metrics is cool, but taking those metrics and telling me what they mean is much more informative.

As we know the watch OS already calculates the HRV and respiratory rate for us so it would be great if they added a "stress" and/or "recovery" time feature. The watch already records Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability, Respiratory rate and Resting Heart Rate, which are commonly used in these metrics.

Understand that there are third party apps that try to do similar however I think this is an area that Apple is lacking in compared to other smart watches.

It's weird how they only show the colors for the aluminum version. They announced the colors for stainless steel and titanium as well, but they're nowhere to be found on Apple's website.

I'm very skeptical of Apple's Water friendly claims. I bought a series 4, and took it once in the ocean. The water seal will fail after a year or so, and out of warranty.

I have a watch sitting on my shelf, and digital crown no longer works. Was very upset.


Have a series 6, used it in the pool (salted) the first time and the watch died. Had to get a replacement from them which took one week. I couldn’t do fitness tracking all that week. So, I am not planning to use the watch in water at all.

Anecdata comparison: My series0 is still functional (retired for a couple of years now) but I power it on once in a while just for kicks. I took it to the ocean about 10 times, swam with it several dozen times and showered with it hundreds of times.

YMMV I guess. But my series4 is doing great for 3y with similar levels of activity.

That’s why I use a cheaper sportwatch: it’s too expensive for “extreme” situations. Lost one while windsurfing, it’s at the bottom of the ocean. Fortunately the price wasn’t too bad, 140 euros, so less painful to replace. I won’t consider an Apple Watch until price comes below 150.

All anecdotal but I regularly swim laps (a few times a week), shower, and free dive with my Series 4.

Just last week jumped off a 30 foot cliff and the clasp came loose, it literally flew off my wrist and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. A friend helped me retrieve it, maybe 30-40 feet down. Perfect working order as of today!

I once did get some sand in the crown and needed to wash it out thoroughly but no other hardware problems in the 3 years I've owned it.

That’s weird, my series 4 that I bought on October 18’, use it every day (except in the shower) and of curse when I swim (we have a sea not an ocean but it’s the same) and I never had/have an issue

FWIW, I've swum and surfed with my 5 and 6 for countless hours with no problems what so ever. And Im awful at surfing so the watch has taken an absolute _beating_.

I never use that crown.. at least I never rotate it. They could get rid of it without any functionality loss, no?

It depends, I only use it to increase/decrease the music volume of the iPhone but can’t live without it

I just wish they could figure out a way to get the sapphire display on the aluminum models. My stainless steel Series 5 doesn’t have a single visible scratch on it and I’ve worn it every single day since launch. My previous aluminum S3 display was horribly scratched in the same timeframe.

I guess it’s good in that I don’t want to upgrade because it still looks new.

That would increase the price [and weight] of the aluminum models, which makes it harder to sell because aluminum is not a premium material that can command a higher price.

are smart watches worth it? I’d be using the fitness, health, and sleep functionality.

Love ”passive” features where it just works in the background with zero input and collects statistics, such as step tracking.

I really like the Apple Watch. Beyond the fitness/health functionality, I love the on-wrist notifications (which I've tuned to only include the things I want there), and I also really like using Apple Maps for directions and having the watch guide me. Stuff like having my groceries and todos on my wrist are handy, as is being able to see my next-up meeting.

I’d recommend to get a fitness watch then. The Apple Watch is so much more, but for fitness enthusiasts the battery life is probably more important than the smart features (which fitness watches mostly lack).

I didn't think so but I had to borrow my wife's for a week to do some testing on a mobile app. I really enjoyed it and ended up keeping it. The ability to start Spotify without taking my phone out of my pocket, open the garage door as I approach the house on my bike, see text messages and know I can ignore them, etc.... It really makes me use my phone less.

It was a Series 3 and eventually died. I plan on getting this new Series 7 once it's available to purchase.

I've found the sleep function super valuable, it let's my quantify how small changes can affect me sleep. The smart alarm is also useful (wakes you up while you are in a light sleep cycle as opposed to deeper sleep).

As a runner, i've found the heart rate data useful for gaining insights.

I like it because I can login to my iMac without typing the password when I'm wearing it.

Whoop. It has been great for life style adjustments that improve my health.

This website is horribly broken. Scrolling down seems to work well-ish, but scrolling back up breaks everything and my eyes are left dazed and confused.

Does anyone use their Apple Watch for golf? I'm thinking of gettin the 7, but was wondering how good the GPS is that sort of thing.

I don't play golf, but I do run a hell of a lot. I also recently have been swapping back and forth between my Garmin Fenix 3 HR (yes, several years old) and my Apple Watch 6 on runs. It would appear that the more recent Apple Watches have upped their GPS game (or maybe its software, dunno). Whereas previously the Garmin would track more accurately in general (say, measured against race mile markers), and certainly more accurately on twisty trails and the like, than my old AW4. But now I'm annoyed by the fact that the Garmin shorts me on distance more than the AW6; looking at tracks, the AW6 hews closer to the actual trail than Garmin does. I believe DC Rainmaker had similar results, or at least confirmed that the AW does better than it used to.

Of course, Garmin's more recent watches are probably better now, too. And they have golf functionality. But as it concerns the AW, it would appear to me that it is as good as anything else these days.

DCRainmaker is pretty good at comparing the various sensors on different sports watches.

This is for the series 6 Apple watch: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/09/apple-watch-series-6-fir...

Maybe they watched StuffMadeHere

>Apple Watch Series 7 will start at $399 (US)

Is this the same price as Series 6, right? Been waiting to buy one and might as well get the new.

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