Sources tell 9to5Mac that Apple has managed to improve the battery life of its smartwatch to handle about 5 hours of fairly heavy app usage. The phone shouldn't run out of battery during a typical day of use; however, it will need to be charged overnight as it won't make it through a second day.
As previously reported, Apple plans to include a new 'Power Reserve Mode', that will cut most features of the watch except displaying the time. It can be turned on via the Battery Glance or the Settings application. The Battery Glance shows the percentage of battery life remain, the amount of time since the last charge, and a button to activate 'Power Reserve Mode'.
The mode noticeably dims the display, slows down communication with the iPhone to an on-demand level, and puts the display to sleep after roughly 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.
Rather than displaying an alert when the battery is low (20%), the Apple Watch Battery Life glance turns an orange/amber color. At 10% it turns red.
Sources tell the site that the following Glances are installed on the Apple Watch by default: Heart Rate, Battery Life, Fitness Stats, Activity, Clock, Weather, Music, Quick Settings, Calendar and Maps.
The watch also has a notification center than can be accessed by swiping down from the top of the display. The list of notifications shows each app name as well as truncated descriptions of the notification.
Prototype Apple Watches are said to have 8GB of storage which can store music for playback. Internal units have lightning connectors that won't be on the shipping models. Users can specify what music will be synced to the Apple Watch via a panel in the companion app for the iPhone. The Companion app features a dark black interface with a glyph of the Apple Watch as the app icon. It will let users manage settings, music, re-arrange the icons on the watch's home screen, and remove WatchKit applications from the watch without deleting the corresponding app on the iPhone.
Interestingly, if the iPhone is not connected to the Watch, the application icon will remain on the device’s Home screen, and the applications will still work for a period of time with cached data.
Sources told the site that the Force Touch feature works well, indicating that “the screen feels like a giant button than you just want to press in the manner needed for Force Touch.” Another said that it "feel natural".
There is no keyboard on the Apple Watch and all input is handled via voice or pre-populated options. Unfortunately, you can't reply to emails by voice yet, you'll need to use the Mail app on the iPhone.
The Apple Watch is said to feel snappy overall; however, it reportedly gets sluggish when over 200 apps are installed. That shouldn't be a concern for most people. The screen quality is said to be exceptional with one designer saying the “screen is the best [smartwatch] screen I have ever seen,” noting that “it’s like vibrant digital paper, and does not look rendered,” with especially “great” black levels.
The watch is turned off by long pressing the large “communication button” on its right side. A power slider is then shown on the display and a swipe shuts down the device. Apps can be forced quit by accessing the shut down screen and then quickly pressing the button on the right side. A Settings app has various toggles that include Bluetooth and Airplane mode just like iOS. Apparently, there is not a dedicated Wi-Fi settings menu, so that will likely be controlled by the iPhone.
Apple is expected to reveal more details about the Apple Watch at its Spring Forward event on March 9th. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.