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Ive’s design team might be to blame for the Apple Watch’s poor battery life

Apple Watch Design: Battery Life

One of the things Apple did not address on stage during its iPhone 6 event is battery life for the Apple Watch, although the company’s carefully drafted and thoroughly rehearsed keynote included many references that implied users will have to recharge the device daily, as was rumored in the days preceding the event. However, Apple later confirmed that battery life is one thing it still wants to improve, saying that daily Watch battery recharges are to be expected. A new look at how Apple may have designed its first wearable device from The New York Times suggests that Apple’s design team is to “blame” for poor battery life.

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Citing an unnamed former Apple designer who still has business ties with the company, the industrial design team led by Apple design guru Jony Ive might have had the upper hand in the battle with hardware designers over the Watch. According to the former Apple employee, recharging a watch daily “is a hardware-side compromise.”

The same source revealed that the hardware group would usually have the upper hand in such trade-off decisions, mentioning an anecdote from the iPod design days. Apparently, the wireless headphones the industrial design team wanted for the iPod were shelved, as they would have decreased battery life for the iconic gadget, leading to more frequent charges.

The former designer also said that the 2010 iPod Nano Touch, which some buyers turned into an improvised watch, was the inspiration for Apple’s current Watch, though Apple decided to pack more iPhone-like functions in the upcoming device. “And it’s very hard to make big things small,” he said. ““This feels more like it was designed by committee.”

Meanwhile, outside designers criticized the Apple for cramming too much in the Apple Watch, as the Times puts it.

Another former Apple designer, Paul Mercer, also said the Apple Watch might have too many features, even though “it has the hallmarks of a classic Apple product.” “They went very wide in terms of the feature set,” he said, while praising Apple’s newly unveiled scroll/zoom system for the Watch. According to Mercer, the Digital Crown is very innovative and “very fluid.”

The Times’ full story on Apple and its first wearable device is available at the source link.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.