Apple Watch hampered by slow apps, low battery life

April 09, 2015 08:13
The Apple Watch may be a stylish accessory, but it is plagued by performance and battery life issues. Photo: Reuters

While Apple Inc.'s "stylish" smartwatch could make life easier for people on the move, reviewers give the gadget poor marks for battery life and slow-loading apps, Reuters reported.

The watch, the first new product to be launched by Apple under chief executive Tim Cook, will be in stores on April 24.

"For now, the Apple Watch is for pioneers," The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey Fowler wrote.

"I won't pay the US$1,000 it would cost for the model I tested, only to see a significant improvement roll in before too long."

Reviews published on Wednesday made much of the device's relatively poor battery life -- up to 18 hours, Apple says -- and said its apps will need upgrades to load more quickly.

"There's virtually nothing I can't do faster or better with access to a laptop or a phone except perhaps check the time," said Nilay Patel, who reviewed the watch for

Loading an app required the watch to pull tremendous amounts of data from iPhones, Patel said.

He said Apple had told him upcoming software updates would address performance issues.

"The maps app, surely the answer to wandering pedestrians' dreams, is so slow it makes me want to pull out my paper Rand McNally," Fowler said.

Re/Code's Lauren Goode said the watch's battery life was not nearly as long-lasting as those of some other wearable devices. And CNET's Scott Stein said the battery's recharge time was slow.

Paired with an iPhone, the watch allows users to check email, listen to music and make phone calls.

It also tracks their health -- for instance by monitoring their heartbeat.

But the software is "initially complex" and -- unusually for an Apple device -- not suited to tech novices, said Farhad Manjoo, who reviewed the watch for the New York Times.

"... If you can tolerate single-day battery life, half-baked apps and inevitable obsolescence, you can now wear the future on your wrist," Fowler said.

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