"Apple Watch apps" execute on paired iPhone, display results on watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Rafagon, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Since learning that Apple Watch-compatible apps are hosted on the watch's paired iPhone, I started to wonder something. Will these apps require the iPhone to remain paired in order to function? I did a bit of digging online and found the answer.

    Yes.

    As far as third-party apps go, the Apple Watch is basically a dumb terminal, and therefore, requires the paired iPhone to remain thus in order for apps to function. If you go to the grocery store wearing your Apple Watch and leave your iPhone at home, you can kiss all non-stock apps goodbye until you get home again. This raises a question: will constant use of your Apple Watch noticably consume battery charge on the paired iPhone? Hopefully not too much: Apple is recommending developers to keep human interactions with the Watch under 10 seconds each. Whether developers will adhere to this guideline remains to be seen.

    I'm certain that as people receive their watches and start using third-party apps, if they experience untoward battery drain on their iPhones, we will hear about it on the forums.
     
    #1 Rafagon, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  2. liberated

    liberated Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    487
    I'm not sure what your point is here. iPhone battery drain is to be expected when you connect a device like the Apple watch or any other Bluetooth device.
     
  3. Europa

    Europa Moderator
    Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    5,523
    Do you leave your phone at home when you go out to the store?
    I've been using a Bluetooth headset for years. Having it connected in standby has a negligible effect on the battery and phone usage with the Bluetooth headset drains the battery at about the same rate as a wired headset or holding it to my ear. The watch might be a different story, though.
     
    #3 Europa, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  4. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    When I created this thread, I basically just wanted to let everyone know that the Apple Watch is heavily dependent on its paired iPhone and using third-party apps will drain its battery. Maybe everyone was already aware of that, and I was the last to find out in the article shared above.

    But you are correct! In retrospect, I feel kind of dumb that I hadn't assumed as much.

    Until I read that article, I thought that Apple Watch apps were self-sufficient, i.e., that after you downloaded them, they were handled fully by the watch's S1 SoC chip.

    Some of the information out there seems to be misleading: "The Apple Watch uses Apple's S1 processor, advertised as 'an entire computer architecture on a single chip.'" So why does an "entire computer" need to offload tasks to the iPhone's chip? From the Apple website:

    Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 7.04.09 PM.png

    Claims like these lead me to believe that the Apple Watch was self-sustaining. I'm learning that that isn't the case.

    I'm still unsure of one thing. When the watch needs to use the Internet, does it use its own Wi-Fi chip to send/receive data, or does it route everything through the paired iPhone? Would you happen to know the answer to this, by any chance?
     
  5. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    You're correct. I do not. Not intentionally, anyways. :D

    I was describing a hypothetical case where someone forgot their iPhone when they left the house… but since they were wearing the watch on their wrist, then obviously, the watch went with them. It would have been nice if the third-party apps kept on working in such a case. I should have made that sentence more clear. I apologize :)

    Also, full disclosure: I do not own an Apple Watch, and I do not know how much functionality is lost in third-party apps when the watch becomes unpaired. Maybe some functionality does remain. Maybe it varies from app to app.
     
  6. Europa

    Europa Moderator
    Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    5,523
    I just thought you were stating the obvious. Everybody already knows that it requires a phone and uses its internet connection. Those who buy the watch know that going in. If I leave my car keys on my desk, I'll have to go back in and get them or walk.
     
  7. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Here's an interesting article. It states that the Apple Watch's SoC is roughly as powerful "as an A5 chip, as seen on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, first iPad mini, and the Apple TV, at least as far as graphics chutzpah is concerned." The article goes on to mention where that quote came from. Also, according to the article, the Apple Watch is running “most” of iOS 8.2, except it uses a custom UI.

    The article is a short but fairly interesting read for Apple Watch owners and non-owners alike.
     
  8. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Thanks for explaining it to me as if I were mentally challenged. I understand now. :)

    The purpose of my thread (as stated in the title) was to inform those who may not have known (like me, at the time), that the Apple Watch offloads tasks to the iPhone's processor. Yes, I was aware that it requires a phone and its Internet connection. What I still don't know is whether it uses its own Wi-Fi chip to send/receive data when the iPhone is available, or whether it routes all data transmission through the iPhone, despite having its own Wi-Fi chip.
     
    #8 Rafagon, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  9. liberated

    liberated Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    487
    It may be an insignificant amount but it does contribute to battery drain.
     
  10. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    973
    Rumor has it the Watch has a BCM4334 wifi chip from Broadcom. I read that somewhere, but don't recall where. Rumor also has it that developers will be able to offer apps not dependent on the phone later this year. I haven't seen anything official on any of this though.


    Sent from my ancient but trustworthy iPhone 5. ☮
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  11. bballrob

    bballrob Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Likes Received:
    466
    My wife does and it drives me nuts!!

    Nothing is more frustrating than trying to call her, especially when she is at the store and I need her to pick something up for me, and I suddenly hear her phone start ringing!!
     
  12. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    973
    Been kind of opposite with me. I run off to the market and forget my phone. Then need to call my wife to ask about something.
     
  13. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Give them ten years. I'm sure they'll have a device as capable as an iPhone that can be worn on the wrist. For me, the appeal of an Apple Watch is its compactness. You strap it onto your wrist and forget about it. An iPhone 6 Plus is not necessarily a small device. There are times when it can start to feel a bit bulky in one's pocket.

    But right now, the Apple Watch is somewhat parasitic. Take away its host (the paired iPhone), and it becomes useless.

    I'm curious as to why Apple would design the watch in such a way that it has to offload "most tasks" to the paired iPhone (note: this is the same link that I included in the initial post on this thread). Its processor is not exactly a lightweight, as I've posted elsewhere. Maybe this is a compromise Apple was forced to make in order to ensure that the watch's battery would last a whole day. Ergo, your watch's battery will be able to last all day, at the expense of your iPhone's battery. This is, of course, just conjecture at the moment. I'm only thinking out loud and hoping to hear others' thoughts.

    I'm sure that actual facts will come to light when coders start reverse-engineering Watch OS. Perhaps there will be a Watch OS jailbreak in the future? Food for thought.
     
  14. Europa

    Europa Moderator
    Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    5,523
    Parasitic. Interesting word choice. I don't think of it like that. I think of it more as a companion device - similar to a Bluetooth headset. I'm not interested in the watch at this point, but the fact that that it requires the phone for full functionality would be a non-issue for me if I were. My phone is always nearby.

    I think you're overestimating just how taxing the watch will be on the iPhone's battery, but we'll see. Most people charge their phone every night anyway, so as long as it can make it through a day, it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  15. UKfan643

    UKfan643 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    Apple has said that within the next year, the watch will be able to host apps on its own. So instead of an app being an extension of the phone app, it will work independent on the phone.
     
  16. Europa

    Europa Moderator
    Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    5,523
    ~For Rafagon~
    After two years in its parasitic caccoon, it will have fed from the iPhone enough to emerge a beautiful and independent watch and fly away, never to suck the life out of a phone again.
     
  17. Napoleon PhoneApart

    Senior Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    4,470
    Or a thread.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  18. Njshoremom4gurlz

    Njshoremom4gurlz Contributor
    Silver

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Likes Received:
    84
    I never leave my phone home drives me nuts lol but my husband does sometimes and drives me nuts cause I text him or call and he never replies oh phone was home
    lol
    The watch looks pretty sharp however I'm passing


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Njshoremom4gurlz

    Njshoremom4gurlz Contributor
    Silver

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Likes Received:
    84
    I use Bluetooth all the time like I use wifi lol
    Battery isn't hard to recharge


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
    Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    973
    I leave my phone home occasionally by mistake when I'm in a hurry. Usually when I go to the market. Then my Wife tries to call and hears my phone ring. LOL


    Sent from my ancient but trustworthy iPhone 5. ☮
     

Share This Page