Under the Radar

170: Spending Dan Riccio's Battery Surplus


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development.

00:00:04   I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:05   And I'm David Smith.

00:00:06   Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:09   So it is the warm days of summer.

00:00:13   We are, I think, the US just has survived a heatwave,

00:00:20   and I'm in Europe right now, and they're having another one of those.

00:00:23   And in the heat of the day as I sit there contemplating my future,

00:00:29   my thoughts keep coming back to the Apple Watch,

00:00:33   which is very strange in many ways for something that you

00:00:37   to think a lot about on vacation, but that is what I find myself

00:00:40   often thinking about.

00:00:42   And as a platform, it's something that, the more I think about it,

00:00:45   the more I start to see patterns and opportunities in it.

00:00:49   And I think there's a lot of interest in terms of discussing those patterns

00:00:52   and opportunities in the context of the show, because I think,

00:00:56   in general, the more that we can, it is very useful to kind of

00:01:01   try and anticipate opportunities or things that are coming,

00:01:05   that will present unique things that we can act on,

00:01:10   as independent developers or just in general as people who are trying to

00:01:14   make a living in the App Store.

00:01:16   And the Watch is an interesting platform, I think, in that way.

00:01:20   And specifically, I've been thinking a lot about how I think

00:01:23   the hardware that we get this year, you know, I don't, it's,

00:01:27   well, you know, it's not for sure, but I think it would be very unlikely

00:01:30   if we didn't get a new Series 5 Apple Watch this fall.

00:01:33   Like, that just seems like a lock exactly when that comes.

00:01:36   If it's with the iPhone in September or if it's maybe in October,

00:01:39   who knows, but sometime this fall, there's going to be,

00:01:42   almost certainly, a new Apple Watch.

00:01:44   And a pattern that I started to, when I started to think about

00:01:47   the various Apple Watches we've seen to date,

00:01:50   I think is starting to kind of emerge a pattern in the way in which

00:01:54   they're developed, where, and I think that mirrors very closely

00:01:58   the development of the iPhone and the iPad,

00:02:01   and I don't think that's a sort of an accident.

00:02:03   I think this is something in the way that Apple iterates on products

00:02:07   and the way that their kind of iteration mindset works,

00:02:10   where the first generation Apple Watch, the Series 0 Apple Watch,

00:02:14   barely worked.

00:02:17   It was a product that was a functional product,

00:02:22   and I think it did what it needed to do, but it barely did it.

00:02:26   And especially on the application side, it was rough,

00:02:30   like very rough in lots of horrible ways.

00:02:33   And that watch has now been shoved to the side,

00:02:37   is no longer supported in WatchOS 5, let alone 6.

00:02:41   And then it was replaced by the Series 1 Apple Watch,

00:02:48   which I think was a, well, I guess the Series 2 Apple Watch,

00:02:51   as well as the Series 1, but anyway.

00:02:53   The next generation of Apple Watch came along in much the same way

00:02:57   that the iPhone 3G did, where it was the first Apple Watch that kind of,

00:03:02   that it got its legs under it, and it seemed like its purpose

00:03:06   was primarily just to take what, like fix all the little things

00:03:09   that didn't quite work great on the first generation

00:03:12   and just make them work.

00:03:14   And then that was followed up by the Series 3 Apple Watch,

00:03:17   which had the same physical design,

00:03:21   but had tremendous steps forward in terms of processing power

00:03:25   and in some ways battery life.

00:03:28   But more interestingly, what I think is they took the battery life improvements

00:03:32   that they could have kept in the device,

00:03:35   and instead they spent them on enabling cellular,

00:03:38   where suddenly now we have enough capacity

00:03:41   that we can actually do cellular connectivity,

00:03:44   which sort of worked and has its whole range of things.

00:03:47   But from a hardware perspective,

00:03:49   I think there's this clear pattern that they took,

00:03:51   they had the same case design, and a year later,

00:03:53   they were able to squeeze a lot more out of that,

00:03:56   and they sort of spent this excess in adding cellular,

00:03:59   as well as a little bit of performance.

00:04:02   Then last year we get the Series 4,

00:04:04   which is a radical departure physically

00:04:06   from the first three generations of Apple Watch.

00:04:09   And this is where it gets interesting,

00:04:11   because now they took that increase in size,

00:04:14   because the watch is physically bigger,

00:04:17   and it seems like they took the advancements

00:04:19   and probably also the increase in physical battery size,

00:04:23   and they spent it on performance.

00:04:25   I think the Series 4 Apple Watch is very similar to Series 3 in most ways,

00:04:30   except it is just way faster.

00:04:32   The ECG is the main hardware feature that they added to it,

00:04:37   but in my mind, that is a technology they added onto it,

00:04:42   rather than something that necessarily this new...

00:04:45   They didn't spend their excess on that so much,

00:04:49   as they added that onto it in the same way that

00:04:52   we might add the telephoto camera onto an iPhone.

00:04:55   The previous iPhone could have done it,

00:04:59   but it just didn't. It was just not physically there.

00:05:02   It leads me to this year, in this fall,

00:05:05   where the more I think about it,

00:05:07   the more I think of this year,

00:05:09   the Apple Watch is going to have a tremendous amount of excess to spend.

00:05:12   If you imagine the amount of space and size

00:05:15   that these new, kind of larger, chunkier Apple Watches...

00:05:18   Chunky is probably a bit unfair,

00:05:20   because it's thin, but it's physically much bigger.

00:05:23   They have a year of advancement on that.

00:05:26   I suspect that we're going to have a lot of energy to work with.

00:05:30   What's interesting about that is

00:05:33   they could spend that energy that they now have

00:05:35   in a variety of different ways.

00:05:37   If you imagine, say, that they could either now make the watch

00:05:41   twice as fast or have twice as much battery power

00:05:45   at a comparable performance,

00:05:47   there's a lot of interesting things you can do with that.

00:05:50   It's, A, I think interesting to see if this pattern starts to...

00:05:55   It actually happens this fall.

00:05:57   I think it's interesting, just from the viability of this platform

00:06:01   and to see where it goes.

00:06:03   I think I found it very helpful on iOS and with the iPhone

00:06:06   to wrap my head around a sense of,

00:06:09   this is the pattern that we start to see.

00:06:11   When we get a new generation of phone,

00:06:14   the next year we have the S cycle,

00:06:16   which tends to add on more nuanced features

00:06:21   rather than just be about the cosmetics

00:06:24   or the aesthetics of something.

00:06:26   The XS is the X with lots of pluses,

00:06:32   and I think we're going to start to see that in the watch.

00:06:34   If we do, I think that will be good for the platform

00:06:36   in terms of it gives me some confidence

00:06:38   that Apple has a good plan going forward

00:06:40   for exactly what they're doing,

00:06:42   that they're not just shooting blindly with this,

00:06:44   that they'll make a new case design,

00:06:46   and then the next year we'll get just that, but better.

00:06:49   That's the pattern I'm seeing.

00:06:51   Before I get into some of the cool ways

00:06:54   that I think that Apple could spend this,

00:06:56   does this seem at all reasonable to you?

00:06:58   Is this me just in the heat of a European heat wave

00:07:02   just starting to make up crazy things,

00:07:04   or does this actually seem like I'm onto something with this?

00:07:07   Europe is not known for its air conditioning, but--

00:07:10   No, it is not. There is no air conditioning.

00:07:13   I am very warm right now.

00:07:15   Yes, but it definitely does make sense.

00:07:18   To expand just very briefly on something you said

00:07:20   a while ago now, one thing that makes the watch

00:07:23   an interesting opportunity for developers,

00:07:25   for indies in particular,

00:07:27   I've always liked when platforms are very young

00:07:30   and there's not a lot you can do on them,

00:07:33   but there's something you can do on them.

00:07:35   Original iPhone is the best example of this.

00:07:38   When the App Store first came out 11 years ago,

00:07:41   it seems forever now--

00:07:42   That's a long time ago.

00:07:44   Apps couldn't do that much, relatively speaking,

00:07:47   and that I always find is the most fun

00:07:50   and provides the most opportunity for individuals,

00:07:53   because at that point, you're not really limited by people,

00:07:57   because more people still can't make that great of an app

00:08:03   or a game on a graphing calculator.

00:08:05   There's limited abilities that the platform can even do,

00:08:09   and so individuals can compete better with bigger companies

00:08:12   and the platform itself.

00:08:14   We can compete better because the capabilities are so new

00:08:17   and young.

00:08:18   The watch is still very much in that realm.

00:08:20   It's still very young.

00:08:22   It's still very limited.

00:08:24   I think it is kind of a fun exercise to see,

00:08:27   in the same way that sometimes on tech podcasts,

00:08:31   we will joke about how easy it is for us

00:08:33   to spend Tim Cook's money,

00:08:35   I feel like this is like,

00:08:36   "Let's spend Dan Riccio's battery budget

00:08:38   "and see how can we spend the battery budget on the watch

00:08:43   to make it better?"

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00:10:48   All right, let's spend Dan Riccio's battery budget.

00:10:51   How are we going to make the watch better

00:10:53   by burning battery power?

00:10:54   - Yeah, so the first thing that I think comes to mind for me

00:10:58   is thinking of the watch as it's,

00:11:01   like the thing that it has probably become most useful for

00:11:05   is its health and fitness tracking.

00:11:07   And I started thinking about what they could do

00:11:09   on health and fitness tracking to make it more compelling

00:11:12   and honestly more useful and complete.

00:11:15   And the thing that comes to mind is,

00:11:17   and it's actually based on my experience using,

00:11:19   there's a fitness tracker called the Whoop,

00:11:21   which I've tried all manner of fitness trackers,

00:11:24   just as in terms of trying to make sure

00:11:26   that I'm kind of aware of the state of the art,

00:11:28   and this is one that I tried for a while.

00:11:30   And what's interesting about it is it is a device

00:11:32   that it does nothing but continuous heart rate monitoring.

00:11:36   Like that is, it's pure function.

00:11:38   It has no screen, it has no anything on it.

00:11:41   It's just like a strap you wear that has

00:11:43   a heart rate monitor and just like a battery indicator,

00:11:46   and then you have an app on your phone.

00:11:48   And what was fascinating about it,

00:11:50   from when I wore it for several months,

00:11:53   is there's a powerful thing that you get

00:11:57   when you have truly continuous heart rate monitoring.

00:11:59   And by that I mean essentially the heart rate monitoring

00:12:01   that you get during a workout currently on the Apple Watch.

00:12:05   Like I don't know exactly the interval that the Whoop

00:12:08   is tracking versus what the Apple Watch tracks in a workout,

00:12:10   but something where it is you are getting

00:12:12   a heart rate sample all of the time essentially.

00:12:17   And what was fascinating is what that means

00:12:19   and what that allows is that you don't need

00:12:22   to then think about and be modal with your Apple Watch,

00:12:26   or potentially in this case,

00:12:28   where it was always tracking your heart rate.

00:12:30   Whereas right now, you say you want to work out,

00:12:32   you have to say I'm working out, and when you do that,

00:12:35   it kicks up the heart rate sensor,

00:12:37   it starts spooling all these things up,

00:12:40   all these high energy resources.

00:12:42   But it can only do it during a workout

00:12:44   because it doesn't have the battery life.

00:12:46   But that also means that you'll miss workouts,

00:12:48   or you'll miss data for a workout.

00:12:50   Like if you have the, in the current WatchOS 5,

00:12:53   they added the feature where you can,

00:12:56   if you go for a run and you forget to start a workout,

00:12:59   like after you've been running for whatever it is,

00:13:01   half a mile, it'll be like hey,

00:13:02   it looks like you're going for an outdoor run,

00:13:04   should we start it?

00:13:05   And you say yes.

00:13:06   And it'll have the right distance

00:13:08   because the distance is always being tracked

00:13:09   because that's coming from the accelerometers,

00:13:11   which are part of the step counting system.

00:13:14   But the heart rate data isn't there.

00:13:17   And if you look at a graph for that in Workouts++,

00:13:21   the first part of your run won't be tracked.

00:13:24   And that's kind of a bummer and kind of sad.

00:13:26   And so then you start to think, well,

00:13:28   you could spend this extra resources

00:13:30   on continuous heart rate monitoring,

00:13:32   or at least dramatically increase what it is now,

00:13:35   where maybe it's every three to five minutes or so,

00:13:38   you'll get a heart rate sample out of the watch.

00:13:41   And I think that'd be really interesting and compelling.

00:13:44   And I think it would also create,

00:13:47   it's another interesting set of opportunities

00:13:49   for development, just because something I have found

00:13:52   time and time again is the more data

00:13:54   that Apple collects and adds to health,

00:13:57   just like the more things that we can do.

00:13:59   It's amazing that we can do automatic sleep tracking

00:14:01   right now based on the limited things

00:14:03   that Apple Watch collects.

00:14:05   And if they had continuous heart rate monitoring,

00:14:07   that data would get even better,

00:14:09   not even to get into sleep tracking,

00:14:11   which is like topic three for me to spend

00:14:14   the energy resources with.

00:14:16   But anyway, I think continuous heart rate monitoring

00:14:18   would be very interesting and a compelling way

00:14:20   to kind of spend this budget.

00:14:22   - One thing that a lot of people would suggest immediately

00:14:24   would be multi-day battery life.

00:14:27   Multi-day battery life though,

00:14:29   I'm gonna say that's a bad idea because

00:14:31   there's two main issues with it.

00:14:33   Number one is that it's very expensive.

00:14:36   Like a battery improvement year over year

00:14:39   in two different models might be like 20%,

00:14:41   maybe you get 20% more battery life.

00:14:43   Or if you have a really good advancement, maybe 50%.

00:14:47   If you get 50% more battery life

00:14:49   from a watch that lasts one day,

00:14:51   it'll last a day and a half.

00:14:53   That isn't that useful because nobody wants a watch

00:14:56   that you have to charge every three days.

00:14:59   If you're charging it that regularly,

00:15:01   just charge it every night, it's fine.

00:15:03   Or don't have to charge it for like a month, right?

00:15:06   And there's not a lot of value to have things in between.

00:15:09   If it can't last a month,

00:15:11   which would require the battery to be about

00:15:13   25, 30 times bigger than it is now,

00:15:15   if it can't last that long,

00:15:17   then just charge it every day and then you're fine.

00:15:20   Nobody wants to have to charge it every three days

00:15:22   because then that'll increase the rate

00:15:24   that you will forget to charge it on that third day

00:15:26   because you're in the habit of not charging it every day.

00:15:28   So let's rule that right out.

00:15:30   - And I will say too,

00:15:32   I've used lots of fitness trackers like I was saying

00:15:36   that have a wide variety of charging intervals.

00:15:39   And some of them, like some of the Fitbits I've used,

00:15:42   have like that three or four day charging intervals.

00:15:45   And I will say it's far more likely

00:15:48   that those devices ended up dead at some point

00:15:50   where it's just not part of my pattern, like my routine.

00:15:53   And I mean, I wear an Apple Watch all the time,

00:15:56   like I wear it when I sleep and when I'm awake

00:15:58   and it's just, I'm in the routine that if I'm,

00:16:00   it's like whenever I'm getting ready for,

00:16:02   like I'm taking a shower in the morning

00:16:03   or I'm getting ready for bed,

00:16:04   my Apple Watch is on a charger and it's fine.

00:16:06   Like that's all I need.

00:16:07   And that part was, I think it's very important

00:16:10   for like charging to be part of the routine of your life.

00:16:14   And so like, yeah, having three or four days of battery life,

00:16:16   like it would be nice, but it'd be nice mostly

00:16:19   in like very narrow specific situations

00:16:22   where like I'm traveling or I'm going hiking

00:16:25   or some situation where it's not like

00:16:28   just normal day to day life.

00:16:30   So yeah, I don't think that is actually a great way

00:16:32   to spend this excess battery budget

00:16:35   'cause it doesn't really improve the user experience

00:16:38   very much in a way that actually makes the device better

00:16:41   rather than just like maybe it looks good on a slide maybe.

00:16:45   - Right, and if you have the budget to say last three days,

00:16:48   imagine what you could do in one day

00:16:50   with the rest of the capabilities that we're talking about.

00:16:52   So anyway, so one thing that I would put up there

00:16:55   pretty high would be some kind of always on face mode

00:16:59   because one of my biggest annoyances with the Apple Watch

00:17:01   is when I look at it and it's just blank

00:17:04   and I'm trying to see something on it,

00:17:05   I'm trying to either check the time

00:17:06   or check a complication or see, you know,

00:17:09   why did it just tap me?

00:17:10   And you know, maybe I'm like in the middle,

00:17:12   like this morning I was doing a workout,

00:17:14   I was like holding myself up in a high plank

00:17:15   and my watch tapped me.

00:17:17   And when you're holding a high plank,

00:17:18   it's kind of hard to do the twisting motion

00:17:19   to activate the watch to say hey, what's on it?

00:17:22   And so like I just had to wait, you know,

00:17:24   which wasn't the end of the world,

00:17:25   but still like it would have been a better device

00:17:27   if it could show me that in some kind of always on mode.

00:17:30   Now I don't expect full color,

00:17:31   I don't expect full brightness,

00:17:32   that actually would be bad.

00:17:33   I wouldn't want people's wrists glowing all day,

00:17:35   especially like in dark rooms at night,

00:17:37   that would be really distracting.

00:17:38   But Android smartwatches have done this

00:17:40   since almost the beginning.

00:17:41   Like we know it can be done,

00:17:43   we know current battery and screen technology

00:17:46   can handle this.

00:17:48   Some kind of always on display,

00:17:49   I know it would be reduced brightness,

00:17:51   I know it would be reduced update speed,

00:17:53   maybe it wouldn't have the animated seconds hand,

00:17:55   but it could at least show like hour, minute,

00:17:58   and very basic info past that.

00:18:00   So that I think is a good way to spend the budget.

00:18:05   But one thing that, I'm gonna name one more thing

00:18:08   and then I'm gonna get into a little dilemma here

00:18:09   that I think you'll probably have good opinions on.

00:18:11   I also would want for cellular models,

00:18:15   I want a more persistent cellular connection.

00:18:18   Right now the cellular connection is not very useful

00:18:21   a lot of the time because it isn't reliable.

00:18:24   Because much of the time the watch powers it down

00:18:27   to save power because it's very expensive

00:18:29   to keep it on all the time.

00:18:30   So reality wise, I think cellular would be a lot more useful

00:18:34   if that connection could be kept on

00:18:36   as long as it was off wifi all the time.

00:18:39   Like just keep it on the way a phone is kept on

00:18:41   or the way an iPad cellular connection is kept on.

00:18:43   And the problem is, that is a big battery drain.

00:18:47   So is all the constant heart rate monitoring.

00:18:51   That would also be probably a similar level of battery drain.

00:18:54   So would an always on screen mode

00:18:56   for time and basic data display.

00:18:59   So maybe, people suggest having separate models.

00:19:05   Actually maybe having the aluminum ones

00:19:07   be like the sport ones and have those

00:19:08   have continuous heart rate monitoring

00:19:10   versus have the steel ones,

00:19:12   because the steel ones already all have cellular,

00:19:14   maybe have those be the ones optimized for cellular

00:19:17   or always on screens or something.

00:19:19   I don't think this has to be separate models.

00:19:21   I think this could just be different modes that you pick.

00:19:24   Because everyone who buys an Apple Watch

00:19:26   has different needs and different priorities.

00:19:28   And while health is very popular,

00:19:29   there's a whole bunch of people who wouldn't use

00:19:31   continuous heart rate monitoring.

00:19:33   And so maybe you get to pick, like pick one.

00:19:36   You can either have continuous heart rate monitoring,

00:19:38   always persistent cellular,

00:19:41   or the always on screen face.

00:19:44   And that could just be a setting.

00:19:45   And you just pick, you know,

00:19:46   you can choose as your needs change

00:19:48   or as your preferences change,

00:19:49   or as the software changes,

00:19:51   you can just set that in settings.

00:19:53   That I think is worth considering,

00:19:55   because any one of those things,

00:19:56   if they added any one of those things,

00:19:57   that might burn 30% more battery,

00:20:00   but for almost everyone who doesn't use those features,

00:20:03   which like for cellular, almost no one uses cellular.

00:20:06   So for people who don't use those features,

00:20:08   that's just a huge chunk of the battery

00:20:10   that they don't really need.

00:20:12   But I feel like there's ways you can spend it

00:20:14   that would be really useful to people.

00:20:16   And to have it just be an option,

00:20:18   just because everyone doesn't use

00:20:19   continuous heart rate monitoring, for instance,

00:20:21   that can just be a setting.

00:20:23   - Yeah, and I think that's a,

00:20:25   the way that, I mean, I don't know if necessarily

00:20:27   I would structure it that it would be exclusive

00:20:29   that you had to pick one.

00:20:30   Like, you turn them all on and just know

00:20:32   that your battery life isn't gonna be as good.

00:20:34   Like, that's a, you're empowering your user

00:20:37   to make that choice.

00:20:38   For someone who wants, like, persistent cellular,

00:20:41   continuous heart rate monitoring, and always on display.

00:20:43   And I understand that maybe my battery life

00:20:45   goes back to what it was when it was a Series 2 Apple Watch.

00:20:48   And like, usually it got through the day,

00:20:50   but every now and then it would be a little funny.

00:20:52   Like, okay, like, we made that work.

00:20:54   And I'd be making a conscious choice to do that.

00:20:57   And also, it's the, I'm empowered to just turn them off.

00:21:00   And like, you kind of imagine in the same way

00:21:02   that with an iPhone, where, you know,

00:21:04   you get to the point in the day where,

00:21:07   you know, your battery gets down to 20%,

00:21:09   and then your phone pops up and says,

00:21:11   "Hey, do you want to put on low power mode?"

00:21:13   Which is a slightly comedic thing on the watch right now

00:21:16   where it says, like, "Do you want to turn on power reserve?"

00:21:18   And I've never turned on power reserve.

00:21:20   And I've been wearing an Apple Watch since it came out,

00:21:22   like, every day of my life.

00:21:24   Like, power reserve mode is so silly

00:21:26   where it turns this big fancy watch into something

00:21:29   that you have to push a button to see the time.

00:21:31   Like, it's a bad analog watch at that point.

00:21:34   So anyway, I think that is definitely something where,

00:21:38   assuming you have the cellular, I think it would be great

00:21:41   if they just made cellular better.

00:21:43   And honestly, I think a big way you could do that

00:21:45   would be to make it like the cellular on iPads

00:21:49   rather than trying to make it like a phone.

00:21:52   It's just something that I, the more I think about the way

00:21:55   that cellular would be most useful for most people

00:21:58   is if I could only, if it had,

00:22:03   at least as an option even, but it's like,

00:22:06   if I could just have data so that I can do text messaging

00:22:09   and FaceTime audio on my watch,

00:22:13   but I don't need it to, like, ring my phone number

00:22:15   and all those kind of, like, crazy complicated things

00:22:17   that then make it really awkward when I want to cancel it

00:22:20   or change it or turn it on and off

00:22:22   because AT&T makes a big deal of it

00:22:24   versus the way on an iPad where you can just, like,

00:22:27   you want to add data to an iPad,

00:22:30   you just, like, go and turn it on for a month

00:22:32   and then you can cancel it and turn it off.

00:22:34   And it's all done inside of Apple's thing.

00:22:35   There's no, like, contacting the cell provider.

00:22:38   And I think that would change, too.

00:22:41   Like, there's ads.

00:22:43   And if that's cellular, you get a data-only option

00:22:45   that was cheap, relatively, in the same way,

00:22:48   if you had the same pricing you get on iPad data plans,

00:22:50   which are relatively inexpensive,

00:22:52   and then add to that the fact that you, you know,

00:22:56   could make it more persistent.

00:22:58   And in some ways, I think of it in the way that on an iPhone,

00:23:00   you can say, what they call Wi-Fi Assist, I think it is,

00:23:04   where it views cellular as, like, the backstop for communication,

00:23:11   that if it's having any issue communicating on Wi-Fi

00:23:15   or in general, it falls back to cellular.

00:23:18   That's an option you can turn on.

00:23:20   Like, that would be great on the watch, too,

00:23:22   because just because you're in Wi-Fi range potentially,

00:23:25   like, I feel like sometimes it tries really, really hard

00:23:28   to stay on my Wi-Fi network at home,

00:23:30   and, you know, it's like I'm out in my backyard,

00:23:32   and it's really trying to stay on that Wi-Fi,

00:23:35   but it would be great if it just switched to cellular

00:23:38   in that situation, because that's fine.

00:23:40   You know, and it would be fine if it --

00:23:42   you know, if I have the battery power to spend for it,

00:23:45   then great, do it.

00:23:47   So, anyway, that's another thing on the data side

00:23:49   and on the cellular side that I think there's so much

00:23:51   that could be done there, and I think that is one of those things

00:23:53   where, you know, this year they talked so much about independence

00:23:56   like trying to make the watch independent,

00:23:58   like making the cellular story more compelling

00:24:01   than just this, like, really awkward, complicated thing

00:24:05   with -- that I found -- like, in my --

00:24:07   like, I didn't -- my last Apple Watch I bought,

00:24:09   I wasn't cellular, because I had such a bad experience

00:24:11   with trying to, like, deal with AT&T with my first time I did it

00:24:16   that it's like I didn't go down that road.

00:24:18   So I'd love to see them come in,

00:24:19   just like they did with the iPad, and just be like,

00:24:21   "Hey, we have a better story for this now."

00:24:23   You know, and it's limited in some ways.

00:24:25   Like, you can't just make phone calls,

00:24:27   but if you want to do that, you can go ahead and do that.

00:24:29   You know, it's like sign up for AT&T for that,

00:24:31   but in the app, you know, we partnered with T-Mobile

00:24:33   and they have this great, you know,

00:24:35   you buy 500 megabytes of data for whatever, you know,

00:24:38   for not very much money every month,

00:24:40   and you can just use it that way and it'll be fine.

00:24:42   Yeah, that would be great.

00:24:44   One thing also, like, I --

00:24:45   probably my biggest request for --

00:24:47   if we had, you know, Dan Ritchie was budget to spend here.

00:24:49   Yeah.

00:24:50   I would love -- in so many places,

00:24:53   watchOS software-wise and the APIs that we are allowed to use

00:24:56   as developers are extremely limited

00:24:59   because it so aggressively has to conserve power.

00:25:02   Things like the CPU limit of, like, you know,

00:25:04   two seconds of CPU time that an app can use

00:25:06   before it gets killed and stuff like that.

00:25:08   There's so much of that that is extremely limited

00:25:10   in what apps can do.

00:25:12   One of the biggest areas for that -- that I run into

00:25:14   is I can't make a good complication

00:25:16   because complications can only request, you know,

00:25:18   a certain number of updates, and eventually you, like,

00:25:20   run out of update budget and stuff.

00:25:22   Like, it's just -- there's so much about watchOS software

00:25:25   and API-wise that could be so much better for developers

00:25:29   and we could make such better apps

00:25:31   if there was a little bit more relaxation

00:25:34   of some of those restrictions,

00:25:35   some of the resource restrictions,

00:25:37   some of the, like, you know, more frequent background updates,

00:25:39   more frequent complication updates,

00:25:41   or just an actual, like, live complication API,

00:25:43   which would be even better.

00:25:45   And I think maybe that also might be an argument

00:25:47   why we don't have third-party faces.

00:25:49   But, hey, let's get third-party faces, too.

00:25:51   Like, if we have more battery to spend,

00:25:54   spending it on stuff like that

00:25:56   could be a huge boost to the app ecosystem.

00:25:59   -Yeah, and I think complications is a great example

00:26:01   of something where it's -- it is very awkward right now.

00:26:04   I want to say, like, as someone who has made tremendous --

00:26:07   spent a huge amount of time working on complications,

00:26:09   there is just -- it's just very limiting when, at best,

00:26:13   the most often that I've been able to reliably

00:26:16   have a complication update

00:26:17   is probably about every 15 to 20 minutes,

00:26:20   which is fine, like, if you're trying to have something

00:26:23   continuously update throughout the day, I suppose,

00:26:25   but is -- it's not great.

00:26:27   Like, it causes lots of confusions and lots of things,

00:26:30   and, of course, Apple's complications don't do this.

00:26:33   So it isn't something that isn't, like --

00:26:35   that it's not technically possible.

00:26:37   It's just a question of policy and, like, privilege,

00:26:40   that, you know, that -- you know, if you look at the activity --

00:26:44   you know, the activity numbers that you're getting

00:26:47   for Apple's activity faces,

00:26:49   they update essentially in real time, you know,

00:26:51   and, you know, if you tap on them,

00:26:53   they'll be exactly the same as what's shown in the activity app,

00:26:56   but there's no way that I can do that currently.

00:26:58   There's no way that I can have this sense of kind of continuous update

00:27:01   or more continuous update,

00:27:03   even if it isn't strictly continuous.

00:27:05   You know, if it's being up -- there's a big difference,

00:27:07   I think, being, you know, up to date once per minute

00:27:10   versus being updated once every 20 minutes,

00:27:12   and that would be a great way to spend that budget in general

00:27:15   about making the watch face itself more compelling,

00:27:18   you know, and I think with the --

00:27:20   tying in a little bit with the always-on display,

00:27:22   like, I think something that's kind of interesting there is

00:27:24   I would imagine that the actual sort of always-on part

00:27:27   would probably just be the time, potentially,

00:27:30   and then if you, like, if -- like you were saying

00:27:32   in terms of if there's a notification or, like, the little,

00:27:34   you know, like, the -- -The dot.

00:27:36   -The red dot, like, the red eye staring at you,

00:27:39   I could imagine having some indication

00:27:41   as to what that red dot is indicating be there,

00:27:45   even, you know, for privacy reasons,

00:27:47   it's not going to, like, show you the time --

00:27:49   you know, the text message you just received,

00:27:51   but maybe you have either a red dot there

00:27:53   or the message icon or something.

00:27:56   But that probably would be just that

00:27:58   in terms of it would only show a very basic thing

00:28:01   because the whole point is that you only turn on

00:28:03   as few of these OLED pixels as possible, so --

00:28:06   but then, like, make the experience --

00:28:08   when you raise your wrist, like, make that experience

00:28:10   really good because the basic experience now

00:28:13   isn't just the watch face.

00:28:15   You know, the basic experience is the always-on,

00:28:18   you know, really simple thing.

00:28:20   So, like, I think you could do a lot there.

00:28:23   And, you know, at this point, it's hard to expect,

00:28:25   necessarily, that we would get, like,

00:28:27   live-updating complications, but even if just

00:28:29   on the Series 5 watch, they boosted all the quotas a bunch,

00:28:32   sort of in a more transparent way to the user

00:28:36   and to the developer, I think that would go a long way as well.

00:28:39   -Yeah, like, once a minute. That would be amazing.

00:28:41   You could -- as you said, like, you could do so much more

00:28:43   with once a minute, and certain types of applications

00:28:46   just can't have useful complications until we do.

00:28:49   Like, I can't make a useful media-control complication,

00:28:51   or, like, I can't display, like, how far along you are

00:28:54   and playback very usefully.

00:28:56   Things like, you know, flight trackers,

00:28:58   like, if there's, like, a delay, they can't really show that

00:29:00   on the complication because by the time you see it,

00:29:02   you know, that information is pretty out of date.

00:29:04   Like, there's just -- that's what I want to see, like,

00:29:07   expansion of what kind of apps can even be made

00:29:10   or how good apps can be on the watch by raising

00:29:13   these very aggressive budgets that exist everywhere.

00:29:16   -Yeah, and I think -- I think I'm really hopeful

00:29:18   that we'll get this. Like, Apple seems to really care

00:29:20   about the Apple Watch, so, I mean, these are all the ways

00:29:22   that I came up with and you came up with to spend,

00:29:24   you know, spend this battery budget, and I'm just super excited

00:29:26   to see what we're going to get in a couple months,

00:29:28   you know, all the kind of the cool apps

00:29:30   that we're going to be able to make as a result.

00:29:32   -Yep. So, thank you for listening, everybody.

00:29:34   Sorry, Dan Riccio, and we will see you in two weeks.

00:29:36   -Bye.

00:29:38   [BLANK_AUDIO]