Patent shows an external battery for the Apple Watch to improve its charge

Apple Watch Series 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
One of the most common complaints about the Apple Watch is its battery life. What good are GPS and step tracking, after all, if your battery is dead? Luckily, Apple appears to be working on a solution. A patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows a portable charger that can be embedded in the watch’s wristband or attached to an existing band.

The filing “Charging apparatus for wearable electronic device” describes an external battery with “more cells” that will either partially or fully charge a paired Apple Watch. It transfers power using induction, a two-way design that uses an inductive coil to facilitate the flow of electricity — the same technique employed in the Magnetic Charging Cable that ships included with every Apple Watch.

When it comes to the battery’s placement, Apple proposes several solutions. It could fit under the watch’s body in order to protect its “sensitive internal components,” or made curved so it could fit around a watch band’s interior. Or it could be embedded directly into an Apple Watch band accessory.

Perhaps anticipating that such a battery could affect the watch’s suite of sensors and generate an uncomfortable degree of heat, Apple’s proposing mitigating measures. A translucent window would allow the passage of light from, say, the Watch’s heart rate sensor, and a series of sensors would limit the battery’s charge rates when the Watch was being worn.

Apple’s not the first to entertain the idea of an external watch battery. The Wipowerband, a polypropylene plastic band, packs a 250 mAh high-density rechargeable cell that attaches to the Apple Watch’s standard connector. The silicon Reserve Strap, meanwhile, slots a tiny inductive charger with a lithium polymer cell between your wrist and the watch.

Apple has tried to work around the Apple Watch’s power constraints in other ways, historically. The latest version of the Apple Watch’s operating system, watchOS 3.1, features battery optimizations, and the Apple Watch Series 2 was made slightly thicker than its predecessor in order to accommodate a larger battery.

In our review of the Apple Watch Series 2, we found it more than adequate for the average person. Moderate-to-light use got it through a day and a half, roughly, and sometimes a bit more. But we had to charge it most nights.

Apple says its watch offers “all day battery life” — up to 18 hours of normal use, which it defines as “90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours. That is certainly on par with the competition, but here is hoping the company engineers a better solution in the future.


Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.

It looks like Google may get rid of the back button in Android Q

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.
Social Media

Instagram to make giving easier with a Stories donation sticker for fundraisers

Instagram is preparing to launch a donation feature within Stories that would allow users to raise cash for a range of nonprofit charities. The company confirmed it's aiming to launch the donation sticker later this year.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for February 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.

The Huawei P30 will zoom into view on March 26 in Paris

The Huawei P30 Pro will be announced on March 26, 2019. It has already started to leak ahead of this date, and expectations are high that the company will improve even further on the P20 Pro's camera.

First phone specs reveal premium is the path for Vivo spinoff Iqoo

A new smartphone brand has launched. It's called Iqoo, and it's a sub-brand of Vivo, the Chinese device manufacturer owned by BBK Electronics. Excitingly, details about its first phone are slowly being released.

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Home Theater

Accidentally aired Samsung ad shows Galaxy S10, Galaxy Buds a day before launch

One day before the launch event that is widely expected to contain both the new Galaxy S10 smartphone and the Galaxy Buds fully wireless earbuds, an accidentally aired Samsung TV ad from Norway confirms both products.