Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, was certainly on the money when, in 1965, he predicted that computing power and processing speeds would increase exponentially, year after year. Just look at the world around you and you can see how far we’ve come in terms of technology.
Nowadays, it seems that pace has accelerated to quite an unbelievable speed and so it is that the slightest pause in the world of tech and you’re already way, way behind the curve of innovation.
Just look at Apple’s groundbreaking Watch, which, while only being released in April – and to much fanfare it has to be said – is already subject to a software update. Officially launching in the autumn, watchOS 2 is currently available in a 2.0 beta version. Principally aimed at developers, it has nevertheless been downloaded by Apple enthusiasts, keen to see what progress has been made with the operating system.
However, it appears that many non-developers have somewhat jumped the gun because there appears to be significant issues and limitations associated with it. Most problematic of all is the inability to downgrade from watchOS 2.0 beta (back to 1.0 or 1.0.1), which, to say the least, is troublesome as we have been finding out.
However, this appears to be something of an exception, as if you own any other Apple product – iPhone, iPad, Macbook and iPod – you are able to downgrade your operating system to earlier versions without much fuss. The Apple Watch does not afford this same luxury, much to the annoyance of developers and general users.
That said, Apple has warned developers – to whom this is ultimately aimed at – that there are risks with downloading beta versions, and, as such, this software shouldn’t really been downloaded to devices that are for day-to-day use. It states unequivocally: “This beta version of watchOS should only be deployed on devices dedicated for watchOS beta software development.”
One of the major bugbears of this beta upgrade has been the depletion in battery power. Developers and users have observed that the anticipated long battery life cannot has been compromised. It runs out far quicker than it should, even for heavy users.
While never great for any mobile device, the nature of the Apple Watch – all-day long wearable tech – demands a robust battery. While this is possible with the original operating system – up to 18 hours of power – the watchOS 2.0 beta version apparently can’t match that.
Which leaves developers and consumers in an awkward position – they have limited options. Some may consider selling their Apple Watch altogether and either purchasing a new one or holding off until prices come down or a new model comes on the market. Others may consider sending it back to Apple to be serviced, but because there is a cost attached to this, it’s less than ideal.
We suppose there is a lesson to be learnt here – read the small print! Beta obviously has its benefits and from a developer point of view, it certainly makes sense to play around and see what bug fixes and improvements have been made, but, by and large, for the average consumer, holding off, well, it just makes sense. You can feel confident that when it comes to autumn, the upgrade will be near enough faultless.