Patently Apple has found evidence of Apple researching a way to increase the battery life of its wearables. While patents aren't guaranteed to become reality, this concept of stuffing batteries into the watchband seems easily achievable.
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The concept is simple to understand. The "Battery Watch Band" describes how the Apple Watch could get more battery capacity without having to increase the size of the Watch casing or find a more efficient power cell. To prevent the cells from coming into contact with the metal casing of the watch, they are sealed within the strap.
This would be a welcome improvement. The biggest limitation of Apple Watches, even going back to the original, is fairly short battery life. You're lucky to get a day's usage out of the Apple Watch Series 6 — which is rated for 18 hours of use — while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is rated for 2 days of endurance and the Fitbit Sense for up to 6 days.
We can assume that there would have to be a new connector fitted to the Apple Watch to allow it to draw power from the strap. That would likely mean that owners of older Apple Watches would likely be unable to benefit from the new band design unless Apple or another company could offer some after-market modification.
One other consideration would be charging. Apple would likely let the charging band power up from the same magnetic cradle that the Watch itself uses. However, it could take a lot longer to charge up the watch when it does need power, unless Apple ups the amperage in its charger.
It may be too soon for Apple to turn this patent into an actual product, but we're still expecting some major changes for the Apple Watch 7. There are suggestions of a new case design, plus the ability to scan your veins as a means of gesture control.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.