Commentary

My wish list for 'Apple Watch 2'

At last week's media gathering by Apple in the US to launch its smaller iPhone and iPad, the Apple Watch got a mention. It had to do with a price reduction and new straps.

The announcements were nice, but I'd rather see an "Apple Watch 2", or whatever it might be called. Since I love using my Apple Watch, and given that its replacement is likely many months away, I can't help but mull over what would make a dream timepiece for me in the next version.

A colleague is convinced that "Apple Watch 2" will feature a round face - just like a Huawei Watch or a Samsung Gear S2.

While I am not hung up over how watches should fit a certain look (I own both round and square analogue watches), a round Apple Watch sounds like a good idea, just for a change. As I used to swop watches every day until I got an Apple Watch, I would love to rotate wearing my current Apple Watch with a round one. That rectangular face is getting boring.

And that brings me to my next wish-list item: support for third-party watch faces.


Apple Watches on display at last week's Apple media event in Cupertino, California. The Apple Watch got a mention at the event - a price reduction and new straps - but there was no "Apple Watch 2". PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Apple has been steadfast about not opening up to others in this aspect. One reason cited is Apple's aim to keep the smartwatch's timekeeping capability to within 50 milliseconds of the global time standard.

Now, I am not launching a Mars expedition rocket or doing Higgs boson particle experiments. So I don't need such precise timekeeping.

You can only put a photo on the Apple Watch when you want to create your personalised watch face, or change colours and widgets on existing watch faces. In contrast, it was so much more fun to be playing with watch face apps or getting new watch faces on Android Wear smartwatches.

My next wish is for better battery life. And I think many would agree with me on this. The Apple Watch lasts around 11/2 days. Not great, especially when you are on a long-haul flight.

I think five days of battery life would be ideal. Maybe Apple can add built-in solar panels to the smartwatch's display to increase battery life?

Sure, doing so would make the watch more clunky. But I actually don't mind a beefier watch as it also makes for a nice fashion statement.

As you can see, my wish list is quite short. I just want "Apple Watch 2" to be round, support third-party watch faces and have better battery life. Not too much to ask for, right?

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2016, with the headline 'My wish list for 'Apple Watch 2''. Print Edition | Subscribe