Apple Watch storage is rubbish just like the battery
We've had a little time to digest the announcement about the Apple Watch. Many people will be disappointed to learn about the battery life of Apple's first smartwatch, but there's still room for a little more dissatisfaction. Turn your attention, if you will, to storage.
At the Apple Watch launch event, Apple said nothing about the device's storage. Perhaps with good reason. iPhone owners have already complained that their devices do not have enough storage space, and this is a complaint that could be levelled at the Apple Watch as well. There's just 8GB of storage. If this sounds like it makes the device somewhat inflexible, there's worse news. Apple also places restrictions on how you can use this space.
Apple has confirmed to 9to5Mac that the Apple Watch features just 8GB of space, and just a quarter of this can be used to house music. 2GB is all of the space you have to play with if you want to listen to music whilst away from your iPhone. While tethered to your phone you can stream your larger collection, but for those times when you have just your Apple Watch with you, you'll have to spend time juggling tracks and albums back and forth to make sure that you have access to exactly what you want to listen to.
We're talking about the same amount of storage that was available on the iPod Shuffle five years ago. That's about 240ish songs. If you're working in albums rather than individual tracks, that's around 20 albums. Can you decide on the 20 albums you want to listen to the most, or will you be constantly changing your mind and having to fiddle about syncing music back and forth? Technology is meant to be fun, not a pain in the ass!
It's interesting to note that there are no other storage options. It doesn’t matter if you drop $349 on the 'cheapest' Apple Watch Sport, or $10,000+ on an Edition, you're still lumbered with a meager 8GB of space. With memory being so cheap, there's not really an excuse for this.
Music is not where the storage limitations end. Just 75MB is made available for storing photos. Sure, you're probably not going to want to load thousands of photos onto your Apple Watch realistically, and the screen's dimensions mean that you can get away with smaller files. But the point is that there's not really a reason to impose such a strict limit. Users should be left to decide how space should be used.
The remaining just-under-6GB of space is left for the operating system itself and apps. But why not let people add more music or hold more photos? Is Apple worried that people will run out of space for apps and OS updates? If that situation arose, I'm pretty sure that users could be trusted to decide to trim a few apps, delete a few albums, or remove a few photos to make room. But that's not how Apple works. This is a company that likes to dictate how things are done, and people are only too happy to fall in line.