Engineer’s Disguised Apple Watch During Testing ➝

A few interesting bits from Brian Chen’s recent piece on the Apple Watch, published by The New York Times:

In an effort to maintain secrecy, engineers testing the watch outside the office even created fake casing that made the Apple device resemble a Samsung watch, one person said.

This reminds me of how Apple concealed the iPhone 4 while engineers were testing them in public. It’s funny that Apple’s devices are typically small enough to fit in a case the size of their competitors’ products.

The company also developed a yet-to-be-announced feature called Power Reserve, a mode that will run the watch on low energy but display only the time, according to one employee.

This is undoubtedly due to Apple’s use of AMOLED displays in their smartwatches, which use considerably less power while displaying primarily black screens. That’s also how Apple has managed to get a full day’s worth of battery inside the Watch — by designing user interfaces with black backgrounds they reap the benefits of an incredibly energy efficient display technology.

Apple will release the watch a bit later than it had hoped because of technology challenges. It probably didn’t help that several important employees jumped ship. Nest Labs, the smart appliance maker that was acquired by Google last year, poached a few engineers who were the very best on the watch team, according to two people.

Talent retention is tough, especially when, often, the perception of Apple is that they’ve run out of ideas or aren’t doing anything interesting anymore. Engineers, designers, and developers want to work on exciting project. And, I can imagine that another company’s job offers start to look really tempting after you’be been working on the same device for 18 months.