All three editions of the Apple Watch have eight gigabytes of storage, but the operating system is limiting users to a subsection of that total space for certain types of data, such as up to two gigabytes of music and up to 75 megabytes worth of photographs for the Photos app. As confirmed with Apple by 9to5Mac, shipping units of the Sport, Watch and Edition models have the same 8GB memory capacity.
We know from before that users will be able to manage their media on the Watch using a companion Watch app on the iPhone that ships with iOS 8.2, which was released yesterday.
For instance, in addition to controlling the music stored on your iPhone paired with the Watch, you can sync your playlists or individual songs to the device.
This way, music lovers can store tracks locally on the device and play them using wireless Bluetooth headphones without having to have an iPhone on them at all. This is useful, say, when going for a run but don’t want to carry an iPhone in your pocket.
Apple also said that the Watch’s Photos app will sync only the photos you’ve previously favorited on an iOS device by tapping on the favorite icon in the Photos app for the iPhone and iPad.
Favorite photos, which are managed by the iCloud Photo Library, are resized before being synced with the Watch in order to accommodate the device’s lower-resolution display, resulting in smaller file sizes.
Like music, synced photos are actually stored locally, not cached, meaning you can still view those images even after unpairing your iPhone.
Two gigabytes of music storage should be more than enough for about 200 average-length tracks, depending on the compression quality. As for photos, 75 megabytes should hold over a hundred photos downscaled so that they take up much less room than the original stills.
These are only rough estimates as we won’t know for sure how media storage limitations impact daily use until we get our hands on the device.
The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order beginning April 10 and will start shipping in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom on April 24.