Apple announced a new Low Power mode for the Apple Watch range, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8 and super-premium Apple Watch Ultra smartwatches. Usefully, the feature is not limited to just the new devices; the Low Power mode will be rolling out as a WatchOS 9 feature, and will thus be made available to Apple Watch Series 4 and later devices. WatchOS 9 will be launching on September 12 for all compatible devices as a firmware update, Apple announced at its recent Far Out event.
It’s worth pointing out here that the Apple Watch series already has a Power Reserve mode to save battery, but this disables all functionality on the smartwatch except for showing the time when the button is pressed. Furthermore, the only way to exit the Power Reserve mode is to power down the Apple Watch and restart it, which is quite inconvenient and time consuming.
The new Low Power mode will allow users to increase the battery life on the Apple Watch without entirely shutting down all but core functionality. The mode will turn off features such as Always On display and certain automatic detection features for health and workout tracking, while keeping the rest functioning normally.
The entire list of functions affected by the Low Power mode isn’t clear as of now, and will obviously depend on the specific features of various devices. Apple claims that the mode can extend battery life on the new Apple Watch Ultra from 36 hours to 60 hours. On other Apple Watch devices, the impact is expected to be much less, depending on the features of the device. For example, many Apple Watch models that will receive WatchOS 9 don’t have Alway On display as a feature, which naturally will reduce the effectiveness of the Low Power mode itself.
Apple’s recent Far Out event saw the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen), priced at Rs. 45,900 onwards and Rs. 29,900 onwards respectively in India. The company also launched the super-premium Apple Watch Ultra, which is priced at Rs. 89,900 in India. The devices are expected to go on sale in India in the coming weeks.