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Apple is bringing watchOS 9’s Low Power mode to not only the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra, but a healthy number of older models as well.


Apple Watch Series 8 is currently making waves thanks to new capabilities like temperature sensing and car crash detection, but one feature that has particularly flown under the radar is the arrival of a new Low Power mode to extend battery life. Apple has been offering a special Low Power mode on its iPhones and iPads for a while now, allowing users to get a few extra hours of use when the battery is low. Enabling this reduces the screen refresh rate to 60Hz, decreases brightness, pauses iCloud photo uploads, and disables background app refreshes.

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The goal is to reduce system activity to get a few more hours of activity on the device from the battery. However, Apple hasn’t extended the courtesy to its smartwatches so far, despite the fact that they could actually use the feature. Apple’s smartwatches lead the market by a healthy margin and offer a much more polished experience than rivals with WearOS or an RTOS-based skin, but they still require daily charging. With the arrival of its 2022 series of smartwatches, Apple is finally addressing that battery life problem.


Related: Apple Watch 8 and iPhone 14 can detect car accidents and ask for help


Thanks to the new power-saving mode, users can extend the battery life of the Watch Series 8 to 36 hours, which is double the advertised battery life with regular use. The arrival of this new feature is significant for a number of reasons. First, the Apple Watch Series 8 lasts for 18 hours on a single charge, which is the same as its predecessor. There is also no upgrade in the charging rate. Needless to say, Apple hasn’t made any material improvements, but the new Low Power mode is a comfort to users who can get more life out of the same sized Li-ion pack placed in their smartwatch. Low Power mode is of course also available on the Apple Watch Ultra, which increases the normal battery life from 36 hours to 60 hours.


Is your Apple Watch ready for power saving mode?


As a nice surprise, the company is extending the Low Power mode benefit to older-generation smartwatches as well. Apple says the Low Power mode will also make its way to the Apple Watch Series 4, and all successive models launched after that. This means that the Series 4, Series 5, Series 6 and Series 7 models will receive this feature. The new Watch SE 2 also supports Low Power mode, so the original Watch SE launched in 2020 should support it as well. Unfortunately, Apple Watch Series 3 users will miss the feature. Low Power Mode comes with watchOS 9, which is scheduled for a public release on September 12 for all compatible Apple Watch models. All users need to do is click on the special Low Power mode and they are good to go.

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