Apple Watch is an excellent piece of machinery, from both the hardware and software point-of-views. But there’s always been one thing I felt it lacked – a low-power mode that wouldn’t completely render the watch useless.
Finally, my wish has been granted. At the Far Out event, where Apple released the new lineup of their wearables, namely Series 8, Watch Ultra, and Second Generation SE, another announcement blessed our ears. The inclusion of the Low Power Mode in watchOS 9.
When the feature wasn’t included in the WWDC’22 announcement for watchOS 9 after it had rigorously made the rounds in the rumor mills, there was speculation that it might only be available for the newer watches. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.
What is Low Power Mode on Apple Watch?
The Low Power Mode on Apple Watch works much like the low-power modes on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. It preserves the battery power by restricting the functions on your Apple Watch.
It’s different than the Power Reserve Mode which used to suspend the complete functioning of your watch. In the Power Reserve mode, the watch would be as good as off, except that it would display the time when you pressed the side button. It isn’t even connected to your iPhone when the mode is active. To get back the functioning of your watch, you would have to reboot it.
The Low Power mode instead suspends some functions of the Apple Watch, like the always-on display, background heart rate measurements, workout autostart, heart health notifications, blood oxygen measurements, and cellular connectivity, among others to save the battery. The watch is still connected to your iPhone and other functions still work pretty much the same.
The suspending of the core sensors and functions helps extend the battery life for when you’re away from the charger for a long time, like on a flight. For the new Apple Watch Series 8 and 2nd generation SE, Apple claims that the Low Power mode can extend the battery life to 36 hours, as opposed to the 18-hour battery life on a full charge when the mode is off.
On the Apple Watch Ultra, it can provide a battery life of up to 60 hours. Now, the numbers might not be as high for the older watch models, but whatever they might be, it’s a way better trade-off than the Power Reserve mode in my opinion.
The feature will be available on the watches running watchOS 9, which will release on 12th September to the public. Low Power mode will be available on all devices that are running watchOS 9. The list of compatible devices includes:
- Watch Series 4
- Watch Series 5
- Watch Series 6
- Watch Series 7
- Watch Series 8
- Watch SE (1st and 2nd generation)
- Watch Ultra
Since Series 3 is not eligible for an upgrade to watchOS 9, you won’t get the low power mode on it either.
Enabling Low Power Mode
You can enable the Low Power Mode from the Watch itself. Unlike a lot of other settings, the option is not available in the Watch app on your iPhone.
You can either enable the low power mode from the Control Centre or the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
To enable the low-power mode from the Control Centre, go to the watch face if you’re not already there. Then, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the Control Centre.
Tap the battery percentage tile from the Control Centre.
Then, turn on the toggle for ‘Low Power Mode’.
The page for Low Power mode will open; scroll down on it using either your finger or by turning the crown until you see the options for turning the mode on.
You can either simply turn it on, where it would stay enabled until you manually turn it off. Or, you can choose to turn it on for some duration. For the former, tap the option for ‘Turn On’. Low Power Mode will be enabled. For the latter, tap ‘Turn on for’.
Then, choose whether you want to enable it for 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days and tap the option accordingly.
When the Low Power mode is enabled, you’ll see a yellow circle on the Watch Face.
To enable it from the settings, go to the Home screen by pressing the crown of the Apple Watch.
Then, go to the Settings app from the app grid or list.
Scroll down in the settings app and tap the option for ‘Battery’.
Then, scroll down in the battery settings and enable the toggle for ‘Low Power Mode’.
The same screen for turning on the low power mode as explained above will appear. Tap the option accordingly.
To turn off the low power mode, simply disable the toggle for it from either the Control Centre or the Settings app.
watchOS 9 is bringing a lot of new features into the mix. And while low power mode might not seem like a big upgrade at the first glance, it’s definitely going to take things to the next level for the Apple Watch.