Saturday, September 30, 2023

Apple watchOS 9 adds power saving mode to Series 4 and later devices

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When Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 8 on Wednesday, it introduced a new power-saving mode that allows the wearable battery to double its battery life by disabling a few features. However, it won’t be limited to Apple’s latest devices – during the presentationApple said the power-saving mode is coming to “the Series 4 and later” with watchOS 9, which launches on September 12.

The company didn’t say whether the mode would be as effective on older devices as it claims it will be on the Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra (Apple says the larger watch can go from 36 hours of runtime to 60 hours with the mode enabled). ). But based on what we know about how it works, it’s clear that it will be less effective on at least a few models.

Energy-saving mode saves energy by turning off some features like the always-on display, automatic workout start, heart health notifications and more, while keeping things like activity tracking and fall detection enabled. While turning off the screen completely will definitely improve battery life on some Apple watches, it won’t do much for the Series 4 or both models of the SE — they don’t have always-on screens to begin with.

Apple has not responded to The edge‘s request for comment on what kinds of features it will disable on watches like the new SE, or if the feature is coming to the budget model at all. The SE fits the description of “Series 4 and later”, but the low power mode is not listed on the product page of the SE.

Despite the caveats, it’s nice to know that there will soon be a way to at least get a little more run time on your older watch, without having to switch to the ultra-bare-bones power reserve mode, which only displays the time when you press the watch’s side button. That’s especially true as these devices and their batteries get older — though it’s worth noting that Apple will service watch batteries for $79 if you really want your Series 4 to last as long as possible.

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