Before WWDC 2022, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman reported based on his own sources that Apple had been working on a new Low Power Mode for watchOS 9. However, watchOS 9 was announced with no new features in this aspect. Now Gurman is back with a related report, but this time he claims that Low Power Mode will be exclusive to the new Apple Watch Series 8.
In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman revealed that he still expects a new Low Power Mode coming later this year. However, rather than a feature of watchOS 9, the new Low Power Mode is expected to be announced as one of the new features of the Apple Watch Series 8 – which will likely be introduced later this year.
Current Apple Watch models already have a feature called “Power Reserve Mode.” However, as detailed by 9to5Mac, this feature turns off pretty much all Apple Watch features and only shows the time to save battery life. While this works for emergencies, users are required to reboot the Apple Watch in order to access apps and other functions.
According to Gurman’s original report, the new Low Power Mode will allow users to keep using Apple Watch apps and features without draining too much power. It should work similarly to the Low Power Mode that is already available in iOS and macOS, which basically suspends background activities and reduces device performance to save some battery life.
However, it’s also unclear why Apple would keep this option available exclusively for the new Apple Watch model, as it is rumored to keep the same chip as the Apple Watch Series 7.
What to expect from Apple Watch Series 8
Based on recent rumors, Apple Watch Series 8 will be a minor upgrade compared to the current Series 7. Apart from having the same internal specifications as Apple Watch Series 7, which is already based on Series 6 despite the larger screen, Series 8 is expected to keep the same current design with 41mm and 45mm versions.
However, Apple is also reportedly working on a “rugged edition” of the Apple Watch Series 8 aimed at extreme sports. The company may also introduce an updated Apple Watch SE, which will still be based on the Apple Watch Series 6 design with larger bezels but this time with the same processor as the Series 8.
Since hardware upgrades will be minimal this year, it will come as no surprise if Apple keeps some software features exclusive to new Apple Watch models to boost sales.
watchOS 9 brings incremental updates to the Apple Watch operating system. The update includes multiple new watch faces, enhanced Workout app with more data, a new app for medication reminders, improved sleep monitoring, and a full Podcasts app.
Apple Watch Series 4 and later users will be able to update to watchOS 9 this fall. Developers can now try out watchOS 9 beta, while the first public beta will be available in July.
- Feature request: Apple Watch should have a better low power mode
- watchOS 9 hands-on: new and updated Apple Watch faces
- Apple Watch running metrics: Hands-on with new Workout features in watchOS 9
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