watchOS 9.1 delivers shocking Apple Watch Ultra battery life increase with new feature

Apple released watchOS 9.1 on Monday which offers a shocking increase in Apple Watch battery life with a new power saving mode feature for the Apple Watch Ultra. Power Saver mode reduces the amount of power used by any Apple Watch so you can save battery life. Apple Watch Ultra also gets a low-power secondary training mode that reduces GPS readings to once every 2 minutes and heart rate readings to once every 1 minute. In that mode, the unit can achieve up to 60 hours of battery life.

Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra

DC Rainmaker:

You basically have four levels [on Apple Watch Ultra]:

• Usage / Normal Mode: 36 hours of smartwatch battery life
• Normal use with training mode: 12 hours of GPS battery life
• Low Power Mode (Full Training Fidelity): Approximately 15 hours of GPS battery life
• Energy saving mode (reduced HR / GPS updates): 60 hours of battery life of the smartwatch

In my case, I started a one hour run with 86% battery … and … er … I finished the one hour run with 86% battery. Obviously, it burned some battery, but apparently I stayed within the rounding errors to be basically 1% or less. I noticed that Dave from Chase the Summit got a 1% burn in one of his one hour runs.

And while all of this might sound impressive, keep in mind that the watch is basically entirely in a low-power mode for almost everything but 60 seconds of “work” in the full hour. In reality, that’s definitely a bit more, but in practice, the amount Apple has disabled here makes this situation unusable.

My point here is that for * sporty * use, the new low-power mode isn’t very useful. Instead, the mid-level low-power mode that doesn’t sacrifice data depth is where you want to be (and if you really need to save battery there, plug in an HR strap instead).

However, as with most things from Apple, the benefit of some features isn’t always endurance sports. Instead, it’s partly marketing and partly more random scenarios. If you just want better battery life overall, and don’t care about data depth and don’t move that fast, then for casual walks, data leaks aren’t a big deal. Especially if you have your phone with you so Apple Maps can do some magic.

Note from MacDailyNews: Activate / deactivate energy saving mode (full training fidelity). whatever Apple Watch capable of running watchOS 9.1, go to Settings> Battery and turn Power Saving Mode on or off. When your Apple Watch is in Power Saver mode, a yellow circle icon appears at the top of the screen.

With Apple Watch Ultra, in the Watch app on your iPhone in your training settings, you will see the new “Fewer GPS and Heart Rate Readings” option. Here you can turn it on or off.

Energy Saver mode disables these functions
• Always active
• Heart rate notifications for irregular rhythm, high heart rate and low heart rate
• Background heart rate measurements
• Basic blood oxygen measurements
• Start Workout Reminder

Power Saver mode disables these features when your iPhone is not nearby
• Wi-Fi and cellular connections1
• Incoming calls and notifications2

Energy Saver mode affects these features
• Making a phone call can take longer
• The background update of the app occurs less frequently
• Complications update less frequently
• Siri can take longer to process a request
• Some animations and scrolling may appear less smooth

When using the Training app in Power Saving mode on whatever Apple Watch capable of running watchOS 9.1, metrics such as heart rate and pace are still measured. You can have Energy Saver mode activated automatically when you start a workout:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Scroll down, then tap Workout.
  3. Activate the power saving mode.

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