I don’t know about you, but my number one smartwatch-related complaint is battery life — no matter how I use it, my Wear OS watch barely makes it through the day.
Now, Google has an update to its Wear OS wearables platform that addresses this issue.
Wear OS 2.2 or H, as it’s called, comes with a feature that automatically puts the watch in Battery Saver Mode after your battery drops below 10%. In Battery Saver Mode, all the smart features are disabled, but the watch still tells the time.
Furthermore, the watch will now go into “deep sleep” mode after 30 minutes of inactivity. That means you’ll be able to take the watch off for longer periods without having to worry about the battery draining to zero in a matter of hours.
These features aren’t exactly groundbreaking; for example, my Huawei Watch 2 also goes into battery saving mode when the battery is low, and my Suunto Ambit 3 Sport goes to sleep shortly after I remove it from my hand. But it’s nice to see Google implementing them at the OS level, which should theoretically make them available to all owners of smartwatches running the latest Wear OS.
Other features of note include Smart App Resume for all apps, meaning your apps will remember what you were doing when you leave them and will let you get back to it when you fire them up again. And you’ll also be able to turn off the watch in two steps, by holding the power button until you get the power off screen, and then selecting “power off” or “restart.”
Unfortunately, it’s not exactly clear which devices will get the update. Google says “you should soon see a system update on your device,” clarifying it should happen “in the next few months.” But the fine print says that “your device may not immediately be eligible for this update and will be determined by your watch manufacturer.”