watchOS 9 disables these features with Low Power Mode

With watchOS 9, Apple introduced a new Low Power Mode for Apple Watch which disables some background features of the watch, while maintaining core functionality to ensure that users can get more battery life. Apple has shared details of which features are disabled or affected when Lower Power Mode is enabled.

watchOS 9 Low Power Mode Apple Watch

Low Power Mode for watchOS 9 explained

In a new support page, Apple details how users can enable Low Power Mode by swiping up on the Control Center, tapping on Battery, and enabling the toggle. Enabling Low Power Mode shows a yellow circle icon on the top of the display at all times. The company also goes on to explain the impact of these changes.

Low Power Mode primarily disables the Always On display, which uses the most battery. It also turns off heart rate notifications, background heart rate measurements, blood oxygen measurements, and workout reminders. When the paired iPhone is not nearby, watchOS 9 also turns off Wi-Fi and cellular connections, and phone calls and notifications to save battery life.

Other features such as placing a phone call, background app refresh, complications updates, Siri responses and animations are all slowed down due to this mode.

Here is the complete list from Apple:

Low Power Mode turns off these features

  • Always On display
  • Heart rate notifications for irregular rhythm, high heart rate, and low heart rate
  • Background heart rate measurements
  • Background blood oxygen measurements
  • Start workout reminder

Low Power Mode turns off these features when your iPhone isn’t nearby

  • Wi-Fi and cellular connections

When an app is opened that requires cellular or Internet connectivity, and your iPhone is not nearby, Wi-Fi and cellular connections are enabled, which increase battery drain.

  • Incoming phone calls and notifications

When your iPhone is nearby, missed phone calls and notifications are retreived periodically.

Low Power Mode affects these features

  • Making a phone call can take longer
  • Background app refresh happens less frequently
  • Complications update less frequently
  • Siri can take longer to process a request
  • Some animations and scrolling might appear less smooth

The benefits of Low Power Mode are that Apple Watch Series 8 battery life can go from 18 hours to 36 hours, when enabled.

It is important to note that this new battery-saving mode is very different from Power Reserve, which would disable everything on an Apple Watch, and simply showed the time. 

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