Surprise watchOS 9 upgrade might be the best thing about Apple Watch 8

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Now that the public beta of watchOS 9 is officially released, we can all explore the new Apple Watch features that are integrated into Apple’s wearable computing experience.

Some standout features of watchOS 9 include a compelling collection of watchOS 9 faces, new fitness tracking metrics, expanded sleep tracking tools, and an impressive change in receiving notifications.

But as we saw with the launch of Apple Watch Series 7, there might be a few more watchOS 9 upgrades in the pipeline.

I’m referring to how watchOS 8 on Apple Watch 7 has exclusive features that only appear on Apple’s new smartwatch – specifically, the QWERTY keyboard and two special watch faces that take advantage of the larger screen sizes. Apple Watch 7. Even though support for watchOS 8 dates back to Apple Watch Series 3, some features were reserved only for the latest flagship.

Apple may be considering a similar approach for watchOS 9 on Apple Watch Series 8. While there are several things watchOS 9 tells us about Apple Watch 8, there is a rumor of an upcoming hardware-exclusive feature that will may be announced for watchOS 9 at a later date.

A report by Mark Gurman says Apple is working on a low power mode for Apple Watch (opens in a new tab)and the tipster suggested it would be ready for watchOS 9. But it will only be available for Apple’s new smartwatch, indicating that there might be something inside the Apple Watch 8 that helps manage battery life.

Apple Watch Series 8 Low Power Mode – how it could work

The new battery life management settings would most likely come from a new chipset, which will likely be called the S8. Between the Apple Watch 7 and Apple Watch 6, the chip hasn’t changed much, but we could see processing emerge as a key approach Apple is taking to make the best smartwatch even better.

Alternatively, small changes to the display, GPS, or even the battery cell itself could help make this low power mode possible for Apple Watch Series 8. As part of this, the Apple Watch would apparently able to extend battery life similarly to low power mode on iPhone. Think: limit notifications, health sensors and screen brightness.

These tweaks could actually make the Apple Watch last longer than 18 hours, as the smartwatch is rated.

The list of devices supported by watchOS 9 goes back to the Apple Watch Series 4, but again, if Gurman’s reports are accurate, Low Power Mode will only be for Series 8. That could be a big plus Apple Watch Series 8 vs Apple Watch Series 7.

Of course, it seems likely that the rumored Apple Watch 8 Pro will also get Low Power Mode in watchOS 9. This so-called “rugged” model was already planned to get longer battery life, but a mode low consumption would only make it better.

Moving away from reports that the Apple Watch 8 Pro will be touted as an alternative to the best Gamin watches for outdoor sports (with price and materials to match), battery management could be key. After all, when you go on an adventure, you want your smartwatch to follow you.

The third Apple Watch model rumored for 2022, the Apple Watch SE 2 will likely borrow from older Apple Watch models. As such, it probably won’t get Low Power Mode.

It’s important to note that this feature might not come at all. That said, if it’s not a low power mode that’s coming exclusively for Apple Watch 8, we’re certainly anticipating another watchOS 9 feature launching just for the Series 8 experience.

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