If you’re one of the many folks out there who finds themselves frustrated by the volatile nature of battery life of smartwatches and other wearables, you’ll be glad to know that Google has announced a fresh update for Wear OS, the official operating system of their wearables, that will drastically improve battery life.
It wasn’t long ago that Wear OS received an interface update that added additional directional swipes, making its use more efficient. This time, however, the purpose of the update is more internal.
The update, referred to simply as “H”, will add several new features – the most prominent of which, of course, is Battery Saver mode.
Through this mode, once your watch’s battery falls below 10%, your smartwatch will automatically minimalize itself to conserve remaining energy, only telling the time (becoming a not-smart watch, in other words) until you recharge it.
There’s also a drastic improvement to off-body efficiency. In other words, once you take the watch off, after a half-hour of inactivity, it slips into a “deep sleep” mode automatically.
These new features don’t sound all that noteworthy initially; but keep in mind, they’re done in the name of extending battery life. As they grow more popular, our smartwatches become increasingly like our smartphones: we’re increasingly dependent upon them to perform such basic and essential daily tasks as tell the time, make phone calls, and check our emails.
And given that, much like smartphones, smartwatch batteries are still less long-lasting than most of us would like them to be, most of us have, at least once, found ourselves out in public with a dead smartphone or smartwatch battery, and thus with no way of carrying out the tasks we rely on these devices for. It can feel kind of like heading out to work and realising we’ve left one of our limbs at home.
Companies like Google, in releasing updates like this upcoming one, are making it clear that they acknowledge these issues and is working to resolve them. And while it might be quite a while before these devices are flawless, it’s always reassuring, on a stressful day, to keep in mind that your major complaints about the devices you use daily likely won’t be an issue in a few years.
And, mind, increased battery life most certainly isn’t the only improvement these updates will bring – they’ll be increasing the convenience and slickness of the devices in general. Apps on the watch will now resume where the user left off even after they’re shut down and rebooted; and even the simple act of turning off the watch will be made easier, reduced to the two-tap process of pressing on the power button and tapping the “power off” option that appears on the screen.
Smartwatches may not yet be as widely used as smartphones; but it’s clear that Google, and other companies like it, are working to make them increasingly polished and accessible. This new update is just another step on that process; and if you’re an owner of a Wear OS smartwatch, you can look forward to personally witnessing how far the devices are advancing.