Rumored new watchOS 9 is great news for Apple Watch battery life

According to a new report, new Apple Watch features expected to arrive later this year include updated watch faces, additional workout types, expanded sleep tracking tools and a low power mode.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman announced that several watchOS 9 upgrades will launch alongside the Apple Watch 8 in the fall. The most interesting rumor suggests that the Apple Watch will get a new low power mode that will allow the smartwatch “to run certain apps and features without using as much battery life.”

The Apple Watch currently offers a power reserve feature that allows you to check the time even when your smartwatch battery is running with vapours. You are alerted when your battery level reaches 10% and gives you the option of activating the power reserve. Power Reserve can also be manually enabled in the Apple Watch Control Center.

The new low power mode is believed to display more than just the time. It’s unclear if this would override power reserve or act as a separate battery mode.

Compared to some of the best smartwatches, the Apple Watch has limited battery options to extend the smartwatch’s estimated 18-hour or “all-day” battery life. You can turn off always-on display, temporarily turn off Bluetooth, change haptics settings, and pause push notifications if you’re trying to make your Apple Watch last as long as possible.

While there are no reports of the Apple Watch 8 offering improved battery life, a new low power mode would certainly be welcome. Especially if it works with all the top Apple Watch models, including the Apple Watch 7 and Apple Watch SE.

Since the Apple Watch 3 remains on sale, we expect it to be eligible for watchOS 9 features, although there are rumors that Apple will eventually halt sales of the 2017 smartwatch this year.

In addition to the new low power mode, Gurman said Apple may “refresh many of its built-in watch faces that currently ship with the device.” Although its new common Apple Watch faces arrive every year, we haven’t seen any changes to the familiar favorites.

More workout types could also come in watchOS 9, adding to the Tai Chi and Pilates workout types from watchOS 8. We expect to see 1-2 new types as part of the annual software update.

Finally, expanded sleep tracking tools may be supported in watchOS 9 as part of Apple Health app upgrades. The Apple Watch sleep tracking system is still fairly basic, although it added breath rate readings this year. It would be encouraging to see a breakdown of sleep cycles or that sleep data suggests levels of recovery, but those are just our speculations.

Along with this slew of watchOS 9 rumors, Gurman’s report included an update on Apple Watch blood sugar monitoring. Instead, the Apple Watch 8 could get a skin temperature reader used to track fertility.

We’ll know more about watchOS 9 before Apple Watch 8, if Apple sticks to the routine. At WWDC 2022 on June 6, Apple will unveil watchOS 9 along with iOS 16 and other product software.