If you’re a heavy Apple Watch user, you’re likely often looking for ways to extend its battery life. Apple has made your life slightly easier with the addition of one more feature to get the job done.
With watchOS 9.1, you’ll be able to reduce the frequency of heart rate and GPS readings for some workouts, thereby extending your Apple Watch’s battery life. The catch is you have to own one of Apple’s recently released Apple Watch models to be able to use this feature.
How to extend Apple Watch’s battery life
If you have an Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE (second generation), or an Apple Watch Ultra, you can go into workout settings to customize the frequency of GPS and heart rate readings.
By reducing the frequency of these readings, you will end up with slightly less accurate data. However, it’s helpful in situations where your watch is about to run out of charge. This battery saving feature is available for Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Run, and Hiking workout modes.
It’s a bit baffling to note the models that could use this feature the most (older Apple Watch devices with reduced battery health) are the ones excluded from using it. One can only hope that Apple eventually brings it to older Apple Watch models too.
watchOS 9.1’s release candidate version is available on the public beta channel right now, which means you can install it right away by enrolling your watch in Apple’s beta program. Because this is a release candidate, the software should be stable, without the issues you might run into with a beta. However, if you’d prefer to skip the beta program altogether, you can wait for Apple to publicly release watchOS 9.1 on Monday, Oct. 24.
Download songs without charging your watch
Once you install watchOS 9.1, you’ll also be able to download Apple Music songs without placing your watch on the charger.
This feature is a bit hidden. To access it, open any playlist or album in the Music app. Tap the three dots and select View Album or View Playlist. Tap the three dots again and select Download.
When you do this for the first time, your Apple Watch will ask if you want to download music when the watch is charging. Scroll down using the Digital Crown and select Download Now. With that, downloading songs to your Apple Watch becomes much more convenient.
It’s also worth noting that watchOS 9.1 brings the Matter smart home connectivity standard to your Apple Watch. If you have a lot of smart home devices, those hat support the Matter standard will be able to talk to each other more easily. This means that you should be able to use your Apple Watch to control smart home devices from other brands.