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Google's next Wear OS update does even more to extend battery life

App switching and turning your watch off will also be easier.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
November 15, 2018
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Cherlynn Low / Engadget

A major update for Google's wearable Android platform only just arrived and now we're hearing about the next Wear OS version. Today Google announced that "System Version: H" will include a slew of updates when it rolls out in the "next few months."

Battery Saver Mode Updates:
This update extends your battery life even further by turning on Battery Saver to only display the time once your battery falls below 10%.

Improved Off Body Efficiency:
After 30 minutes of inactivity your watch will go into deep sleep mode to conserve battery.

Smart App Resume for all Apps:
You can now easily pick up where you left off across all apps on your watch.

Two Step Power Off:
You can now turn off your watch in two easy steps. To turn off your watch, simply hold the power button until you see the power off screen and then select 'power off' or 'restart'

All of those sound great, and could be worthwhile improvements for battery life if they're available to users with watches based on the older Snapdragon 2100 hardware as opposed to the newer 3100 series. Smart App Resume should make it easier to jump in and out of apps, while off body efficiency should ease the anxiety of remember whether or not you left your device on a charger or just on the shelf.

The only problem right now is that Google hasn't said which devices will receive this update and the words "Your device may not immediately be eligible for this update and will be determined by your watch manufacturer" aren't inspiring confidence. Fossil announced that all of its touchscreen watches will get it, but we haven't seen word from other manufacturers yet. Almost every existing device got the last one, and hopefully that will remain consistent, but with a new naming scheme and a note that said "functionality may vary by device" we'll have to wait and see.

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