Smartwatches typically don’t last as long as we’d like, but Google looks to be improving that situation for devices running Wear OS, as they’ll soon have access to a new enhanced battery saver mode.
The mode is available now as part of the latest Android P developer preview, and according to the Android Developers blog it will turn off the touchscreen, radios and tilt to wake. Pressing the side button will show the time and, based on the image below, seemingly also the date and a red battery icon to indicate the mode you’re in.
This is described as a ‘power-efficient watch face’, and when you’re in this mode it sounds like you’re basically left with a normal watch, but smart functions are easy to restore, as you can exit the enhanced battery saver mode with a long press of the side button.
It’s not known exactly how much this mode will extend life by, but it sounds like it could come in handy if your smartwatch is running dangerously low on juice.
Ready for Actions
The developer preview also adds support for Actions on Google, which should better allow Google Assistant to control smart home devices from your wrist, and it’s a feature that will be rolled out to all Wear 2.0 devices when it’s out of preview – you won’t need Android P to get it.
You will need the Android P update for the new battery saver mode though, and we’d expect that to launch in finished form later this year.