Many of you probably bought the Apple Watch Ultra because of the big battery life extension. You don’t need to recharge the wearable every night as it can easily offer up to two days of battery life. But the Apple Watch Ultra can also last up to 60 hours after the new watchOS 9.1 update, a feature Apple promised during the iPhone 14 event a few weeks ago.
Apple explained on stage that the Apple Watch Ultra offers up to 36 hours of typical use, or double what you get from a non-Ultra device. The company said the wearable can reach 60 hours “on low power settings.” However, this feature will not be available out of the box. Instead, Apple would release a software update to enable this.
It’s not the guesswork that’s exciting here. Most people may not need to squeeze the 60 hours of battery life out of the Apple Watch Ultra. Even if you are one of those professional athletes that Apple is targeting with this device. But it’s still a useful safeguard in case something unexpected happens. Like when you forget your charging cable at home. Or your solar powered battery will die.
Plus, you don’t have to be an extreme sports enthusiast to take advantage of this feature. Anyone can do it just as easily. As MacRumors points out, all you need to do is update your Apple Watch Ultra to watchOS 9.1.
Once you’ve done that, go to the Settings app on your Apple Watch Ultra, then Exercise, and look for Low Power Mode. Toggle the switch and then do the same with Less GPS and Heart Rate.
These are the only settings you need to enable. Apple explains that the Apple Watch Ultra will only preserve battery life during walking, running, and walking workouts by turning off GPS and heart rate tracking.
The software will reduce the heart rate to one per minute and the GPS to one every two minutes. In addition, Apple Watch Ultra saves battery by turning off notifications, splits, and segments.
As for the 60 hour battery life, your mileage may vary in real life. Here’s how Apple came up with the estimate:
Battery life for a multi-day adventure is based on the following usage in low power mode with lower heart rate exercise settings and GPS tracking enabled (coming soon): 15 hours of exercise, over 600 time checks, 35 minutes of app use, 3 minutes of talk time, and 15 hours of sleep monitoring over 60 hours; Use of Apple Watch Ultra (GPS + Cellular) includes on-demand LTE connectivity and 5 hours of iPhone Bluetooth connectivity over 60 hours
These settings can ultimately help you achieve 60 hours of battery life. But, as is now clear, there is no point in doing it just because you can. It may be more important for a watch to accurately track your heart rate and location than to let the device run for 60 hours on a single charge.