Patent hints at refined Apple Watch power-saving mode that kicks in by itself

Apple is awarded more patents every week, and recently we’ve seen patents related to a smarter iPhone camera, better waterproof phones, and more. Now, the company has been awarded yet another mobile-related patent — one that could help make the Apple Watch’s battery last a whole lot longer.

The patent specifically describes the use of a so-called “low-power mode” that takes the phrase “low-power mode” to a new level. In the patent, Apple notes that in low-power mode, the watch could display different things depending on user input. For example, it could display only the date and time, as well as an indicator that the phone is in low power mode.

The feature seems especially helpful on the Apple Watch given the fact that it states the device could display only the time and how much battery there is. While the time is useful on an iPhone too, it’s particularly important on a watch.

Of course, Apple devices already have some features related to using less battery, and on the iPhone, it’s even called “Low Power Mode.” The battery-saving feature on the Apple Watch, which is called Power Reserve, seems pretty similar to the feature described in the patent. In Power Reserve, the watch ceases communication with the iPhone, and only shows the time when you press the side button.

So what’s different between what the Apple Watch already offers and what the patent describes? Well, the patent suggests that the device could automatically enter Low Power Mode when it reaches a certain threshold, and that it could also display information like how much time is left. Images indicate that the device could say something along the lines of “based on current usage, you have 1 hour remaining.”

As we would expect, this patent is a continuation of patents dating back to 2014, and so while Apple has used some of the tech described in the patent, it could continue refining it as time goes on. That could be pretty helpful — while the Apple Watch is largely considered one of the better watches on the market, it still suffers from what many consider to be a subpar battery.