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How optimized battery charging on Apple Watch improves life

Optimized battery charging on the Apple Watch can learn a user’s charging habits to delay a battery’s full charge and extend its life.


Optimized battery charging on the Apple Watch could extend the life of a battery, meaning an Apple Watch will still last about a day, even years later. Lithium ion batteries degrade over time and lose battery capacity as they go from full to empty more often. However, that doesn’t mean that every product with a lithium-ion battery will deteriorate to the same degree. There are a few factors that determine how quickly and drastically a battery deteriorates.

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Apple has been working for years on features to make lithium-ion batteries last longer — from low-power mode to fast charging — but many of those features were limited to the iPhone. In fact, the company first introduced Optimized Battery Charging in 2020 alongside the iPhone 12 range. Optimized battery charging on iPhone and Apple Watch has the same goal: extending battery life. But since the Apple Watch has a smaller lithium-ion battery than the iPhone, the inclusion of optimized battery charging could have even more impact on users.

Related: How to Enable Power Saving Mode on Apple Watch

Optimized battery charging is enabled by default on Apple Watches updated to watchOS 7 or later. The latest version of watchOS is watchOS 9, released in September 2022, so most Apple Watches are probably already using optimized battery charging on a daily basis. It works by learning a user’s charging behavior to limit the amount of time an Apple Watch stays fully charged. For example, if a user puts their Apple Watch on the charger and doesn’t pick it up again until morning, there’s no reason to quickly fully charge the Apple Watch. Keeping a lithium-ion battery at full capacity can increase the likelihood of battery degradation and shorten battery life.


Disable Optimized Battery Charging on Apple Watch

Apple Watch's new power saving mode.

In certain situations, determined by on-device machine learning that understands a user’s charging behavior, the Apple Watch will not charge past 80 percent of its capacity. While the algorithm isn’t perfect, it will only attempt to activate Optimized Battery Charging if it thinks the Apple Watch will be left on the charger for a long time. During these situations, the Apple Watch’s battery life fluctuates between 75 and 80 percent. This allows the battery to be fully charged slowly, which has a positive effect on battery life. At the same time, the Apple Watch is likely to be fully charged when removed from the charger.

If users want to make sure their Apple Watch charges as quickly as possible, they can override Optimized Battery Charging. Tap the Apple Watch to show the charging screen, then tap the circle with a green or yellow charging icon. A new screen will open with the current battery percentage. If the screen says ‘Charging on hold for optimized battery charging’ users can manually charge the watch to full battery by pressing ‘Fully charge now.’ The feature can also be turned off by going to Settings, to ‘Battery,’ then ‘Battery health,’ and turning off the switch for ‘Optimized battery charging.’ Although one Apple Watch battery will definitely decrease over time, users can extend their battery life with Optimized Battery Charging.

Next: Apple Watch Series 8 Battery life and charge time, explained

Source: Apple

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