Wear OS 4 has reportedly received a tweak that could significantly improve the battery life of smartwatches that run Google’s operating system. It will change the way notifications are handled by sending them to a different system, which is expected to improve the device’s battery performance. The OnePlus Watch 2, which was unveiled on Monday at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, will be the first smartwatch to support the enhanced functionality that may appear on devices in the future.

Until now, notifications on Wear OS were handled and managed by the application processor (AP), which handled more computationally intensive tasks. As a result, displaying notifications also consumes more power. On the other hand, tasks requiring less power, such as step counting and heart rate monitoring, are handled by a separate microcontroller (MCU). On the edge reports that Google will allow manufacturers to move the notification system to the MCU of Wear OS 4, and this will significantly reduce the battery consumption that occurs when notifications flash.

The report highlights that the functionality was specifically designed for the OnePlus Watch 2, but will now be extended to more smartwatches. Bjorn Kilburn, vice president of Wear OS at Google, told the publication that other companies will also be able to use this feature. This means that moving forward, showing notifications, dismissing them, or quickly responding to them will be handled by the MCU. To the end user, this change probably won’t be visually noticeable, but they will be able to see the difference in terms of a longer battery life.

The OnePlus Watch 2 was unveiled on Monday at MWC. The company’s latest smartwatch features a 1.43-inch circular AMOLED display and is powered by a Snapdragon W5 chipset as well as a BES2700 chip or background activity. It is backed by a 500mAh battery with 7.5W charging support. The OnePlus Watch 2 is priced at Rs. 24,999 and will go on sale from March 4 via Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, OnePlus Online Store, Reliance Digital, Croma and other offline stores.

On Monday, Google announced two more Wear OS features. Google Wallet passes are finally available on Wear OS, and users will be able to access different types of passes directly from their smartwatches. Second, Google Maps for Wear OS can now display public transit directions to help users catch a bus, train, or ferry.

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