Google Fit's new low-power GPS mode will save you some battery life

But it only works in a specific situation
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Battery life is still a big problem for smartwatches, and GPS is one of the biggest vampires. So if you use go out walking, running or cycling a lot, you'll need to charge up more often.

Google is tackling the problem in a new update to Google Fit. The solution, first reported by 9to5Google, is a new low-power GPS mode. The new mode will launch on the TicWatch Pro first, though it's not clear when other Wear OS smartwatches could get the feature.

Read this: The best Wear OS smartwatches

Google tells Wareable it's not sharing any details on future rollouts or whether there are specific hardware requirements needed to run the new mode. In Mobvoi's video on the feature, the company does say it's "now available only on TicWatch Pro", which suggests that it's exclusive for a limited time.

The Mountain View company also tells Wareable that the low power GPS mode only works in a specific situation: You must be using Google Fit to actively track a workout and be disconnected from your paired smartphone. If you're using another app, it won't work. If you're not tracking a workout, it won't work either.

It's unclear how much battery life is improved by using the mode. Mobvoi's video insinuates that it's a significant amount of time, but we'll have to put it to the test to see how much it helps. The update is rolling out now to TicWatch Pro owners.

Google Fit's new low-power GPS mode will save you some battery life


How we test

Husain Sumra


Husain joined Wareable in 2017 as a member of our San Fransisco based team. Husain is a movies expert, and runs his own blog, and contributes to MacRumors.

He has spent hours in the world of virtual reality, getting eyes on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR. 

At Wareable, Husain's role is to investigate, report and write features and news about the wearable industry – from smartwatches and fitness trackers to health devices, virtual reality, augmented reality and more.

He writes buyers guides, how-to content, hardware reviews and more.

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