Battery life with iOS 9 and Apple Watch betas

I spent the day yesterday running the latest betas of El Capitan, iOS 9, and watchOS 2.0. One of the comments I’ve heard from previous betas is a complaint about poor battery life on both iOS 9 and Apple Watch. I thought I’d track my battery life, share those numbers here.

My iPhone 6 has auto-brightness and Bluetooth enabled, as well as all the goodies that are turned on by default (parallax is on, to name one power-affecting example). I spent the day listening to Apple Music periodically, sometimes through the iPhone speaker, sometimes via headphones, and sometimes via Bluetooth. I’d estimate that I spent more time on my iPhone than I typically do in a day. I hardly used my computer at all yesterday.

That said, here are the iOS 9 Beta 3 numbers:

  • After 5 hours, my phone was at 71%. That’s a consumption rate of 5.8% an hour.
  • After 8 hours, my phone was at 47%. That’s a rate of 6.6% an hour.
  • And after 16 hours, my phone was at 8%. That’s a rate of 5.75% an hour.

As to Apple Watch, the numbers were remarkable. I should note that my Apple Watch usage is relatively light. Yesterday, I used it mostly to receive notifications and check the time. For me, that’s typical usage. My past experience (with watchOS 1.x) was a battery at about 50% by the end of a 16-hour day. My model is the 42mm Apple Watch Sport.

Here are yesterday’s numbers:

  • After 5 hours, my Apple Watch was at 92%
  • After 8 hours, my Apple Watch was at 85%
  • And after 16 hours, my Apple Watch was at 72%

That is terrific battery life. Clearly, this battery life may change as I start running apps that run on the watch instead of simply communicating with apps on my iPhone. But any negative battery impact from onboard running will be balanced by, presumably, less requirement for communicating with the iPhone.

Draw your own conclusions here. Your mileage may vary.