With the advent of Apple Watch Series 2, Apple has attempted to fix many of the lingering problems that left a bad taste for some watch users. Most notably, these fixes focused on poor performance that affected the gen 1 watches. With watchOS 3, you can finally feel the speed at which the apps load into the device and perform. There is always a tradeoff between speedier performance and battery issues. In this post we will look at some of the Apple Watch battery issues and provide suggestions on how these problems can be managed and mitigated.
Before you start with any troubleshooting, it is important that you examine the primary battery health of your Apple Watch. A regular watch unit( Gen 1) should be able to achieve 100% charge in 2.5 hours and up to 80% charge in 1.5 hours. Are you benching against these metrics?
The battery life on the Apple Watch Series 2 is better than the original, and you might be able to stretch two days’ use out of it rather than one and a half before you’ll hit the low-functionality Power Reserve.
Here are some of the tips that will help you with battery issues on your Apple Watch.
Tip # 1 Keep the operating system updated.
When it comes to battery optimization, Apple is always trying to update the watchOS and iOS software to make it more energy efficient. It is therefore important that you update the software both on your watch as well as your iPhone. Your Apple Watch should be sporting the new watchOS 3 versions and your iPhone should be running the iOS 10 for the best performance.
Tip # 2 Battery Guzzler Revisited
Although the idea behind the watch is to provide you with a lot of health and fitness based applications, many people primarily use the Apple Watch unit for managing their day-to-day notifications. The heart rate sensor in the unit can consume a lot of battery power. If you are not using the heart rate monitor on a day-to-day basis, you can try switching it off to conserve some battery juice. Simply go to your Apple Watch App on your iPhone. Tap on My Watch > Workout, turn on power saving mode.
Tip # 3 Constant Notifications
This is a double-edged sword. As much as we like to use our watch for notifications, these constant reminders do impact the battery levels on the unit. You may want to manage the notifications and use the ones that you actually get the best value out of. You can customize your notifications on the Apple Watch. Open the Watch App on your iPhone, tap on My Watch tab > Notifications. Tap on an app. If you want the app’s notifications to replicate your iPhone notification settings, tap mirror my phone otherwise use different notification settings by tapping on custom.
A quick tip is to use the VIP Mailbox on your iOS Mail and configure your Apple Watch to show you e-mail notifications that are related to your VIP Contacts. This way you can still get the most out of your e-mail notifications and conserve battery power as well.
If you turn off the option for “Mirror iPhone Alerts From” for each app, it may help to restart both your iPhone and your watch, turning both off together, then restarting your iPhone first.
Tip # 4 The Charging Head
If you have owned the Gen 1 Apple Watch for a while now and use it consistently, chances are that the head of the charging cable may be dirty. Make sure that the back of your watch and the head of the charging cable are clean and dry (clean them with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth). You can try a different charging cable to make sure that your problems are not cable related.
Tip # 5 Not Bright Enough
Much like other electronic devices, the brightness of the device can significantly correlate to the battery consumption. We all like to see a screen that is bright and beautiful but that comes at the expense of more power consumption. Open the Apple Watch App on your iPhone, tap on Watch > Tap Brightness and Text size and then drag the brightness slider to a lower intensity setting in order to conserve power on your Apple Watch.
Tip # 6 Reset/Reboot
Try resetting and unpairing the Watch with your iPhone. Sometimes a fresh start with pairing can mitigate a lot of issues with the unit. Also a reboot of the watch unit, followed by an overnight charge can bring the battery back to its normal levels especially if you recently updated the watchOS and have not done a reboot.
Tip # 7 Power Reserve Mode
This is a nice feature on the Apple Watch that you can take advantage of to conserve some power especially when you are trying to stretch the remaining battery power on the unit. When Battery levels drop to 10 percent, Apple Watch alerts you to enter Power Reserve mode.
Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face to open Control Center, tap the battery percentage, then tap Power Reserve. In this mode your apps will not work. Your watch will only display the time.
You may want to examine the number of watch faces that you have. Several readers have found that when they have a dozen watch faces on their Apple Watch, it can cause battery drainage issues. Best practice is to stick with one or two watch faces if you are having battery draining issues.
Finally, if you have tried to manage your Apple Watch battery with all the tips above and have not found success, it may be time to take the unit to the Apple Genius Store and have them check it out. Perhaps a replacement battery may solve your issue.
If you are considering upgrading your watch to Series 2 only for battery related issues, you may be disappointed. Although the Apple Watch Series 2 may indeed have a larger battery built into it, but it appears any increase in battery capacity is being consumed by the new GPS chip introduced in the Series 2.