Another year means another iteration of the most popular smartwatch in the world with the Apple Watch Series 5. This year brings a similar design with a few new features to bolster the abilities of this awesome watch.
- Top 3 features you’ll miss if you don’t upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 5
- Quick tips to reduce the battery drain on your Apple Watch Series 5
- Can’t find the Compass app on your Apple Watch? How-to fix
- How to set up Dual SIM or eSIM for Apple Watch
- How to properly calibrate your Apple Watch for Workouts
However, there are some users stating that the GPS on the Series 5 has been “terrible”. It’s likely that the reason is due to GPS calibration being needed after a product is opened and used for the first time. But luckily, there is an easy way to fix this.
What’s new with Apple Watch Series 5?
Although the latest Apple Watch sports a similar case design to that of the Series 4, there are some new features here. The biggest of these new features is the Always On Retina Display. This means you no longer have to worry about tapping your watch, or violently twisting your wrist just to get the time.
The Series 5 also brings a built-in Compass which will ensure that you always know which way you are facing. As expected, Apple made it possible to add the Compass as a complication to your watch face, which also provides other pieces of information like elevation, incline, and others.
The final biggest addition to the Apple Watch Series 5 is the customization provided. No, unfortunately we aren’t talking about custom watch faces. But we are talking about the fact that there is a new Titanium version, and Apple brought back Ceramic. There are also now more than 1,000 different watch combinations between the watch itself and the various bands that are available.
Fix GPS issues on your Series 5 Apple Watch
As we mentioned before, quite a few Apple Watch Series 5 owners have been having some issues with the GPS. For one reason or another, GPS tracking seems to be all over the place, despite previous Watch iterations working perfectly fine.
This could be due to the fact that the GPS was not calibrated properly before leaving the factory. But another, more plausible, reason is that everyone walks and runs at a different pace and the Apple Watch needs to figure that out for each person. In order to do so, that means you will need to calibrate the GPS.
Make sure your settings are right
Before we get to the “fun” part, you will need to grab your iPhone and make sure that the correct settings are enabled.
Here are the settings that you need to check:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone
- Scroll down and select Privacy
- Tap Location Services
- Ensure that Location Services is toggled to the On position
- Scroll down and select System Services
- Ensure that Motion Calibration & Distance is toggled to the On position
Once you have enabled both Location Services and Motion Calibration & Distance, you are ready to hit the next step. Just make sure you have your running or walking shoes handy.
Calibrate your Apple Watch
Now that you have your walking or running shoes handy, throw those bad boys on and get ready for a quick workout. In order to properly calibrate (and personalize) the Apple Watch Series 5 GPS to you, Apple suggests performing an Outdoor Walk or Outdoor Run exercise.
In an effort to get the best data possible, you will need to make sure you are in an area with clear skies, with a flat terrain, and the area needs to have a good GPS reception. You can double check this by bringing your iPhone along for the ride just to make sure, but it’s not necessary for the calibration process.
Once you are in the right place, you will need to open the Workout app on your Apple Watch. Then tap either Outdoor Walk or Outdoor Run, and you can set a goal if you decide that you want to make it interesting for yourself.
After you have started your workout from your Watch, you will need to either walk or run at “your normal pace” for up to 20 minutes. This will help the Watch calibrate your pace, along with your fitness levels, while also calibrating the GPS. Apple does recommend performing multiple workouts for 20 minutes each if you walk or run at different speeds.
Reset your data
Since many folks use the Apple Watch to keep track of their fitness, it’s important to get the best data possible. Apple recommends resetting your Fitness Calibration Data to get the best feedback possible.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
- Tap the My Watch tab
- Select Privacy
- Tap Reset Fitness Calibration Data
Once you have completed all of these steps, the GPS on your Series 5 should be re-calibrated and you can go back to properly tracking your walking or running workouts. In the event that you continue to run into issues, we recommend reaching out to Apple support so that they can determine if you need to get a replacement device.
The Apple Watch is truly a magical device, and one that we hope to see more and more features packed into in the future. When it comes to the Series 5, the addition of Always On Display, combined with watchOS 6 makes for an absolutely brilliant experience.
If you run into more GPS issues with your Apple Watch, let us know in the comments below and share how you were able to fix them. In the meantime, let us know about some of your favorite Watch Apps and Complications so that we can take them for a spin!
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.