Apple’s smartwatches are among the most feature-rich in their class, offering advanced health and fitness tracking capabilities. A weakness of the Apple Watch – regardless of which model – is the exceptionally short battery life. Luckily, with the right settings, this problem can be fixed. The NextPit editorial team now gives you the best tips on how to improve and extend the battery life of your Apple Watch.
Since the launch of the original Apple Watch Series, Cupertino has made minimal progress in extending the battery life of its smartwatches. The Watch Ultra (test) offers a slightly larger battery capacity and a slightly longer service life, but it also has a high price. The estimated battery life of the regular Watch Series 8 and Watch SE 2 is unchanged compared to the previous models.
But don’t let that discourage you from buying one of these wearables. There are several ways to tweak your Apple Watch’s settings to extend battery life, potentially adding days of extra runtime and preventing sudden battery drain.
Below we share the best techniques you can use to achieve this without sacrificing your Apple Watch’s most important functions.
1. App background refresh
App background refresh is one of the system features that consume large hardware and software resources. Apple Watches come preinstalled with apps and services that have background refresh turned on by default. If you turn off the feature for the names you rarely use, you can save a lot more energy.
This is how you turn off background app updates on your iPhone or Apple Watch
- Go to the Watch app on your iPhone – or the Settings on your Watch.
- Select General and tap Background App Refresh.
- Turns off background app refresh.
You should only disable the setting for apps you don’t use. Disabled apps are not constantly supplied with new content. At the same time, you cannot see notifications from these apps unless their features or complications are used on the Watch Face.
2. App notifications
Another significant factor that can deplete a smartphone battery more quickly is the presence of app notifications, which utilize power through connections, haptic feedback, and sounds. Since your iPhone is your primary source of notifications, you can minimize or block app notifications from being sent to your watch.
Follow the steps below to filter notifications and only allow the important information.
- Open the watch app on your iPhone – or via the settings on your watch.
- Select “General” and then “Notifications”.
- Filters out which app notifications should be sent to your watch.
3. wake screen
The display is a key feature of a smartwatch. When left on or in use for a long period of time, it consumes a significant amount of power. Therefore, there is no need to leave it on most of the time if you only need to read notifications for a short time.
“Wake Screen” is a gesture-based function that controls the display. By limiting how long you wake up, you can extend your device’s battery life. The trick is to disable the wake up gesture i.e. H. every time you lift or move your wrist, the screen stays idle. Instead, you can turn it on by accessing the crown or tapping the display.
How to change the settings:
- Opens the Watch app on the iPhone or Watch.
- Selects display and brightness in the settings.
- Turns off Wake on Wrist Raise.
- Turns on Wake on on Crown Rotation or Up.
Alternatively, you can shorten the amount of time the screen stays awake after tapping. Choose the minimum level, which is 15 seconds.
4. Opt for dark dials
Apple uses OLED displays for its watches. This panel is best suited for dark dials as it turns off the pixels when projecting black color, thus conserving battery power. As is typical, watch faces with excessively bright colors use considerably more power, in contrast to other watch faces.
With watchOS 9, Apple introduced a number of new watch faces, including phases of the moon with a black background and the ability to customize and choose the wallpaper and complications. Black and white options are also good for maintaining stamina.
5. Turns off the AOD
Next to connectivity, the always-on display (AOD) is perhaps the biggest culprit for your watch’s battery life. With the clock and complications constantly on-screen, this further drains your Apple Watch’s precious battery. Since most users only access the watch when they want to see notifications or check the time, it’s best to turn off AOD.
Disabling the feature gives you the option to manually control the brightness of the AOD by turning the crown up or down. To disable AOD, navigate back to General > Display and turn off the always-on display.
6. Decreases peak brightness
Along with all display-related changes, adjusting the brightness is one of the most effective ways to save power and battery life. You can adjust the peak brightness in the same area of the display to your desired value. The good thing is that when used outdoors, your watch will still automatically output a readable display regardless of the brightness level.
7. Restrict animation via “Reduce Motion”.
On most Apple Watch models and the premium Watch Ultra, the display refresh rate is typically set to 60Hz to provide smooth transitions or effects when animations are displayed on the user interface. Apple has an option to cap this to the lowest possible rate. If you activate them, you can get even more runtime. Be aware that this will also remove auto-sizing for app icons.
Steps to limit animation and refresh rate
- Open the settings on your watch – or the watch app on the iPhone.
- Choose accessibility.
- Turns on Reduce Motion.
8th. Reduces sound and vibration
An Apple Watch can alert you through sound and vibration, which also requires a significant amount of battery to power needed components like the speaker and motor. Turning off or adjusting these two components can also help save energy.
Depending on how you want to use your watch, you can turn off the vibration entirely or turn down the volume. However, you can turn off the haptic feedback when touched. To set both, simply go to your watch’s Settings > Sound & Haptics. In this area you can individually select which volume or haptics you want to activate.
9. Activates Siri manually
Apple’s Siri is a way to use the Apple Watch hands-free. The problem with this is that you always have to tap the microphone icon on the watch to hear voice commands. Instead, you can manually invoke Siri by pressing the crown.
In this way, you protect the battery and extend the overall service life. To do this, you simply go to the Siri section in the iPhone Watch app or in the Apple Watch settings.
10. Doesn’t turn off Bluetooth
The final trick Apple offers on its support page is that turning off Bluetooth on an Apple Watch drains the battery faster because the device then falls back to other connectivity options, like Wi-Fi or cellular, to get data from other devices receive.
Bonus: Enables low power mode
Apple’s low-power mode was introduced in watchOS 9. It allows you to extend the battery life of a supported Apple Watch by disabling and restricting numerous functions such as connectivity and the heart sensor with a single tap. This is useful when you’re not near an outlet and want to keep your watch alive for as long as possible.
You can enable battery saver mode by going to Settings > Battery in the app on the iPhone or in the Apple Watch settings. Or just go to the control center on your watch and tap the battery icon.
What other ways can you think of to improve battery life not only on the Apple Watch but also on other smartwatches?
Let us know your best suggestions in the comments section below.