One of the few complaints that early adopters of the Apple Watch have about their new device is that the battery life isn’t always as good as they’d like. After receiving countless notifications and messages throughout the day, using it to track an extended workout, and taking a few phone calls on the built-in speaker phone, it is not uncommon for the Watch to start to run low on power. If you’re someone who has struggled to make it an entire day without recharging the wearable, here are 8 tips to help extend the battery life on Apple Watch that just might come in handy.
One of the Watch’s most valuable features is the ability to display notifications and messages in a convenient manner right on your wrist. But if you are someone who gets a lot of different alerts thought the day, has an extensive list of calendar appointments, and receives numerous texts and emails, your Watch could be working overtime to try to keep up. You can manage exactly which apps have permission to send you notifications via the Apple Watch app, and limiting the number that you receive can help improve battery life substantially.
Pick Your Watch Face Wisely
It may seem odd, but believe it or not your choice of Watch face can have an impact on battery life as well. Some of the more complex, and stylish, faces include animations, vibrant colors, and intricate movements. Replicating those details on the Watch’s OLED screen can eat into the battery life, as can “complications.” For those that don’t know, complications are the extra little bits of data that the Watch can display the face, providing such information as upcoming appointments, current temperature, and even moon phases at a glance. But those items need to be updated frequently, which means exchanging data with the tethered iPhone, and displaying the relevant information on the screen. Choosing a simpler face with less clutter, could actually lead to longer battery life.
Turn Off Activate on Wrist Rise
By default, the Apple Watch is programmed to sense when you’ve raised your wrist to look at it, and activate the screen to display the time or other appropriate information. But sometimes this feature will register a wrist move, incorrectly and will inadvertently active the Watch when it isn’t suppose to, lighting up the screen – and draining the battery – in the process. To prevent this from happening, you can turn the feature off in the Settings app. Just tap on the option labeled “General” and turn off the option for “Wrist Detection.” Once turned off, your Watch will only activate when you tap it.
Throttle Down the Taptic Engine
One of the more amazing features on the Apple Watch is its Taptic Engine, which can deliver a surprising array of haptic feedback that range from the subtle to the very strong. But, the Taptic Engine can also put a hit on the battery life as well, although there are options for dialing it back some. If you launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, you’ll see an option labeled “Sound and Haptic.” Selecting that choice gives you the ability to adjust the strength of the Taptic Engine, and turn off something called “Prominent Haptic” as well. Set the Engine to a medium level to still receive moderate feedback, and by turning off the option for Prominent Haptic the watch will no longer send stronger vibrations your way. While you’re at it, reduce the volume of the Watch too, as that can save some battery life as well.
Limit the Use of Digital Touch
Digital Touch is the ability for the Apple Watch to send simple sketches and notes to other Watch wearers and have them appear on their screen. It is part of what makes the device so personal, and it is the same feature that is used to share your heartbeat with another Watch owner. But extended use of Digital Touch can put a drain on the battery, in part because the screen is enabled for longer periods of time, and because the Taptic Engine is engaged frequently. While this new form of interaction is certainly fun, you’ll want to limit its use if you want to prolong battery life.
Enable Power Reserve Mode
The Apple Watch’s Power Reserve mode can be a real life saver if you need to conserve energy when you’re starting to run low. When enabled, the Watch behaves just like a regular watch, which is to say it only tells time. You won’t get any notifications, there will not be any phone calls or texts, and you certainly won’t be sharing your heartbeat with anyone. But, you will be able to extend you battery life for as long as possible. To enter Power Reserve, simply hold down the side button until the power-off screen appears. Than select the option labeled “Power Reserve” and slide it to activate.
Uninstall Unnecessary Apps
When you first pair your Apple Watch with an iPhone, the two devices search for appropriate apps that they can share, and those that have Watch-compatible features are automatically installed on the device. This can result in a lot of apps being added to the Watch that aren’t necessarily needed. This can in turn end up draining the battery with unexpected processes running in the background. To manage exactly what software is installed on the Watch, go to the Apple Watch app on the iPhone and turn off any of the apps that aren’t absolutely necessary. This will ensure that those apps aren’t updating in the background, sharing data of any kind, or displaying unwanted notifications – all of which can drain the battery unnecessarily.
Enable Battery Indicator
One of the best ways to improve battery life is to monitor its usage more closely on your own. You can do that by turning on the battery indicator in the Apple Watch’s settings. You’ll find this option by Force Touching on your chosen Watch face and selecting the option to customize it. Using the Digital Crown, you can choose to add the battery life indicator to the screen, which will then display the percentage of power that is remaining. Using this number as a guide, you’ll have a better understanding of what you can, and can’t do with the Watch for the remainder of the day. It will let you know, for example, if it is safe to take a phone call on the Watch’s speaker, or whether or not you should shift it into Power Reserve mode.