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Apple Watch


There's a bigger battery in the latest Apple Watch:
iFixit said:
Apple Watch Series 5 Teardown
The big new feature on the Apple Watch Series 5 is its always-on display. Now you can tell the time, anytime—an “innovative” feature that my $20 Timex has had for ages, but it’s easier said than done on a complex device like the Apple Watch. That’s why what really matters is on the inside. Here’s what our teardown uncovered.

We got around to opening up the 40 mm model and noticed a significantly different battery. This one has a snazzy new metal casing, as well as 10% more battery capacity than the Series 4 40 \mm model.
Here is some more information from iFixit on the battery in the 40mm edition of the Apple Watch Series 5:
iFixit said:
The 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 Has a Radical New Battery Design
Instead of the usual dark-colored outer foil pouch surrounding the battery (which most lithium-ion batteries sport), we noticed a snazzy new metal casing, most likely aluminum. This is the first time we’ve seen this in an Apple product, and it might tell us something about the future of battery replacements.
 


Back in 2016, Apple supposedly was going to update the watch firmware to alert you if it lost contact with its paired iPhone. (When the red icon of a phone with a line through it appears on the watch.) As far as I can tell, this never happened.

An app (Lookout) was released around that time that supposedly provided this functionality, but it is not available in the current version of the app.

I have put together some simple iPhone apps in the past and looked through the developer docs and cannot find any reference to the red out-of-range icon and/or how to tell if it is being displayed or not.

Does anyone know of an app that will do this? Many times I leave home with my watch on but forgetting my phone and usually don't figure it out until I am pretty far away.
 


... I have put together some simple iPhone apps in the past and looked through the developer docs and cannot find any reference to the red out-of-range icon and/or how to tell if it is being displayed or not. Does anyone know of an app that will do this? ...
I believe that a red X appears above the numeral 12 in most watch faces, indicating that the watch has lost its connection to the paired phone.
 


... I have put together some simple iPhone apps in the past and looked through the developer docs and cannot find any reference to the red out-of-range icon and/or how to tell if it is being displayed or not. Does anyone know of an app that will do this? ...
My watch displays the red iPhone icon when the phone is off or out of range.
 



An Apple Watch update just dropped. Installing it now my new Series 5. Let's see if it has any effect on the abysmal battery life. I wonder if it's because I have a cellular version. Ugh.
 


An Apple Watch update just dropped. Installing it now my new Series 5. Let's see if it has any effect on the abysmal battery life. I wonder if it's because I have a cellular version. Ugh.
I applied the update last night and this morning although the watch was apparently plugged in to the charger at [about] 11:00, it said it was on the reserve power. I popped it back on the charger for a couple of hours. Just checked, and it says 87% charged.

I did the update late last night and did not touch the Watch after I saw the update finish. This morning when I put it on, the watch said 'update finished', so I must assume that it was not charging during the update process.

So far today, the battery has been good for the whole day after updating; never had a problem before, though.
 


An Apple Watch update just dropped. Installing it now my new Series 5. Let's see if it has any effect on the abysmal battery life. I wonder if it's because I have a cellular version. Ugh.
That happened on my Series 2 with the last update - the battery would die in about 4 hours, down from all day. I unpaired and re-paired my watch, and the battery life went back to normal. I guess that's the new "just reboot it" equivalent.
 


Does anyone have a list of what complications are available for each watch face? It's a pain to search through each face to find each complication that i need. (watchOS 5)
 




Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've wasted a whole bunch more hours (that I didn't have time to waste) on issues with Apple's latest software.
  1. Forced to update to iOS 13 for security fixes, a new iPhone SE with 100% capacity battery suddenly has battery life problems.
  2. All kinds of time-consuming hoop-jumping and updating don't fix the problem.
  3. There's a possibility that not updating the paired Apple Watch from watchOS 5 to watchOS 6 may be related.
  4. I try moving the Apple Watch (Series 4, non-GPS) to an iPhone X that's not suffering from the battery drain problems. watchOS gets updated to Version 6.0.1. This iPhone pairing switch is not fun and not good, despite more time-wasting research and hoop-jumping. Despite iCloud backups and all the other hoops, and all the time involved, pairing with the other iPhone loses settings and customizations. Not cool.
  5. Re-pair with iPhone SE. At least the settings come back. Restoring to Version 5 seems impossible, despite having a backup at that level.
  6. There's a slight increase in iPhone SE battery life after updating to watchOS 6.0.1.
  7. Bluetooth apparently fails for no reason suddenly. I lose data from an app that should be transferring it to my iPhone.
  8. Jumping through every hoop imaginable doesn't get the Apple Watch to turn on Bluetooth. Settings > Bluetooth is "Searching" ad infinitum on the Watch. I didn't make any changes and thus couldn't have caused this.
  9. I unpair and re-pair, once again, to the other iPhone. It doesn't help. And it loses settings/customization/watch faces, yet again.
  10. I unpair and re-pair yet again to the original iPhone. At least I get my settings/customization/watch faces back again.
  11. Watch > Settings > Bluetooth is still "Searching" unsuccessfully.
  12. I forgot to mention: Bluetooth is working, because you can't pair the Watch without it, apparently. But the Watch says it's not working. And there's missing data.
I'm holding off on expressing my feelings about this and Apple, but it's going to be really hard to recommend Apple products to anyone when they act like this....

(If anyone has any actual solution, I'd be interested in hearing about it.)
 


I was ready to get an Apple Watch once the Watch 5 came out. When I learned that I would be forced to install iOS 13 on my phone in order to use a Watch 5, I gathered about about 10+ years worth of Swatches, which had dead batteries and broken straps, and took them to the local Swatch store. They cheerfully replaced the batteries (free) and the broken straps ($15j. Even the oldest watch runs perfectly now, and I have six “new” watches for a modest expenditure of time and money.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
11. Watch > Settings > Bluetooth is still "Searching" unsuccessfully.​
12. I forgot to mention: Bluetooth is working, because you can't pair the Watch without it, apparently. But the Watch says it's not working. And there's missing data.​
13. A Bluetooth app is now working.​
14. The paired iPhone shows the Watch Connected in Settings > Bluetooth​
15. Settigs > Bluetooth on the Watch continues to stick in an infinite loop “Searching...”​

“Garbage software” is one phrase that comes to mind for issues as ridiculous as these with fundamental functionality. I'm curious if anyone else has encountered the same thing.
 


Every morning my watch, instead of showing the time, you know, like you want a watch to do, has a warning about not having enough free space to install an update that I have never initiated nor want.
This is somewhat astray of the main conversation but I've been quite happy with my Amazfit Bip. It's not very bright by smartwatch standards, but it gets the job done and, thanks to an e-ink display, it gets about 40-45 days of charge if you don't run the GPS or the HR monitor too hard.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This is somewhat astray of the main conversation but I've been quite happy with my Amazfit Bip. It's not very bright by smartwatch standards, but it gets the job done and, thanks to an e-ink display, it get about 40-45 days of charge if you don't run the GPS or the HR monitor too hard.
Wow. At $79.99, it's sure a lot cheaper than an Apple Watch, but some of the Amazon reviews might give pause.
 


Wow. At $79.99, it's sure a lot cheaper than an Apple Watch, but some of the Amazon reviews might give pause.
I continue to be astounded at the prices paid for Apple Watch. My iMac, iPad and iPhone all tell time, exact to the second. In the rare situation where I am without one of those and wonder what time it is, I have this gadget strapped to my wrist. It is a watch made by Timex. It cost about $30 more than ten years ago. Every few years the battery inside dies; then I pop the cover off, install a new battery (found in any drugstore), put the cover back on, reset the time from my computer or my iPod or my iPhone, and that's it. It also tells me the date and the day of the week. I've had it for over ten years; it is more accurate than I need, and if it fails, a new one is far cheaper than an Apple Watch.
 


I continue to be astounded at the prices paid for Apple Watch. My iMac, iPad and iPhone all tell time, exact to the second. In the rare situation where I am without one of those and wonder what time it is, I have this gadget strapped to my wrist. It is a watch made by Timex. It cost about $30 more than ten years ago. Every few years the battery inside dies; then I pop the cover off, install a new battery (found in any drugstore), put the cover back on, reset the time from my computer or my iPod or my iPhone, and that's it. It also tells me the date and the day of the week. I've had it for over ten years; it is more accurate than I need, and if it fails, a new one is far cheaper than an Apple Watch.
I thought the same thing until I got one. The one thing that it does make more convenient is home automation. My house is Homekit-based. When I am home, I always have my watch on but don't always have my iPhone close by. Since I don't like the "Hey Siri" always listening, I have Siri configured to only come on when I press the watch crown. At that point I have full voice control of all my HomeKit accessories. My watch is the Series 2 and still gets updates. The Series 2 is available on Amazon for $199, The Series 3 is $229.
 


I continue to be astounded at the prices paid for Apple Watch. My iMac, iPad and iPhone all tell time, exact to the second. In the rare situation where I am without one of those and wonder what time it is, I have this gadget strapped to my wrist. It is a watch made by Timex. It cost about $30 more than ten years ago....
Well, yes. But if all you want is a timepiece, then you'd be crazy to buy any smart watch from any vendor. Nobody is suggesting otherwise. People are buying the Apple Watch because they want all of the other features, like Siri and app integration.

And, of course, timepieces come in all prices and designs. I can get a simple digital watch for $5 that will tell time just fine. Or I can get a high quality analog watch for $100-500. Or I can get a designer watch for thousands. It all depends on what you want and how much you want to pay for it.
 


I currently possess my late father's vintage Longines mechanical watch, which he purchased while serving overseas in the military in the 1950's. It is definitely a family heirloom. Besides an occasional cleaning, it has required little maintenance. Have purchased a few nice watches myself over the years. Some are mechanical, and some are Swiss quartz chronographs. The chronographs require a battery replacement every now and then, which I can obtain readily.

If I purchase an Apple Watch, it may be good for five years before Apple either deprecates it or it is otherwise no longer serviceable. I would only be able to take it to a few places to get it serviced, if it were possible at all. Replacing a battery in an Apple Watch is not easy.

This is one of the problems with the current mindset of Apple and other companies. On one hand, I have quality products which can be handed down generation after generation and have a story to tell. On the other is a disposable ecosystem of product with no sentimental value at all. "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging."
 


... I've been quite happy with my Amazfit Bip.
I continue to be astounded at the prices paid for Apple Watch. My iMac, iPad and iPhone all tell time, exact to the second. In the rare situation where I am without one of those and wonder what time it is, I have this gadget strapped to my wrist. It is a watch made by Timex. It cost about $30 more than ten years ago. Every few years the battery inside dies; then I pop the cover off, install a new battery (found in any drugstore), put the cover back on, reset the time from my computer or my iPod or my iPhone, and that's it. It also tells me the date and the day of the week. I've had it for over ten years; it is more accurate than I need, and if it fails, a new one is far cheaper than an Apple Watch.
Yup. This was basically a replacement for a solar powered Casio G-Shock that time-synced via the atomic clock sync system. I realIzed this watch was actually cheaper and included a GPS and heart rate monitor (although the HR monitor doesn’t start to monitor hard enough to be used for fitness purposes until you start the GPS). I threw the “No Frills” watch face on it via AmazTools and, aside from needing to replace the band once in the first year, it’s been very good to me. I don’t use any of the notification features, I do use two alarms, and I like the fact you can set it to backlight automatically, based on your chosen start/stop hours. And most importantly, I hate that current smartwatches last a couple days max on a charge. The fact that this one runs a month to a month and a half on one charge was the deciding factor for sure. It’s definitely more watch than mobile message center etc, but that’s what I was looking for, so it really suits me well so far.
 


watchOS 6.1 for Series 1 watch is great - much more responsive than 5.x. Apps launch very fast - even Outlook, which used to be so slow to launch that I almost never accessed it on the watch itself – I just had the calendar set in the big middle section of the Modular face.

I still want to upgrade to a newer watch eventually (water proofing, always-on screen and some other features), but this update actually makes it less urgent, although, honestly, I’m more likely to spend that money knowing it will be a longer-lasting device.
 


watchOS 6.1 for Series 1 watch is great - much more responsive than 5.x. Apps launch very fast - even Outlook, which used to be so slow to launch that I almost never accessed it on the watch itself – I just had the calendar set in the big middle section of the Modular face.
I’m glad that I wasn‘t just imagining this! I installed watchOS 6.1 on my Series 1 as soon as I saw it was available. It took a ridiculously long time to install, but once it finally did, it seemed so much faster than it's ever been. It’s still slow compared to my wife’s newer Apple Watch, but I was shocked that an update made my old device more usable than it previously had been!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
For what it's worth, the one difference I've noticed with the latest watchOS is that it seems to no longer unlock an Apple Watch (Series 4) when unlocking the paired phone — that was a nice feature previously (and one that someone here pointed out).
 


For what it's worth, the one difference I've noticed with the latest watchOS is that it seems to no longer unlock an Apple Watch (Series 4) when unlocking the paired phone — that was a nice feature previously (and one that someone here pointed out).
I have found IOS 13.2 on my iPhone XS still unlocks my Apple Watch (Series 3) running WatchOS 6.1.
 


For what it's worth, the one difference I've noticed with the latest watchOS is that it seems to no longer unlock an Apple Watch (Series 4) when unlocking the paired phone — that was a nice feature previously (and one that someone here pointed out).
Ric, I just tried with my iPhone 11 Pro and Apple Watch series 4 (both latest updates), and it worked (unlocked), although it seemed to work a little differently than it did before... hard to define the difference, but it did unlock the phone each time.
 


For what it's worth, the one difference I've noticed with the latest watchOS is that it seems to no longer unlock an Apple Watch (Series 4) when unlocking the paired phone — that was a nice feature previously (and one that someone here pointed out).
I have found that these type of settings often fail on system updates and even at random other times (in particular, the ability to unlock a Mac with an Apple Watch). It might be useful to visit the appropriate setting on your phone (it's under Watch > Passcode) and even if it‘s 'on', toggle it 'off' and back 'on'.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
It might be useful to visit the appropriate setting on your phone (it's under Watch > Passcode) and even if it‘s 'on', toggle it 'off' and back 'on'.
Thank you! That setting had been turned off by Apple behind my back, apparently in the watchOS 6.1 update or the iPhone SE reset/restore. (I had also found that a watch app was missing, and I unexpectedly had to reinstall it, even though all my Watch faces and other preferences had been preserved.)

Anyway, after reading your note, I opened the Watch app on the paired iPhone, scrolled down to find Passcode, opened that, found Unlock with iPhone, and turned it back on again. That worked, and I really appreciate the tip!
 


Thank you! That setting had been turned off by Apple behind my back, apparently in the watchOS 6.1 update or the iPhone SE reset/restore.
Resetting a device would essentially make the other device treat it as a new device and force anything linked to security (logging in other devices, ApplePay, etc.) to be reinitiated. I'm surprised that you didn't need to re-pair the watch to your iPhone. If you had, most settings could be restored from the backup, but you would need to manually reselect security-related items.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I just learned that two elderly family members both have issues with "Afib", and the first thought that came to mind was "Apple Watch."

However... neither has an iPhone, neither is technical, and neither wants to spend a lot of money, and I'm sure they'd both find the whole system (Apple Watch + iPhone + watchOS + iOS + iCloud etc., etc.) extremely confusing, as well as expensive.

Can anyone suggest more reasonable alternatives that might have similar health monitoring benefits?
 




I just learned that two elderly family members both have issues with "Afib", and the first thought that came to mind was "Apple Watch."
However... neither has an iPhone, neither is technical, and neither wants to spend a lot of money, and I'm sure they'd both find the whole system (Apple Watch + iPhone + watchOS + iOS + iCloud etc., etc.) extremely confusing, as well as expensive.
Can anyone suggest more reasonable alternatives that might have similar health monitoring benefits?
I've found that the Apple Watch isn't perfect at detecting Afib. I have had times where the Apple Watch said I was in Sinus Rhythm and the Alivecor KardiaMobile said I was in Afib. Having had the Alivecor KardiaMobile and Afib since 2014, I've learned how to interpret ECG strips and find the KardiaMobile to be more accurate in detecting Afib without tachycardia (heart rate greater than 100).

So, if your family members have Android phones, or even an iPad, they can use KardiaMobile. Highly recommended.
 


I know Apple make much of the detection of A-fib. However, the benefits are far from certain.
Monitoring symptomless A-fib is similarly of mixed benefit.
Bear in mind, though, that intermittent atrial fibrillation is the most dangerous kind, especially when asymptomatic. The point is that if you spend some time in AFib, growing a nice big clot in your left atrium, it's when you revert to sinus rhythm that the left atrium starts contracting again and then you expel the clot and suffer a stroke or other systemic embolisation. If you are asymptomatic and are unaware of what's happening you have no clue that you ought to go and get yourself on anticoagulants.
 


Bear in mind, though, that intermittent atrial fibrillation is the most dangerous kind, especially when asymptomatic. The point is that if you spend some time in AFib, growing a nice big clot in your left atrium, it's when you revert to sinus rhythm that the left atrium starts contracting again and then you expel the clot and suffer a stroke or other systemic embolisation. If you are asymptomatic and are unaware of what's happening you have no clue that you ought to go and get yourself on anticoagulants.
I don't disagree. However, the quoted article and several more that I have read emphasize the lack of marked benefit from a population point of view. One can always quote individual cases, but they're not representative of the big picture.
 


Consider the EMAY Portable EKG device [Amazon]. I found it to be fairly easy to use. If you want to maintain a history of results, there is associated free software for Windows or Mac. The software is free, with no need to subscribe to any service.
 



I had a strange Apple Watch Series 4 problem last week. The battery indicator was stuck at 100% even after more than a day's use. EventuallyI found the watch in low power mode showing only the time when the crown is pressed. Obviously, the battery was extremely low, but still it recently showed 100%.

I tried restarting the watch and iPhone, restoring the watch from backup and restoring as a new watch. Still stuck on 100% battery.

So I contacted Apple Support. They found it difficult to understand my problem was only the battery status indicator. My watch still charges in less than an hour and lasts more than a day. Nevertheless, they sent me a box to send it in for repair.

That took a couple of days. By the time the box got to me, the battery indicator seems to have fixed itself. It was acting up for almost one week.

I searched the forums (Apple's and anything Google search could find) and found a few others with the same problem but no obvious solution. The fix for others seemed to be send it to Apple for replacement, or it randomly starts working again (like mine did).
 


The battery indicator was stuck at 100% even after more than a day's use..
I had a similar problem with my Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS). I'd been used to charging it for around an hour each day and for it never to drop below ~25% charge.

After installing watchOS 6, I often woke to a dead watch, so I unpaired and restored from the latest backup. This appeared to fix it.

After the latest update (6.1.1), the depletion problem returned, and going through the above procedure didn't help. I noticed the watch go from 100% to 20% in a matter of 6 hours, so something was not right.

In a chat with Apple Support - where I was asked bizarre questions such as 'how long do you expect the battery to last', 'does it show signs of water damage', and 'does the battery level only go down when you're using it or when it's on charge' - it was agreed that it would be sent to Apple for examination and likely replacement (under AppleCare).

As part of the process of setting up the repair, I had to unpair it from the iPhone. During this, I got warnings about 'low battery' (even though it was supposedly charged to 60%), so when I got off the chat, I tried setting up as a new watch with just the standard Apple apps installed. It seems this has fixed the battery problem, so I am gradually reinstalling my apps.

My take is that I had an error due to the update, accumulated one over time (and reinstalled it with the backup), or that there's a rogue app. Whatever the cause, I think the symptom is the battery level monitoring that's the problem, rather than the battery itself.

For the moment, I have cancelled the Apple repair...
 


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