The watchOS 2 software update brought the ability for users to extend the screen awake time of their Apple Watch from the hard-coded fifteen seconds imposed by the original Apple Watch software to the optional 70 seconds.
Power users who glance at their wearable gizmo dozens, if not hundreds times per day, should use this new option sparingly as the nearly sixfold increase in screen awake time draws more juice compared to the previous, rather aggressive 15-second limit.
How to set Apple Watch to stay awake for 70 seconds
Step 1: Launch Settings from the Home screen of your Apple Watch, or ask Siri to ‘open Settings’ for you.
Step 2: Navigate to the General → Wake Screen section.
Step 3: Under the On Tap sub-section, tap on the Wake for 70 seconds option.
“Choose how long the Apple Watch display stays on when you tap to wake it,” reads the feature’s description.
Tip: You can also do this using the companion Watch app on your iPhone: under the My Watch tab, navigate to the General → Wake Screen sub-section.
Wrist Raise and battery life
Those looking to maximize their Apple Watch battery life should leave the screen awake time at the default fifteen seconds. Optionally, flip the button labeled “Wake Screen on Wrist Raise” to the OFF position to save energy further.
Enabling this will automatically wake the Apple Watch display when you raise your wrist and shut it down as soon as you lower your wrist. You can still wake the device manually, by tapping the display or pressing the Digital Crown.
Issues with Wrist Raise
Sometimes your Apple Watch wouldn’t wake on wrist raise. Should this happen to you, you’re advise to check if you have set the proper orientation in Settings → General → Watch Orientation: make sure Orientation is set to the wrist you wear your Apple Watch on.
Also, check if your Apple Watch needs charging.
I am actually using my watch with the “Wake Screen on Wrist Raise” option disabled. This feature certainly makes for an excellent Apple Watch demo, but I’ve found it a bit rough around the edges.
My biggest quibble: the Apple Watch display would often come to life when I really didn’t want it activated. This is especially true with my hands on the steering wheel. I was hoping watchOS 2 would perfect waking the display on wrist raise and make it more reliable, but it didn’t.
We have more tips like this in our archives:
- iDownloadBlog archive: Apple Watch tips
- iDownloadBlog archive: iOS 9 tutorials
- iDownloadBlog archive: El Capitan tutorials
- Articles tagged with “Apple Watch”
- Articles tagged with “watchOS 2”
- Apple: iOS Feature Availability webpage
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