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watchOS 7.0.2 Address Battery Life, ECG Bugs

It’s not uncommon to see reports of poor battery life after an update to one of Apple’s mobile operating systems. In most cases, those problems die down on their own after the device in question clears its caches or finishes rebuilding indexes. Or, sometimes a restart is necessary to fix the problem. In the most extreme situations, erasing the device and restoring it from backup (or unpairing and repairing, in the case of an Apple Watch) may make the difference. If you find yourself in such a situation, wait a few days to see if the battery life recovers, and if not, try the restart and reset procedures.

watchOS 7.0.2 release notesSometimes, however, the update is itself responsible for batteries draining more quickly than they should. That appears to be the case with watchOS 7. Apple has now released watchOS 7.0.2 to fix a bug “that could cause the battery to drain more quickly,” along with another problem that prevented some users from accessing the ECG app in regions where it should be available. watchOS 7.0.2 doesn’t include any security fixes with published CVE entries, and no other Apple operating systems received updates.

To install the watchOS 7.0.2 update, which was 81 MB for an Apple Watch Series 5, open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to My Watch > General > Software Update. It’s a quick update but does require that the watch be on its charger and charged to at least 50%. watchOS 7.0.2 is available for the Apple Watch Series 3 and later.

If you’re not experiencing problems with battery drain or accessing the ECG app, feel free to delay installing this update until it’s convenient in the next week or so.

Apple’s release notes say nothing about missing Workout GPS routes or Health data, but a separate Apple support article suggests a fix if you’re not seeing data that should be there after updating to iOS 14 and watchOS 7. The fix isn’t difficult, but it will be time-consuming—one TidBITS reader suffering from this problem reported that it took about 90 minutes. You’ll need to unpair your Apple Watch, make an iCloud backup of your iPhone, erase all content and settings from the iPhone, and restore both the iPhone and the Apple Watch from backup.

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Comments About watchOS 7.0.2 Address Battery Life, ECG Bugs

Notable Replies

  1. hopefully it does fix the blank workout data issue.
    that support article is quite a sledgehammer of a solution, and certainly does take awhile (even if restoring from a local backup instead) - and, at least for me, even after all that, did not fix the problem. :frowning:
    AND it causes other side effects; like:

    • another involved procedure, to get the Apple Watch to be able to once again unlock my Mac
    • various other Watch or phone -tied procedures needing to be reset (ex: MFA)
  2. I haven’t seen any mention of whether this fixes the Watch 3 problems. Mine hasn’t rebooted itself for a while, but it still can’t unlock my MBP16 - trying to turn on that function yields an error message “can’t communicate with watch”.

    David

  3. This update fixed a problem with Overcast. The watch app wasn’t working on my Apple Watch 4. This morning, after the watchOS update, Overcast works perfectly.

  4. 7.0.2 has introduced a very annoying auto-dimming on my series 5!
    Bad for my aging eyes in dim light. I need all I can get.
    I’ve had no problems with battery drain, before or after.

    There seems to be no way to disable it. I’ve tried everything.

    Once more, Apple seems to be under the mistaken idea they own my device.
    I paid a lot of money for this, it’s MY hardware!

    I’ve submitted feedback to Apple.

  5. I’ve had more issues with WatchOS 7 and 7.0.2, than I’ve ever had in my life! My Apple Watch series 4, will lock itself unexpectedly, reboot without warning, and turn itself off! Many times I’ve lifted my arm to check the time, and my watch is completely off, with no explanation. Holding the button for what seems like an eon, the watch will turn itself back on, and work perfectly until it doesn’t!

  6. No idea what your problems might stem from. My Series 4 has none of those problems whatsoever, but did have increased battery drain with 7.0.1.

  7. Don’t know what’s going on here. Also have a Series 4. Had no problems with watchOS 7, had problems with the OverCast watch complication with 7.01, and all fine with 7.02.

    Have you tried unpairing the watch from the iPhone and then pairing again? I have not read of your problems but this seems to be the fix for other issues.

  8. My Watch 3 has started rebooting itself again. I wonder if Apple realizes there are problems. Lots of complaints about this behavior on the Apple Support Forum.

    David

  9. FYI, there is a 7.0.3 update for only the S3 that is supposed to fix the rebooting problem. Try looking for an update.

  10. In my experience, unpairing a watch is a “Nuke and pave” option similar to “just wipe your disk and reinstall the macOS”
    Apple insisted on deleting everything on the watch and reinstalling it all. Plus there were several failed attempts before it unpaired. Many hours wasted.
    This should be like toggling airplane mode or wifi on/off. It is NOT.
    I would personally never recommend unpairing unless it is a last resort.
    ymmv

  11. The S5 has always had automatic dimming based on ambient light which you cannot disable, probably to save battery life with the designed always on display. If the watch is doing something it wasn’t before, I wonder if you have hardware failure with the ambient light sensor on the watch? The brightness on my S5 is not working any differently with watchOS 7 from watchOS 6, or I haven’t noticed anything different. But some people have been complaining about the lack of an option to turn off that dimming since it was released.

    See for example Disabling auto brightness : AppleWatch

  12. I applied the update last night. Too soon to see if the unexpected restarts are fixed. The Watch 3 still can’t unlock my MBP16 - the same “Can’t communicate with watch” error message. For some reason it also says the iPhone must be unlocked. I have tried that too and it doesn’t help. I know the only option now is to unpair the watch and reload everything. It’s not worth the trouble, so I am not going to do that. In my experience, these things sometimes just start working again if you wait for a while - even with no software updates, so I will wait.

    David

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