A small number of early Apple Watch users are reporting problems charging the device, as well as excessive drain of the paired iPhone’s battery, according to posts on Apple’s discussion forums and Twitter. According to training documents received by 9to5Mac, Apple is already aware of the issues, and offering solutions that may help affected users.
Users with charging problems have explained that the Apple Watch will physically connect to its charger and say that it’s charging properly, “but in reality the power diminishes as if no charger was plugged in.” In some cases, the issue appears to be in software, where one of two several-step tricks may enable the Watch to recharge:
- Turn off and reset the Watch, first holding the side button, swiping to power off, then holding the Digital Crown and side button at the same time until the Apple logo appears. This alone may solve the problem.
- If that doesn’t work, restart the connected iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, then Erase All Content and Settings using General > Reset. Set up the Watch again and see if charging works.
Some users have noted that their issues appear to be hardware defects, which are being resolved by AppleCare using either replacement Watches or charging cables. However, one user noted that what appeared to be a hardware problem may have been caused by not removing protective plastic on the Watch’s rear charging surface, and was resolved by restarting the Watch. These types of problems, as well as “super quick” iPhone battery drain issues are in the process of being addressed by Apple, as explained below…
A separate collection of complaints regarding excessive drain of the paired iPhone’s battery appear to be related to a bug in iOS. Over the weekend, a number of Apple discussion forum users reported “super quick battery drain” using both iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models, an issue also noted by journalists including Ryan Block and Jacqui Cheng. Block shared a screenshot of the Apple Watch companion app consuming 31% of his iPhone’s battery power over one day, while Cheng noted that her iPhone’s battery was “100% dead more than a half day earlier than usual.” The same two solutions mentioned above have been suggested as fixes for these issues.
To deal with “Battery Life Too Short” complaints, Apple has prepared a series of troubleshooting steps for its AppleCare customer service representatives. They include the restarting and iPhone/Watch Bluetooth re-pairing steps above, plus testing using a “known-good Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable” and a “known-good USB Power Adapter connected to AC power for five minutes.”
Before replacing a Watch, representatives are instructed to check for moisture condensation inside the back sensor window, examine the Watch for signs of external physical damage, and look for apps showing “unusually high battery usage” as possible explanations for the issue. If there’s no easy way to remedy the situation on the spot, representatives can set up the Watch to be mailed in for repair or replacement.