Important iPhone & Watch Settings & Practices

Update - iOS 15.5 Fix

(17 May 2022)

Apple have just released the update to iOS 15.5 and WatchOS 8.6 that will fix the complication issue.

Please be sure to reboot both devices after you update by following the below steps:

Power both devices off and back on again.

i.e. Shut down completely and restart.



Important - iOS 15.4 Issue

Apple has introduced a bug in iOS 15.4 that prevents an iOS app from knowing which complications are active.

Our support team have filed a Feedback report with Apple and personally contacted someone in the WatchOS team to make them aware of it. Until this bug gets fixed, it means that any Watch app that uses this function (like AutoWake) will be unable to work. AutoSleep and HeartWatch are unaffected.

Hopefully it will be fixed shortly. We have noted that the iOS 15.4.1 and 15.5 release did not contain the fix from Apple.

Put your iPhone on Charge

Like any other smart alarm app, AutoWake runs in the background on iPhone managing the process. The main difference being you don’t need to unlock your iPhone so this makes it a lot more convenient. Also it ensures minimal to no battery drain on the Watch.

It is designed this way because just about everyone puts their iPhone on the charger overnight in order to start the day with 100% charge.

A Series 2 or 3 fully charged Watch worn overnight with a typical 8 hour sleep should see battery drain of 2-6% on waking when using both AutoWake & AutoSleep.

Don't Force Close the AutoWake iPhone app

If you manually force close an app on your iPhone you are telling the system to deny background processing.

Force closing apps other than when they have a specific problem is never a good idea. It causes the operating system to be less efficient and use more battery life.

AutoWake requires Background App Refresh

This is enabled by default, but some people sometimes turn it off:

  • For iPhone: You can check this in iPhone Settings, General, Background App Refresh.

  • For Watch: You can check this in Watch Settings app (black icon with picture of Watch), General, Background App Refresh.

About Flight Mode & Do Not Disturb

AutoWake works fine with Do Not Disturb & Theatre/Cinema Modes.

It does require at least a bluetooth connection between your Watch & iPhone. In iOS 11 you can use flight mode on your iPhone and manually turn on bluetooth. Do not use flight mode on your Watch.

Important Watch System Settings

If you are one of those folks that has gone through their system settings in the Apple Watch settings app (black icon with a picture of a Watch) and made a few changes, then here are the important settings that AutoWake requires.

  • In General make sure that Workout Power Saving Mode is turned OFF.

  • In Privacy, make sure that both Heart Rate & Fitness Tracking are turned ON.

  • In Passcode, make sure that you have a passcode set up and Wrist detection is ON.

  • In Sounds & Haptics, is is recommended to turn on Silent Mode and increase Haptic Strength to maximum.

The AutoWake Complication

AutoWake requires that you have its complication on the Watch face that you use for sleeping. This is an important system requirement on WatchOS as it grants the required processing time to ensure AutoWake can do its job. Here's how to set that up and how to create a Night Watch face.

Screen Time

If you are using Screen time, you will need to exclude AutoWake otherwise the app is not allowed to run overnight,.