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Sleep on watchOS 7

Posted in Apple and Design

The WWDC 2020 Keynote has been and gone, and Apple have announced some interesting new features but one of the stand-outs for me was native sleep tracking on watchOS.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the two features I’d love to see in watchOS 7; both would have been great, but I’m very happy indeed with the one we’re getting: Sleep.

Having watched the WWDC Keynote, read Apple’s watchOS 7 preview page and read their press release, here’s what it does and why I’m happy.

Health app integration

It looks like it’s properly integrated with the Heath app, rather than the Clock app. It offers data on average time in bed, average time asleep, and allows a sleep goal to be set, which can be different each day. It even shows breaks in sleep. Exactly what I was after!


It knows when you’re in bed and it knows when you’re asleep, and those two things are measured and reported separately. No need to do anything other than go to bed and go to sleep and the watch takes care of the rest.

Charging reminders

My biggest concern was battery. If it’s too low before bedtime, maybe the phone won’t make it through the night. Apple have this covered:

If your battery is below 30 percent near bedtime, you’ll get a reminder to charge.

But what about when you wake up? If the watch was at 31% when you went to sleep, you might be approaching empty. The battery level is pretty prominent on the ‘wake-up screen’, so you’ll know to put it on charge when you jump in the shower.

the wake-up screen shows the current battery level

Another useful feature here is a notification:

If you charge after waking up, you’ll get an iPhone notification when you’re at 100 percent.

I’m pretty pleased that they’ve covered all the bases here.

Shouldn’t wake you up

One of my concerns was that it might wake you up at night when you roll over, but Apple have addressed that and more:

  • The screen only activates when tapped
  • Do Not Disturb is activated automatically
  • The watch face changes to a big bold digital clock for ease of reading
  • The face is grey text on a black background, so if you normally use a white face you won’t be blinded
  • The watch automatically dims when in Sleep Mode

No-noise alarms

A pretty obvious feature that I didn’t list in my article is a silent alarm. I wake up an hour before my wife, so a tap on the wrist to wake me up would be better than my phone making noise.

To help users wake up, Apple Watch offers a silent haptic alarm or gentle sounds

I sometimes wake up before my alarm, and Apple have thought of that too – you’ll get a notification asking if you’d like to turn your alarm off if you get up before it sounds. Details, details, details!

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