watchOS 9: Apple changes mechanism to disable water blocking features

Deepak Gupta June 17, 2022
Updated 2022/06/17 at 11:29 PM

The new Apple Watch operating system, watchOS 9, presented on June 6th, brings some good news. In addition, Apple engineers decided to change certain mechanisms that allow you to deactivate the locks that the watch has when we are in certain activities, such as the waterproof mode lock or the Concentration (sleep) mode.

This system until watchOS 9 was used running the Digital Crown, but now the movement is different.

Digital Crown: press instead of turning

watchOS 9 brings one of the most important updates to the Apple Watch operating system. With a focus on health and wellness, the upcoming watchOS will also reshape how users turn off water lock, sleep mode and class mode features. Now it will no longer be requiring the Digital Crown to be rotated.

If you're running watchOS 8, the current version of the Apple Watch operating system, you know that to disable the water lock or concentration mode features, you need to rotate the Digital Crown. But when the new operating system arrives in the autumn, this gesture changes!

With watchOS 9, when activating the water lock, concentration mode or class mode features you only need to press the Digital Crown to deactivate them. Apple even changed the description of the how-to on Apple Watch:

  • Disable waterproof mode - Press and hold the Digital Crown to deactivate Waterproof mode
  • Disable Class Mode - Press and hold the Digital Crown to deactivate Lessons mode
  • Turn off “Sleep” concentration mode - Press and hold the Digital Crown to deactivate

Why did Apple change the unlocking method?

One of the reasons Apple changed this feature in watchOS 9 was due to the revamped Training app. As watchOS 8, the application (its menus) cannot be scrolled vertically, only horizontally. However, the new screens during workouts require rotating the Digital Crown so users can see new metrics like activity rings, heart rate zones, power and elevation.

So, with this change, it makes sense that Apple decided to change the gestures.

Pressing the Digital Crown is not only more intuitive, it's also easier to help users find out more about their workouts with the Workout app on Apple Watch.

For example, if your Apple Watch is locked during exercise, you can still scroll the Digital Crown to discover more data about your exercise, as shown in the images above.

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