How to

Make watchOS Updates on the Apple Watch much faster

watchOS Updates on the Apple Watch
Written by Hassan Abbas

Downloading and installing a watchOS update is a really slow and tedious process. Since all the information must be transmitted to the watch from the iPhone, it can take much longer than an installation or update of the iPhone or the iPad for example. However, you can use a very simple trick that increases the speed: turn off Bluetooth. Of course, at the exact time and in the exact place.

A watchOS update is usually done via Bluetooth. The iPhone in the Watch app downloads the software update when it is available and asks us to have the Apple Watch with more than 50% battery and connected to the charger. At that moment the process begins: prepare the update, verify that the Apple Watch can receive it and install it on the Apple Watch. Depending on how big it may last a couple of minutes or even hours.

watchOS Updates on the Apple Watch

Wi-Fi before Bluetooth to transfer data

Weeks ago appeared the Outcast application for Apple Watch, a podcast player that directly downloads episodes on the Apple Watch. One of the tips that developers gave was to turn off Bluetooth because the Wi-Fi download was faster. And boy, is it? From that, I thought if it could be applied to other types of downloads, such as software updates.

Normally the Apple Watch performs all data transfers via Bluetooth and through the iPhone. Use this connection protocol because it uses a lot less battery than Wi-Fi. However, when you do not have an iPhone nearby and you are on a known Wi-Fi network, it automatically connects and transfers data over Wi-Fi, consuming more battery power but also being much faster. The trick is then to send the update via Wi-Fi.

Step 1: Make sure you have more than 50% battery in the watch, that is connected to the charger and that both the clock and the iPhone are in the same Wi-Fi network.
Step 2: In the iPhone Watch app, download the watchOS update when it is available.
Step 3: Proceed to install the update in a normal and current way.
Step 4: Wait until the estimated time remaining appears in the progress bar of the update. At that exact moment when the estimated time remaining appears, turn off Bluetooth (from Settings, since the Control Center does not deactivate it completely).

watchOS Updates on the Apple Watch

Step 1: Go back to the Watch app and you will see a message that asks you to activate the Bluetooth, press Cancel. The watch will force the use of the Wi-Fi network to send the update to the watch.
Step 2: Wait for the Preparing and Verifying processes to finish in the progress bar, after which activate the Bluetooth again.
Step 3: Go back to the Watch app and click on Install, the update will already be sent to the watch and you just need to install it.

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About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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