The release of watchOS 9 will bring a change to how Apple Watch users turn off Water Lock, the feature that prevents the smartwatch from accidental touches when in water. Several models of the Apple Watch have support for water-based activities thanks to their 5 ATM water-resistance rating. This means supported models can be taken for a shallow water swim and users don’t have to take off the watch when washing their hands or taking a shower.
However, the Apple Watch will not survive deep water-based activities such as diving. It also isn’t recommended for use during activities that involve high-velocity water such as water skiing, as that can damage the watch. If Apple launches a rugged version of the smartwatch, it is likely to support water-based sports. Rugged smartwatches such as the Amazfit T-Rex 2 have a higher water-resistance rating (up to 10 ATM) and can be worn not only for swimming but also for water skiing, kite surfing, kayaking, and tubing.
Apple has added tons of new features to watchOS 9 and modified existing ones such as Water Lock. With the new update, turning off Water Lock for a water-based activity will be a slightly different process. On watchOS 8 and older, Apple Watch users are required to rotate the Digital Crown to exit Water Lock and eject water from the speaker. However, a change to the Workout app has caused Apple to modify the deactivation process. With watchOS 9, users can now view more activity metrics when exercising, and are required to rotate the digital crown to switch between the Workout Views on the screen. Since this used to be the action to deactivate Water Lock, it makes sense for Apple to assign a new way to do it.
Deactivating The Water Lock On WatchOS 9
Despite the change, the process is pretty easy. To turn on Water Lock, open the Control Center by swiping up on the face of the watch. Scroll down to the icon shaped like a water drop, tap on it and it should turn blue, activating Water Lock. When activated, the display will not respond to touch inputs. To deactivate Water Lock on watches running watchOS 9, press and hold the Digital Crown until the screen unlocks and water is forced out of the speaker of the watch. Once it is turned off, the display of the watch should respond to taps and swipes once again.
watchOS 9 brings several new and exciting features, especially for workouts, but the new software won’t be available for all existing models. Apple Watch users who can’t update to the latest software can continue to use the old method to deactivate Water Lock on their smartwatches. It’s also worth noting that the new Water Lock process will only be applicable once watchOS 9 is rolled out to the Apple Watch later this year.