Forthcoming watchOS Update to Prevent Accidental Alarm Silencing

BY Dave Johnson

Published 24 Mar 2023

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An upcoming update to the Apple Watch — watchOS 9.4 — includes a change to prevent users from accidentally turning off their alarm while sleeping. 

The current version of watchOS features an uncomplicated way to silence wake-up alarms — the “Cover to Mute” gesture. Unfortunately, such implementation often leads to unintentional alarm silencing when users’ palm accidentally covers the device while sleeping. 

Well, watchOS 9.4 addresses this issue. 

According to Apple’s release note, the forthcoming software update prevents users from silencing wake-up alarms in a Sleep Focus mode with the “Cover to Mute” gesture. In other words, unintentionally covering your Apple Watch’s display for three seconds while sleeping will not silence your alarm. 

Indeed, a Reddit user noted the change and posted on the platform. “WatchOS 9.4 will finally bring the important change that wake-up alarms are no longer silenced with cover to mute gesture to avoid accidental cancellations during sleep,” wrote the user. 

Here are other things to expect on watchOS 9.4. 

What’s New on the Forthcoming watchOS Update

Besides preventing accidental alarm silencing, the watchOS 9.4 is also expected to bring Cycle Tracking and AFib history to other countries. 

Thanks to the software update, Apple Watch users in Moldova and Ukraine can soon use Cycle Tracking with retrospective ovulation estimates and cycle deviation alerts. Similarly, AFib History will now be available in Malaysia, Colombia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Thailand. 

So when can we expect the change? Well, soon. 

Apple has rolled out the Release Candidate version of watchOS 9.4 to developers and public beta testers. Since watchOS 9.4 is currently in the final stages of beta testing, a public release could occur next week.

Also, the RC version of iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, tvOS 16.4, and macOS 13.3 is currently available to registered developers. If the developer beta profile is installed, you can download the update by going to Settings  General  Software Update on your device. 

Have you installed the new watchOS 9.4? Let us know in the comments.