Apple’s watchOS 9.4 update is life changing for people who use the Apple Watch as an alarm

The update fixes a problem where covering the screen silences your alarm

If you wear your Apple Watch to bed and use it as your alarm, you’ll want to update to watchOS 9.4. The update, rolling out this week, includes a fix that eliminates the ability to silence an alarm by covering the display, the culprit of a lot of accidental silences and a big reason why you–like me–might be missing your alarm in the morning.

I wear a smartwatch every night while I sleep, and it’s great. Not only does it track my sleep, but it also wakes me up in the morning thanks to a vibrating alarm, perfect for when you share a room with family members. A majority of the time, that smartwatch on my wrist is the Apple Watch, and it’s only while wearing this watch that I occasionally miss my alarm.

I sleep in varying positions each night, and sometimes, I’m on my stomach with my watch facing the bed. If my alarm goes off while I’m like this, I’m missing it. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that Apple was including a fix for this problem in watchOS 9.4.

Other improvements in the update include support for cycle tracking in Moldova and Ukraine, and AFib History support in Colombia, Malaysia, Moldova, Thailand, and Ukraine. There are also some system-level security and bug patches to keep your watch running smooth. The new software comes the same week as iOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3 started rolling out to the public.

To update your Apple Watch, connect it to your charger and head to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, then General > Software update.