The watchOS 10 update could make your Apple Watch Ultra useless in the dark

Apple Watch Ultra 2
(Image credit: Future)

Own an Apple Watch Ultra and noticed that you can't see its display as easily as you once could, especially in the dark? You aren't alone, and it seems that watchOS could be to blame.

That's according to a number of reports which say that the best Apple Watch money can buy might not be all that great in low-light conditions thanks to the latest watchOS 10 update.

Some report that their Apple Watch Ultra is now difficult to read when in darker conditions, especially when they quickly move from a lighter area to a dark one with their Apple Watch seemingly getting confused in the process.

Not so bright, Apple

While the Apple Watch Ultra 2 features a new display that can go down to just 1 nit brightness, reports suggest that this isn't a problem that only affects the latest model — people with older Apple Watch Ultra hardware have also been affected.

MacRumors was the first to spy the pattern with some reporting that the Apple Watch's ambient light sensor simply can't quite come to terms with its environment. It appears the watch thinks it's in a darker room than it really is, causing it to make the display darker as a result. That, in turn, makes the display difficult to see.

Thankfully, there might be some light at the end of this particularly dark and hard-to-see tunnel. Apple is reportedly already aware that something is amiss which will hopefully mean that a fix is on the way. The watchOS 10.0.2 update hasn't fixed the issue to date, so keep your eyes peeled for a future watchOS 10.0.3 or watchOS 10.1 update. Hopefully that'll have a fix for this new issue.

Thankfully, this issue doesn't appear to afflict every Apple Watch Ultra owner but it does seem limited to the Ultra and Ultra 2 models which means owners of others need not worry about this issue.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.