Your Apple Watch Series 6 battery health could decrease (or improve) with watchOS 9.4
It's like Russian roulette.
Apple has confirmed that the watchOS 9.4 update, currently available in developer beta form, will recalibrate the Apple Watch Series 6's battery for the first time.
While we don't yet have a confirmed release date for the watchOS 9.4 update, Apple has already updated a support document to confirm that it will recalibrate the Apple Watch Series 6's battery — but only the 44mm model. This is in addition to the existing Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 recalibration that was already included in previous watchOS releases.
The recalibration will happen automatically after the watchOS 9.4 update has been installed.
Going up (or down!)
"Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 will recalibrate and then estimate maximum battery capacity more accurately after updating to watchOS 9.0," the support document, spotted by MacRumors (opens in new tab), reads. "Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm) will perform this recalibration after updating to watchOS 9.4."
Once the recalibration is complete 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 owners could see their battery health change as a result of a new maximum capacity reading. Battery health reduces over time as the Apple Watch — and other battery-powered devices — are used and recharged. Batteries are consumable and unfortunately don't last forever — even the very best Apple Watch will see its battery degrade over time.
As if to prove the point that all batteries degrade, Apple has also confirmed a price increase for those who have to replace their iPhone, iPad, or Mac battery as out-of-warranty work. Prices have increased across the board, although owners of iPhone 14-series models aren't affected because they were already paying more. Price increases range from $20 to $50 depending on the battery being replaced.
As for watchOS 9.4, we don't yet know when that will be released to the public. The beta program trundles on, however, and we can expect a few more betas before the final release.
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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.