Haptic Alarm Doesn't Always Work

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by jackapple, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. jackapple macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2009
    Is anyone else experiencing intermittent issues with the haptic feedback/vibrational alarm on Apple Watch?

    My wife and I both leave our Apple Watch on silent and sleep with them in airplane mode, using the vibrating alarm to wake us up. At least that's the plan—the problem is that the alarms don't always vibrate, which as you can imagine is a big problem.

    We will literally watch the alarm screen appear on both of our watches at the time of the alarm with the option to Snooze or Dismiss—but no haptic feedback whatsoever.

    Although it works sometimes, we've been late to more than a few appointments and missed a flight before realizing the problem wasn't user error. We originally assumed we forgot to set the alarms, but now that this issue repeats and we can watch it happen—this morning for example—we wanted to see if any of you have experienced this and/or found a solution.

    Devices + Conditions:
    • iPhone 6s Plus (128 GB Space Gray & Rose Gold) set on Do Not Disturb
    • Apple Watch (Stainless Steel & Space Black) set on Airplane Mode (to preserve battery)
    The fact that this happens on separate devices in recurring frequency leads me to believe we cannot be the only ones out there experiencing this problem!
  2. savagewatts macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver, BC
    Why do you wear your watch while sleeping? I have had cases where my watch went off with no haptic feedback as well. Not just the alarm but notifications too.
  3. jasie02 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2014
    Did you try setup double alarm, 2nd one maybe 10min after, or 1st one 10min earlier?
    Maybe even 3rd, all with 5-10mim in between.

    This might help understand is it really AW intermittent issue, or something else.
    Likelihood of anyone sleep through multiple alarm with 10min in between them is very slim, unless your AW is defective or there is SW bug.

    Added: Make sure you setup alarm on AW, NOT on iPhone.
  4. testcard macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    Northumbria, UK
  5. jackapple thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2009
    We use David Smith's app Sleep++ as a replacement to the Jawbone UP for general sleep tracking.
  6. jackapple thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2009
    We'll try that. But yes, all alarms are set directly on Apple Watch for sleep and testing purposes.
  7. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    I've been using the haptic alarm since maybe the fifth day of owning the Watch. The vibration wakes me better than I ever expected.

    Still, I've got five or six alarms set, just in case I shut them down in a snoozy stupor or even miss a couple. Now that I think about it, I can't say for sure if they all trigger properly. The multiple redundancy has ensured that I've woken up every day, though.
  8. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    I'll add that I set alarms on the phone, too. They also trigger the watch, and I can use the watch to snooze or turn off the phone alarm if it goes off while I'm in the closet or "meditating" in the bathroom.
  9. brlandy macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2005
    I have been using my Watch this way, as a silent alarm to wake me up, since early May and I never had a problem until after 2.0.1 (maybe 2.0). On three occasions the Watch has failed to produce a haptic (on the first two it produced a single tap then stopped, it could be it did on the third occasion and I just slept through it). As the OP said, you can see the screen with the alarm alert on it, but no haptics are being produced.

    I too am setting the alarms directly on the Watch.

    Maybe 2.1 will resolve the issue. I'll have to try the redundant on-watch alarms as well, although that is a nuisance.
  10. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    I trust myself less than any alarm device. You should've seen me hit snooze for three hours one day in college.
  11. The JTizzle macrumors 6502

    The JTizzle

    Jun 14, 2009
    I had the sesame issue, called apple and they overnight end me a replacment. All fixed now.
  12. sean000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2015
    Bellingham, WA
    Resurrecting this old thread, because I'm now having the same issue with my original Apple Watch Sport running OS 3.1.3. I sleep with my watch on and monitor my sleep using the Pillow app. I have a daily (weekdays) alarm that wakes me up at 6:00. I have the sound turned off so it wakes me up with haptics. I have two alarm related problems:

    1. Since updating to 3.1.3 my watch has crashed probably a dozen times while modifying an existing alarm. Sometimes I decide to wake up later (or earlier) and I modify my existing alarm. When I tap the SET button, the watch immediately reboots. Not every time, and usually just once. On two occasions the watch rebooted twice before I could successfully modify the alarm.
    2. Sometimes my alarm goes off but I get no haptics. Since my sound is turned off it doesn't wake me up. I wake up and look at my watch to see the alarm is going off... it's just not activating the haptics. Meanwhile haptics still works fine for other notifications. This has happened only twice since updating.

    The Pillow app has its own alarm, but I have never used it since I found that sometimes in the past the Pillow app would crash on me during the night. I figured the native alarm would be more reliable. Now that Pillow has had a few updates and seems quite stable, maybe I will give its alarm feature a try.


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11 December 5, 2015