Sweat Makes Apple Watch Touchscreen Unresponsive

Posted: May 18 2015, 3:15am CDT | by , in News | Apple


Sweat Makes Apple Watch Touchscreen Unresponsive

There is a problem using the Apple Watch when having sweaty fingers. I was running yesterday and the Apple Watch was not registering my taps after the run because I was sweating. This was frustrating.

It is day 3 with my Apple Watch and I hit the first big negative. I was doing a one-hour run and all went great at the beginning and during the run. During the whole run I could easily monitor my heart rate after selecting the screen in the Workout app. I don't get the negative reviews on the Apple Watch heart rate monitoring. It works great in my experience. The Apple Watch sends notifications after each completed mile or kilometer. You hear a ping and you know you did another one. Glancing at the watch shows you briefly the count. 

The next time I glance at the Apple Watch I see my heart rate again. At the end of my run I was sweating. I tried to tap the stop button on my workout, but the touchscreen did not react. It actually did sometimes highlight the button but not complete the press. After several unsuccessful taps. I tried my fingers then it worked, but only for a short time as they got sweaty again.

Sweaty fingers are a problem with all capacitive touchscreens. It gets though amplified on the Apple Watch because of the small size of the screen. On the iPhone it is less of a problem. What I don't get is why the taps are only registered half and not executed. Apple could introduce some predictive code to make taps register even in sweaty conditions. 

Apple could also anticipate what I want to hit most likely. On the end of workout screen it is likely stopping the workout.

It is a very frustrating experience if taps don't register. I think I need to bring tissues to my workouts to effectively dry my finger to operate the Apple Watch reliable. I have seen other reports surfacing that describe the same problem. Is this SweatGate? It would be nice to get a best practice tip from Apple about how to use the Apple Watch when sweating.

As I wrote yesterday, I have not been into the tracking my workouts or the quantified self thing, but the Apple Watch makes it so easy to do that I am getting into it.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com.




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