The Apple Watch incorporates many details on its small screen to inform users of notifications and the watch's current status. One of the icons amongst several on display is the water drop icon.
But what does this icon mean, and what does it represent? In this blog post, we will explain what this icon is alongside all other relevant information about it.
What does the water drop symbol mean on the Apple watch?
The water drop icon on the Apple Watch means the water lock feature has been enabled. The water lock feature locks the watch's screen and prevents all contact with water and accidental taps from activating it. The feature is available in Apple Watch Series 2 and later.
Essentially, this mode allows the watch to lock itself down, preventing any water from getting in, thereby allowing you to shower or go swimming with the Apple Watch. It is a protective feature depicted by the water drop icon, and your watch will not respond to touch while it is active.
How does the water drop feature work?
The water drop feature works by blocking any crevices on the watch from leaking water and placing the screen in a sort of sleep mode that makes any accidental taps on the screen to be ignored. The feature has to be turned before the watch is submerged or makes contact with water.
The feature is mainly used in situations that cause the device to get wet, either by sweat, rain, swimming, hand-washing, or showering. Once activated, the icon will appear on your Apple Watch screen, and the screen will lock.
Soap, heavy steam, chemicals, acids, and other substances can all have an impact on the effectiveness of the water lock feature because it is a feature that degrades with time. As an Apple Watch owner, avoiding using the watch in unfavorable conditions is in your best interest because the watch's water resistance cannot be restored once degraded and worn out.
The water lock feature automatically turns on when you start a water-based activity (e.g. swimming) from your Apple Watch. When you turn it off, your watch will automatically eject water from the speakers.
How to turn on water lock on the Apple Watch
- When the watch face or an app is visible, touch and hold the bottom of the screen.
- This will cause the Control center to show. Swipe up when it does to reveal the whole menu.
- Scroll to the water droplet icon.
- Tap on it.
- The water drop icon will now appear at the top center of the watch's screen.
How to turn off water lock and eject water from the Apple Watch
- Confirm the Apple Watch is on water lock mode by checking for the water drop icon at the top center of the screen.
- Rotate the Digital Crown of the Apple Watch in either direction.
- You'll notice the water droplet icon getting bigger.
- Keep rotating the digital crown until the watch vibrates and the words "unlocked" appear on the screen.
- Then, the watch will play a series of tones that it uses to eject any water remaining in the speaker.
Why does the Apple Watch eject water?
If you've ever wondered what happens to the residual water in the Apple Watch after a water-based activity, it gets ejected by the water lock feature, as explained earlier.
The Apple Watch ejects this water because it is a water-resistant watch, and the water lock feature helps it eject water to remain so for as long as possible. Apple pioneered this feature for the Apple Watch to protect it from water damage.
Also, the touch screen doesn't behave as expected when wet since water dissipates the electrical conduction of your fingers, giving the touch screen a hard time differentiating between water drops and your finger.
The Apple Watch automatically locks the display when it detects water-based activity to prevent usability issues while wet. Ejecting water from the watch helps to dry it faster as it does not function properly when wet.
Another issue caused by water is speaker damage. The speakers are the only opening in the Apple Watches exterior. Hence, water can quickly accumulate through its openings and cause damage, especially if the watch gets submerged regularly.
Apple created the water eject feature to prevent any long-term issues. The feature plays a deep oscillating tone through the speakers to force out any remaining water. As explained previously, it does this when you rotate the Digital Crown to turn off the water lock feature.
What is the water resistance of Apple Watches?
Apple watches are water resistant but not waterproof. The Apple Watch Series 1 can withstand minor splashes, but its water resistance is relatively low.
The Apple Watch Series 2 and later have high water resistance levels. They can even withstand water to the point of being used to go swimming in shallow waters but not scuba diving or skiing. Generally, Apple does not recommend using its watches for activities involving high-velocity water or deep water depths.
Apple states that Apple watches have a rating of IPX7, meaning they can stay in water depths of a meter for up to 30 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions about the water drop icon on Apple Watch
Q. When should I use the water lock on the Apple Watch?
A. You should use the Water Lock feature when you want to start a swimming or water-based activity. The Watch will lock the screen to prevent accidental usage.
Q. How does the apple eject water?
The Apple Watch ejects water by playing a series of relevant tones forcing the water to clear through the speakers' openings.
Q. When does water lock mode get activated automatically?
A. The water lock mode is automatically activated anytime you select a water-based activity from the Activity app of the Apple watch. Once this is done, you will see a water drop icon at the top center of your screen.
Q. Do I need to enable water lock mode before using Apple Watch in the shower?
A. No, you do not need to enable the water lock mode for your Apple Watch before showering, especially if you use Apple Watch Series 2 and later, because they have high levels of water resistance.
Although, it is advisable to do so in order to avoid the Apple Watch recognizing water droplets as human taps on the screen.
This blog post has explained what the water drop icon means on your Apple watch and how you can use it.
If you have questions about the water drop icon on your Apple Watch, please ask them in the comments below. Thanks for reading.