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Apple slept on watchOS 11’s best new feature

Published Jun 18th, 2024 8:17AM EDT
watchOS 11 Nap Detection
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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During the WWDC 2024 keynote, Apple previewed watchOS 11. While the company focused on the new Photos Face, a revamped Smart Stack, and a new Vitals app with Training Load, the best watchOS 11 feature was left unnoticed.

Or, at least, it was unnoticed until a Redditor brought it up – and BGR confirmed it. Starting with watchOS 11, the Apple Watch can now detect naps. Isn’t it great?

With previous watchOS versions, Apple Watch only tracked sleep if Sleep Mode was turned on. However, if you forgot to set Sleep Mode on, Apple wouldn’t precisely track your sleep, and you’d lose important information, as the wearable wouldn’t take enough respiratory and heart rate measures.

That said, even though your metrics would show you were resting, Apple Watch wouldn’t account for your sleep as “sleep time.” The same is true when you exercise with your Watch on but don’t start a workout. When that happens, the wearable will ask you if you’re exercising, but if you don’t track it, that workout won’t have all the insights it would’ve had.

How does nap detection work with watchOS 11

While I’d suggest having at least Do Not Disturb on to avoid possible notifications, nap detection seems to require nothing except taking a nap.

For example, last Saturday, I had a quick nap after lunch. I didn’t activate Sleep Mode, and once I checked my Sleep tab in the Health app, it had a washed-out graphic with my 31-minute nap. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give me much more insight than the period I was sleeping and the possible moments I briefly woke up.

At the moment, it’s unclear if Apple will keep tweaking this feature as the watchOS 11 beta cycle follows to offer more data. However, even when you don’t activate this function, having some kind of sleep tracking is already an improvement.

Still, I recommend setting up Sleep Mode if you want all the details. watchOS 11 is expected to launch later this fall, and BGR will continue to provide all the information for this upcoming software update as we learn more about it.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.