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Watch Face and AOD not working in Galaxy Watch 4 after update

In this guide, we will make you aware of the reason behind the Watch Face and AOD not working on your Galaxy Watch 4 after the recent update. The fourth iteration of the watches from the South Korean conglomerate beholds quite a few nifty features up its sleeves. Running the popular WearOS, Samsung will now provide four years of OS upgrades to these watches. Talking about which, the OEM has done an excellent job when it comes to rolling out timely and regular software for these devices.

Watch Face and AOD not working Galaxy Watch 4

However, in some instances, the update could end up bringing a few bugs and issues as well. And this seems to be the case this time around. The latest update for the EU region (version XXU1EVA8/OXM1EVA8) seems to have broken the AOD functionality. According to various users, the Always-on Display is no longer in sync with the device time, as it doesn’t update itself after every minute (something that used to happen before users installed that update). It is only when the users manually wake the screen that the time gets updated.

Watch Face and AOD not working Galaxy Watch 4

As if this issue wasn’t enough to deal with, the said update has also bought about some compatibility issues with the third-party watch face. Most of the newer watch faces seem to be broken and if you try and apply it, the watch will freeze for a second or two before ultimately reverting to the plain digital format. So what is the root cause of this problem, and more importantly how could you rectify this Watch Face and AOD not working issue on your Galaxy Watch 4? Well, let’s check it out.

How to Fix Watch Face and AOD not working in Galaxy Watch 4

Watch Face and AOD not working Galaxy Watch 4

Before users installed the update, the watch faces (mostly the older ones) were using the WatchFaceService.Engine used to call the onTimeTick() method after every minute. This onTimeTick() call would then update the watch screen when in ambient mode. As a result, the AOD would get automatically updated after every minute and hence would remain in sync with your device time.

Watch Face and AOD not working Galaxy Watch 4

However, after the latest update XXU1EVA8/OXM1EVA8, the onTimeTick() method is being no longer being called while in ambient mode. As a result of which, the watch face isn’t being updated and users will have to manually wake up the device for the AOD to be updated. Now there could be two reasons for this change- it could either be a bug in the latest update or an intentional change from Samsung (maybe in order to preserve battery?).

Watch Face and AOD not working Galaxy Watch 4

If the former is the reason, then you could expect it to be patched with the next update. However, if it is a deliberate change, then there’s not much that could be done, apart from downgrading your Galaxy Watch 4 to an earlier version by booting it to the Download Mode and flashing the firmware via Odin. However, this process is quite complicated and a small mistake could end up hard bricking the watch.

So as of now, we could only play the waiting game and hope that this change is the result of a bug that should get rectified in the subsequent update. However, as of now, there isn’t any official wording on this. As and when (and more importantly if) that happens, we will update this post accordingly. In the meantime, you may let us know your viewpoints surrounding this fiasco in the comment section below.

UPDATE 1: Try this Fix

The bug that was introduced with the February update has been fixed with the April update. However, in case the bug re-appears, then rather than waiting for the update to fix it, you could try the below-mentioned workaround and rectify this issue right away.

  1. Launch the Galaxy Wearable app on your device.
  2. Then go to Watch Settings > Apps.
  3. After that, select the app that runs the watch face.Watch Face and AOD not working Galaxy Watch 4
  4. Now enable the toggle next to Allow Background Activity.
  5. This should fix the Watch Face and AOD not working issue in Galaxy Watch 4

  • bump for Tony’s question.

    • Hi, I tried the workaround but I don’t have the option for background activity in the settings

  • if this is true – why is it just 3rd party watchfaces not updating in aod mode

    why does the samsungs one still work?
    how can they still update and preserve battery?
    is this possible on a 3rd party?

  • christian

    Seriously! This is so unnecessary. Anw Sadique, I’m quoting this page to Samsung community page, because you have a good explanation. thankyou

  • I wish I had never traded my GW3 for the GW4 Classic. So many issues. Tien ran so much snappier and had better watch faces to begin with. Now I can’t even run aod mode. Wtf is the point if it’s not gonna update until I wake the screen anyways. Garmin Fenix 7 here I come.

    • Sadique Hassan

      Well said James. If it is indeed a new functionality introduced by Samsung just to preserve a few battery percentages, then I don’t think it is worth the trade-off. People will definitely opt for its alternatives now.