Apple pulls new watchOS 5.1 update

Apple pulls new watchOS 5.1 update


watchOS 5 Face
Is your Apple Watch still running with watchOS 5.1?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has pulled the watchOS 5.1 update just hours after making it available to the public.

The move came after reports that the release was “bricking” Apple Watch Series 4 units. Apple has advised those who are experiencing a constant boot loop to contact AppleCare.

Released alongside iOS 12.1 on Tuesday, watchOS 5.1 delivered more than 70 new emoji characters, updated watch faces, support for Group FaceTime audio, and a bunch of fixes. But for a small number of users, the update has left their Apple Watch unusable.

“5.1 update has totally killed my Series 4,” tweeted one user, whose Series 4 device got stuck in a boot loop. “I’ve been stuck on the logo for hours,” wrote another on Reddit. “Apple says I’ll have to ship it to them for repair.”

Apple recognized the complaints quickly and has postponed the watchOS 5.1 rollout.

watchOS 5.1 disappears

“Due to a small number of Apple Watch customers experiencing an issue while installing watchOS 5.1 today, we’ve pulled back the software update as a precaution,” Apple explained in a statement to CNET.

If you haven’t already updated, then, you no longer have the opportunity to do so — at least for now. If you have already updated and your Apple Watch is working perfectly, there’s no need to worry.

“Any customers impacted should contact AppleCare, but no action is required if the update installed successfully,” Apple adds. “We are working on a fix for an upcoming software update.”

This isn’t the first time

Apple doesn’t say when we can expect to see watchOS 5.1 again, but if this is a minor bug, it shouldn’t take too long to fix. Apple will want to ensure that it has eliminated the issue completely before making it available again.

This isn’t the first time a watchOS update has bricked Apple Watch units. The first watchOS 5 beta, rolled out to developers in June, caused a similar issue for Series 2 devices.


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