Magnetic bands could mess with Apple Watch Series 5 compass

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Compass
Compasses and magnets don’t mix.
Photo: Apple

One of the best new features on Apple Watch Series 5 may not work well — or at all — depending on what type of band wear with your watch.

Like all compasses, the Apple Watch Series 5 compass is sensitive to magnetic interference. Cupertino warns customers on its website that some of its bands with magnetic clasps could adversely affect compass readings.

Stay away from these bands if you want your Apple Watch compass to work.

Magnetic Apple Watch bands could affect the compass

The Milanese Loop, Modern Buckle and Leather Loop all use magnets. If you’re jonesing to use the Apple Watch Series 5 compass, stick with Sport bands, Sport loops, Link bracelets, Nike bands and Hermès bands. None of those use magnets. (Note: Magnetic bands will not adversely affect Apple Watch’s GPS navigation.)

As first spotted by MacRumors, all the magnetic bands Apple sells come with a warning about the potential problem. You should also be on alert for third-party bands that use magnets.

Any of the Apple bands can be bought in a bundle with Apple Watch Series 5. You can also go into your local Apple store and try the Apple Watch Studio, which lets you pick the perfect watch and band combo and walk out of the store with it.

Preorders of the Apple Watch Series 5 opened last Friday, with units set to land in stores on September 20.