watchOS 3.1.1 update bricking some Apple Watches, users say

Posted:
in Apple Watch
Monday's watchOS 3.1.1 update has rendered some Apple Watches useless, forcing their owners to turn to Apple for a replacement, according to a series of user complaints.

Image Credit: jayt_94 on Reddit
Image Credit: jayt_94 on Reddit


Affected Watches are ending up on a screen with a red exclamation mark, and a link to www.apple.com/help/watch. In practice, though, even Apple stores can't deal with the problem directly, which purportedly involves connecting to a Watch's diagnostic port to restore the device.

Instead Apple stores are apparently sending units off, making it easier in some cases to use the company's support site and apply for a replacement by mail.

While the problem primarily appears to be affecting Series 2 Watches, some earlier models may also be impacted. Since even many Series 2 owners haven't experienced any trouble, though, it's not clear what the root cause might be.

If faulty code is responsible, Apple may already be aware of the issue and working on a watchOS 3.1.2 update. 3.1.1 was released in tandem with iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1, and was itself meant to offer bugfixes.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    I have the Nike watch. No problems during the 5 betas and no problem here on the master either. My friend has the Series 1 (second gen) no problem with his 5 betas and now the GM either. 

    Both iphones went through all the betas and now the GM of iOS 10.2 as well.

    In case that helps. <GRIN> 
    iqatedowatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,821member
    If they've been doing all of these betas how come this didn't come up during then? I would think this would be a benefit to having public betas but I guess not.

    Not that this helps anyone, but my Apple Watch Series 1 updated just fine. 
    edited December 2016 iqatedorepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    No problems, no obvious ones, on a Series 2. Took a while to install though, but again no obvious issues found.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    All good on my Nike Series 2. Did take quite a bit of time, but everything seems to be running well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Took a long time to update my Series 1, and when it was finished my  iPhone said Update Completed in a pop up box, but the watch was still booting up (apple logo) and the iPhone noted that it was still installing even after the watch completed booting.   After quitting the iOS Watch app and relaunching, both devices showed that it updated to 3.1.1 - so all was good. 


    iqatedowatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    Series 1 had no issues updating.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    I have a series 1 and it updated ok, took longer than usual though. However, all my text messages on the watch just show the phone number instead of the contact name now.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    I have a series 2 and it bricked my watch.  Was very slow through the update process and stayed on the Apple logo with the update ring completed. After 4 hours I disconnected cuz I needed my phone.  Got
    the red exclamation mark and even after a forced reboot got the same result.   Chatted with Apple online and they express shipped a new watch out which should be here tomorrow.  If this happens to you be sure to unpair your watch before sending it in to Apple. 
    edited December 2016 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    My Series 2 Nike watch bricked. I woke up with the watch update at 100% on the apple logo after having started it before going to bed. Resetting the watch yielded the picture shown above. Apple Care said that a lot of people were having the same problem. So what happens if something like this occurs long after the warranty period ends? I have an appointment at the local Apple Store for this evening. I will be sad if they take my watch and I have to wait for them to ship it back to me.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 10 of 20
    AppleBumAppleBum Posts: 37unconfirmed, member
    My Watch app didn't show the 3.1.1  update for my Series 1. It said that the watch had 3.1 and was up-to-date. That was last night; I haven't checked it today.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    I don't update any device after any release until a couple of weeks have passed. Too many kinks, and not fun ones.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,938member
    I don't update any device after any release until a couple of weeks have passed. Too many kinks, and not fun ones.
    And I always update the same day the updates come out and have never, EVER, had any kinks. What makes you think anything changes in a couple of weeks? I updated everything yesterday, except macOS Sierra and that came out today. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    emoeller said:
    Took a long time to update my Series 1, and when it was finished my  iPhone said Update Completed in a pop up box, but the watch was still booting up (apple logo) and the iPhone noted that it was still installing even after the watch completed booting.   After quitting the iOS Watch app and relaunching, both devices showed that it updated to 3.1.1 - so all was good. 


    Same here. iPhone Watch application hung at 12 minutes to go showing "updating...". It took over an hour for the watch to finish its update and reboot back into its OS (with the iPhone continuing to show "12 minutes" to go. When the watch (Series 1) rebooted back into its OS, the watch reported "Version 3.1.1 (14S883)". I quit the iPhone watch app (double-tap and drag-up to quit). Restarting the watch app showed "watchOS 3.1.1 Your software is up to date"). Watch-to-iPhone synchronization indication during its operation is almost as poor as real-time status indications during iPhone App Store application updates (which has been mismatched for years now). I wonder who is responsible for display of real-time work-flow and threads?
    anantksundaram
  • Reply 14 of 20
    lkrupp said:
    I don't update any device after any release until a couple of weeks have passed. Too many kinks, and not fun ones.
    And I always update the same day the updates come out and have never, EVER, had any kinks. What makes you think anything changes in a couple of weeks? I updated everything yesterday, except macOS Sierra and that came out today. 
    I have had bricks when updating on the day of release. The last one was a couple of years ago was a brutal brick of with my @TV3, which went utterly dead. After that, I've always waited a couple of weeks. A lot can change in a couple of weeks -- or not -- and it's good both ways. It changes if a lot of people experience problems, and if it does not change, that pretty much means that people have not experienced problems. So either way, it works out.
    larrya
  • Reply 15 of 20
    My Series 2 Stainless Steel bricked. After sitting for hours at 100 percent at the Apple logo, I restarted the watch and got the exclamation point. I couldn't get an appointment at the Apple Store until Friday, so I called back and asked for faster service. They are sending me another watch, which they said would probably arrive tomorrow.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    idreyidrey Posts: 640member
    My watch is at 3.1 and says is up to date. Not showing the option to update to 3.1.1. :( I'm I going to have to reset the watch?
  • Reply 17 of 20
    lkrupp said:
    I don't update any device after any release until a couple of weeks have passed. Too many kinks, and not fun ones.
    And I always update the same day the updates come out and have never, EVER, had any kinks. What makes you think anything changes in a couple of weeks? I updated everything yesterday, except macOS Sierra and that came out today. 
    I wait until OS releases are tested by users, then update if there are no hitches. Point releases are generally less troublesome, but this is a case in, um, point. 
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 18 of 20
    tiinntiinn Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    My series 1 watch got bricked. Update froze before booting up with the apple logo on to the red exclamation mark. Since I'm traveling currently my service options are little to none. Such a big inconvenience its been.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    tiinntiinn Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    AppleBum said:
    My Watch app didn't show the 3.1.1  update for my Series 1. It said that the watch had 3.1 and was up-to-date. That was last night; I haven't checked it today.
    The update has since been pulled by Apple due to several cases of watches not starting up properly and giving the red exclamation mark screen.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    Sympathies for those with a bricked watch. My AW2 updated just fine and in fact the update seems to have fixed a problem with fitness achievement notifications.
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