Apple pulls first watchOS 5 beta seed amid reports of installation issues

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 6
Apple late Tuesday halted downloads of the first watchOS 5 beta seed, saying the software will be temporarily unavailable as it investigates an unspecified issue that may occur during the update process.




Details of the issue were not made public, though AppleInsider readers have reported inordinately long wait times when attempting to install the first watchOS 5 beta seed that saw release shortly after its unveiling onstage at Monday's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.

In addition to first-hand reports, beta update troubles were also detailed in online forums posts by members of Apple's developer program. In some cases, the 546MB over-the-air download failed to complete, while others ran into errors during the update process.

The most frequently reported problem, at least among those outlined online, was an issue that saw an Apple Watch seemingly complete the installation procedure only to reboot into a current version watchOS 4. Re-pairing the device with an iPhone running iOS 12 beta worked for a small number of users, though most claimed the workaround was ineffective.

Apple has since pulled watchOS 5 beta and the initial seed's release notes from its developer website, which now shows the software as "Coming Soon." In an update, the company says, "Seed 1 of watchOS 5 is temporarily unavailable. We are investigating an issue that may occur while updating. If you've experienced any issues, please contact AppleCare."

Bugs and other problems are common occurrences in beta software, especially first release versions like initial seeds. Indeed, beta builds exist to ferret out potential issues before the release reaches consumers.

As AppleInsider noted earlier this week, beta software should only be installed on non-critical hardware. These early releases are built for developers, not average consumers looking to get a sneak peek at Apple's upcoming platform advancements.

Announced on Monday, watchOS 5 comes with a slew of new features including enhanced fitness functionality, deeper Siri integration, a new "walkie-talkie" communication feature, user interface tweaks and more.

Apple has not provided further detail on when the first watchOS 5 beta will be reinstated, but developers can keep tabs on the latest news through the company's developer website.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    geoffdruingeoffdruin Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Had an issue during installation, watch was stuck on Apple logo.  Restored the watch and after repairing process it was on watchOS 5. 
  • Reply 2 of 6
    Had an issue during installation, watch was stuck on Apple logo.  Restored the watch and after repairing process it was on watchOS 5. 
    Yup unpairing and re-pairing worked for me when stuck on Apple Logo on series 3 non-cellular.
    Seen some worse where there is a red exclamation mark displayed - these are the ones which are totally bricked though!
    edited June 6
  • Reply 3 of 6
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,371member
    Dougie.S said:
    Had an issue during installation, watch was stuck on Apple logo.  Restored the watch and after repairing process it was on watchOS 5. 
    Yup unpairing and re-pairing worked for me when stuck on Apple Logo on series 3 non-cellular.
    Seen some worse where these is a red exclamation mark displayed - these are the ones which are totally bricked though!
    Yes, saw mentions of a couple of bricked devices that Apple has said they will replace under warranty due to this. A great reason for folks that aren't developers and using on a non-primary device to avoid early beta's unless they don't really mind being without for a bit. These test releases are not meant for regular users and will almost certainly have issues, ofttimes minor and sometimes major.

    ...and yeah I've been known not to follow my own advice. More than once.  :)
    edited June 6
  • Reply 4 of 6
    Dougie.S said:
    Had an issue during installation, watch was stuck on Apple logo.  Restored the watch and after repairing process it was on watchOS 5. 
    Yup unpairing and re-pairing worked for me when stuck on Apple Logo on series 3 non-cellular.
    Seen some worse where there is a red exclamation mark displayed - these are the ones which are totally bricked though!
    The real sucky part is if you get that exclamation mark, you have to ship it to Apple since there's no way for you to re-install the firmware. Worse, if they aren't successful and it's out of warranty, then they'll want you to pay for a replacement or get it back still bricked. 

    So think before you update your watch. 
  • Reply 5 of 6
    Dougie.S said:
    Had an issue during installation, watch was stuck on Apple logo.  Restored the watch and after repairing process it was on watchOS 5. 
    Yup unpairing and re-pairing worked for me when stuck on Apple Logo on series 3 non-cellular.
    Seen some worse where there is a red exclamation mark displayed - these are the ones which are totally bricked though!
    The real sucky part is if you get that exclamation mark, you have to ship it to Apple since there's no way for you to re-install the firmware. Worse, if they aren't successful and it's out of warranty, then they'll want you to pay for a replacement or get it back still bricked. 

    So think before you update your watch. 

    if Apple released an update that bricked devices and refused free repair out of warranty, I have to imagine there'd be a lawsuit...

    I get it, it's up to the user to install an update, but what if this happened with a public release?

  • Reply 6 of 6
    Dougie.S said:
    Had an issue during installation, watch was stuck on Apple logo.  Restored the watch and after repairing process it was on watchOS 5. 
    Yup unpairing and re-pairing worked for me when stuck on Apple Logo on series 3 non-cellular.
    Seen some worse where there is a red exclamation mark displayed - these are the ones which are totally bricked though!
    The real sucky part is if you get that exclamation mark, you have to ship it to Apple since there's no way for you to re-install the firmware. Worse, if they aren't successful and it's out of warranty, then they'll want you to pay for a replacement or get it back still bricked. 

    So think before you update your watch. 

    if Apple released an update that bricked devices and refused free repair out of warranty, I have to imagine there'd be a lawsuit...

    I get it, it's up to the user to install an update, but what if this happened with a public release?

    It does. 

    A friend of mine who works at an Apple Store has had a few instances where an update bricked the watch and the repair facility said tough luck give me $239 to replace it. Some customers had to lodge complaints to get Apple to replace the watch without charging the customer. 

    I get that it can happen with any iOS device, but what's frustrating is that the end user can't restore the device if the firmware is borked. So you have to take Apple's word that the device was failing and the update completed it's failure. Some people are rightly skeptical. 
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