Yesterday, Apple’s focus was on announcing a number of device updates including a new MacBook Air with Retina Display, an long overdue Mac Mini refresh, and new 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants of the iPad Pro. But it’s the software updates we’re talking about today, and in particular the botched release of watchOS 5.1 for Apple’s smartwatches.
Something went very wrong with watchOS 5.1 to the point where attempting to update an Apple Watch Series 4 can brick it. As 9to5Mac reports, the problem seems to be restricted to Series 4 devices, but it is serious enough that Apple pulled the update. If you did manage to download it, the advice right now is do not attempt to update your watch as you could be left with a dead timepiece.
No explanation has been forthcoming from Apple as to what happened, but you’ll know watchOS 5.1 bricked your watch because it just gets stuck on the Apple logo. No amount of restarts or attempted pairing with an iPhone helps. Your watch is effectively dead and will require help from Apple Support.
WatchOS 5.0 was released back on Sept. 17 and introduced a number of improvements to Siri and Notifications, while adding a Walkie-Talkie and Podcast apps, new workout types, and is generally smarter at detecting what activity you are doing. The update to 5.1 yesterday was meant to introduce the 70+ new emoji also included with iOS 12.1, but that will clearly have to wait now until Apple figures out what went wrong.