Apple Releases watchOS 5.1.1 with Fix for Serious Bricking Issue

Apple Watch Series 4 Credit: quangmooo / Shutterstock
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Apple released an updated version of watchOS 5.1 on Monday to address sporadic reports of bricked devices.

The release of the update, watchOS 5.1.1, comes just a few days after Apple temporarily pulled the original watchOS 5.1 update after some users reported that it had completely bricked their devices.

While the bug didn’t affect every Apple Watch model, wearables that were impacted became stuck indefinitely on the Apple logo during or after installation, the reports indicated.

It isn’t clear how widespread the bug was, but the issue was apparently significant enough for Apple to pull the watchOS update and issue a fix.

watchOS 5.1.1 should address the bug that caused Apple Watch devices to become non-functional. But it’s worth noting that the new software update probably won’t do anything for users who have already been affected by the issue.

Last week, some users reported that Apple had begun issuing replacement Apple Watch devices. That suggests that impacted Watches aren’t repairable by end users.

The original watchOS 5.1 version was a relatively incremental update to the wearable operating system.

It introduced audio-only support for Group FaceTime calls and included more than 70 new emoji, including different hair, expression, food, animal and symbol characters.

The update also included new full-screen “Color” watch faces for the Apple Watch Series 4 and similar circular filled-in options for older models.

According to Apple’s release notes, watchOS 5.1 also improved fall detection on Apple Watch Series 4. It addressed two bugs related to Walkie-Talkie and another that caused Activity awards to not show up properly.

Of course, watchOS 5.1.1 will also feature the aforementioned additions and bug fixes as well as a patch for the bricking issue. It’s worth noting that watchOS 5.1 or watchOS 5.1.1 don’t feature the highly anticipated ECG app.

The update should now be available to all users as a free over-the-air update. It can be downloaded through the iOS Watch app — though the Apple Watch itself must be at least 50 percent charged and connected to a magnetic charger.

If your device was bricked with the previous watchOS 5.1 update, we recommend that you contact Apple Support so that the company can send you a replacement device.

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