About a week after pulling the watchOS 5.1 update, Apple has officially rolled out watchOS 5.1.1 that fixes the biggest issue in the watchOS 5.1. The latest update fixes the bricking issue that caused many Apple Watch devices to become unusable after users tried to install watchOS 5.1 last week. The bricking issue did not affect every Apple Watch, but Apple considered it serious enough to pull the watchOS 5.1 update within hours of releasing it.
Here’s what more the watchOS 5.1.1 brings
Last week, Apple admitted that the buggy watchOS 5.1 affected a “small number” of customers. The update failed to successfully install on many devices. Affected users said at the time that they were able to download and begin installation of the 5.1 update, but the screen would freeze completely when the Apple logo appears. The company asked people who suffered the bricking issue to contact AppleCare. The new watchOS 5.1.1 fixes the issue, meaning you can install it without worrying about getting your device bricked.
Apple’s release notes for 5.1.1 don’t mention the bricking issue, but it appears to have been quietly fixed. The watchOS 5.1.1 brings the same features and fixes the same issues that last week’s botched update was supposed to. It improves the Fall Detection alerts. The device will now automatically contact emergency services if you suffer a hard fall and remain immobile for a minute. It also shares your location with your emergency contacts.
The watchOS 5.1.1 also fixes a Walkie-Talkie issue that would cause an incomplete installation of the Walkie-Talkie app. The update also addresses bugs in the Activity app. Other features introduced with 5.1.1 are the audio-only support for Group FaceTime calls and dozens of new emoji characters including different types of hair, food, animals, expressions, and symbols. The 5.1.1 also includes new “Color” watch faces for the Series 4 Apple Watch and similar faces for other Apple Watch models.
Sadly, the watchOS 5.1.1 doesn’t bring the new ECG app that Apple had promised to release later this year for the Apple Watch Series 4. It should arrive later this year via a major software update. For now, you should install the 5.1.1 over-the-air update through the iOS Watch app. Make sure that your Apple Watch has at least 50% battery before you begin downloading it.
It’s worth pointing out that watchOS 5.1.1 is not going to fix things if your device is already affected by the bricking issue. If you have a bricked Apple Watch, visit the nearest Apple Store or contact Apple Support and the company will send you a replacement device. The Cupertino company has already issued replacements to many affected Apple Watch customers. It indicates you can’t repair the device on your own.
New complications for Series 4 in the pipeline
Folks at 9to5Mac noticed that the watchOS 5.1.1 hints at some cool stuff coming for the Series 4 Watch owners in the near future. After installing the latest update, you’ll see seven new complications in the watch face gallery app for the Infograph and Infograph Modular faces. The complications are Phone, Home, Messages, News, Remote, Mail, and Maps. If you select them in the companion Watch app, they don’t appear on the device. You’ll only see “blank zones.”
Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac speculates that these complications might have been intended to be new features in the next major watchOS update. But Apple was so in a rush to fix the bricking issue and roll out the watchOS 5.1.1 that it forgot to remove the unfinished features. These complications could debut with the watchOS 5.1.2 or another update.
Apple Watch Series 4 owners have complained about the lack of Infograph complications for first-party system apps. The unfinished complications spotted in watchOS 5.1.1 suggest Apple is working to address their complaints. The complications aren’t active in watchOS 5.1.1, so they haven’t been tested yet.