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WatchOS 3.1.1 bricks some Apple Watch devices, update temporarily pulled

Apple Watch Series 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Eager to hop on that watchOS update on your Apple Watch? You will have to wait a little as watchOS 3.1.1 has a bug that requires a trip to the Apple Store as a remedy.

Apple pulled the update, which launched on Monday, after several users reported that it bricked their Apple Watch. Bricking means the device is rendered useless as it cannot function and several users say the update left them with a red exclamation mark on the display as well as a link to Apple’s support page.


Not everyone had an issue with the update and it looks like it’s primarily affecting owners of the new Apple Watch Series 2. Unfortunately, if you jumped on the update immediately, you most likely have to service your device at the Apple Store.

If you do see the red exclamation mark on your device, Apple recommends pressing and holding the side button and the Digital Crown at the same time to trigger a force restart. If that doesn’t work, Apple says “you’ll need to have your Apple Watch serviced.”

If you didn’t update your Apple Watch yet, you won’t be able to download it until Apple fixes the issue.

“A very small number of Apple Watch customers experienced an issue while installing watchOS 3.1.1, so as a precaution we’ve pulled back the software update,” according to Apple. “Any customers impacted should contact AppleCare, but no action is required if the update installed successfully. We are working on a fix for an upcoming software update.”

The update is supposed to bring bug fixes and performance improvements, but it also supports the new Unicode 9 emoji that appeared in iOS 10.2 — including the ability to change the skin tone of an emoji.

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