Despite having its share of critics, an Apple Watch is the perfect complement to an iPhone. With fitness tracking, a built-in heart rate monitor, haptic notification alerts, voice-activated messaging, Dick Tracy-like phone functionality and Apple Pay on your wrist, the Apple Watch embodies the bold vision Apple has for wearables and mobile computing, in general.
If you already use one of these smart watches, you know it gets watchOS updates on a regular basis. Typically, watchOS updates are released the same time iOS updates are. It turns out that this weeks' update is causing some very critical issues.
Apple released watchOS 3.1.1 on December 13. Some users who installed the update were left with a "bricked" watch. Bricked means the gadget is completely unable to function, possibly permanently. Yikes!
Fixing your bricked Apple Watch
The model that was affected with the bad update is the Apple Watch Series 2. Apple is aware of the issue and has pulled the update so it's no longer available.
What's happening is, the user begins downloading watchOS 3.1.1 and it gets stuck during the process. Some people said the progress bar was stuck for hours, so they tried to do a force restart.
This led to either a red "!" showing up on the display or a frozen Apple logo, rendering the watch unusable.
Apple's recommended fix for locked screens is another forced restart. To perform a forced restart, press and hold both the side button and Digital Crown for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.
If this process doesn't resolve the issue, you'll need to have your Apple Watch serviced. You can either take it to an Apple Store or click here to begin the process with Apple Support. In most cases, the watch will have to be sent to Apple so they can replace it.
Some people with the Apple Watch Series 2 say that they were able to successfully update to the new watchOS. People with Series 0 and Series 1 watches were not affected by the update, other than it took a really long time to install.
The best thing you can do is not update to 3.1.1. Apple should be working on a fix and waiting for the next update is your best course of action.