It appears the Apple Watch Series 3 is struggling to keep up with WatchOS 7.
As spotted by 9to5Mac, users have taken to the Apple support forum to report performance issues like sudden reboots, battery depletion, and more.
It’s only been a few weeks since Apple officially released the final version of its latest operating system, which packs some helpful new features like sleep-tracking, Siri Shortcuts, and hand-washing detection, to name a few. But one look at the forum, and it’s clear the new OS is doing more harm than good for at least some Series 3 owners.
My series 3 completed an auto update overnight to Watch OS7. Today it has shut itself down at least 3 times, locked itself while on my wrist about 4 times, failed to load complications on multiple faces (weather, activity rings, date etc), disconnected from my phone at least twice. It has also dropped to less than 50% battery in about 8 hours, normally it is still in the 80’s. Is anyone else having these issues? This has been the buggiest upgrade I have seen.
What followed were 12 pages worth of replies with other Series 3 owners pointing tosimilar issues, and more. Additionally, almost 650 people clicked on the “I have this question too” button included underneath the post.
Prior to its release, WatchOS 7 was in public beta for the summer — giving Apple plenty of time to refine its new capabilities based on bugs reported by its users. But it seems the company might’ve let this one slip through the cracks.
I ran the public beta on series 3 which beta versions have a diagnostic reporting platform the problem was reported to apple 45 times in the duration of the 30 day testing period in which they did not fix before the public release so they do know about the issue with 3 and 4
Of course, it’s normal for public betas to come with tons of issues but one would only hope it’d be solved with the release of the final version.
It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the only WatchOS 7 complaint thread out there on the internet. There’s another one over on MacRumors Forums specifically for the Series 3, with others also reporting random reboots and battery problems.
It’s unclear why this is happening, but the Series 3 does have an older processor than the Series 4 and above. While Apple tends to discontinue its previous-generation model the minute a new Apple Watch is announced, it has yet to phase out the Series 3, in an apparent effort to keep a more basic and affordable wearable in the lineup.
Even though it’s only been three years since the release of the Series 3, it’d make sense to question whether WatchOS 7 is a bit too much for the older watch to handle. And now that the new budget-friendly Apple Watch SE has joined the family, it makes us wonder whether the company plans to discontinue the third-generation watch next year.
Regardless, the Series 3 is still just as important as its newest smartwatches, given that it’s compatible with WatchOS 7. But Apple has yet to release a fix for the problem.
Users suggest downgrading to WatchOS 6. However, even that has been a struggle for some — after a hard reset, there doesn’t appear to be an option to swap back to the previous OS.
Others have been suggesting the issue has to do with a lack of memory on the device. While freeing up some storage helped to actually load the operating system on to the device, some report that the same aforementioned issues are still happening.
We’ve reached out to Apple and will update this story if we receive a response.