Apple released a new watchOS 6.1 update for the Apple Watch today that delivers AirPods Pro support, bug fixes and security patches to Apple watch owners.
watchOS 6.0.1 was the first update to watchOS 6, and now watchOS 6.1 is here with fixes, new features and finally with support for the series 1 and series 2 models. It is lined up with iOS 13.2 and macOS 10.15.1.
If your Apple Watch is already on watchOS 6, this is a small upgrade with important changes. If you stuck to watchOS 5 while Apple fixed watchOS 6 problems, your list of features, fixes, and patches will be longer. This is a medium-size download and it installs faster than the base watchOS 6 update did, but it takes about 10 minutes longer than the watchOS 6.0.1 update. This update on the Apple Watch 5 with GPS is 340mb.
Now that you know the basics about watchOS 6.1 and where it sits in the lineup, this is what you need to know about this update right now as it is rolling out. You may already see an alert on your wrist about this update with a prompt to install it tonight, but you need to read up before you make the jump.
watchOS 6.1 Reviews
I’ve been using the watchOS 6.1 update on the Apple Watch 5 for a short amount of time and this is what I’ve learned. I am using the GPS only model, and we are monitoring feedback from the LTE model. A common complaint about the Series 5 with the Always On Display and with Noise monitoring was bad battery life, but it is still too early to tell if this update fixes that specific problem.
- WiFi is connected and as quick as on watchOS 6.0.1.
- Bluetooth is connected immediately to my phone.
- AirPods connected and streamed. No AirPods Pro to test yet.
- GPS and Compass are working.
- Third-party apps launch and work as expected including Spotify, Calm, Starbucks, Ecobee, Facebook Messenger and others.
- Apple’s apps like Apple Music, Messages, Calendar, and Podcasts are working as well.
Speed & Battery Life
- The update feels as snappy and responsive as watchOS 6.0.1, which is no shock on the latest Apple Watch hardware.
It’s too early to make any bold statements about battery life, but after two hours, the battery life is stable.
watchOS 6.1 Problems
So far there are not widespread reports of any watchOS 6.1 problems, but you can expect some problems will still be a problem on this update.
Our installation and those of many others went quickly, compared to watchOS 6, which is a great sign. As you can read in our review above, the connectivity is working nicely and so far apps are working well. The only installation issue we’ve seen is that some users were unaware you needed to put the watch on the charger to start the installation.
We’re keeping an eye out for any connectivity or app issues on this new version of watchOS 6.1. Apple says this update includes performance fixes, which could solve the bad Apple Watch battery life that some users are experiencing and help with the overall performance on the
watchOS 6.1 Update: What’s New
You don’t get any real new features, but this is focused on AirPods Pro and un-named fixes and improvements. Here’s what’s new in watchOS 6.1;
- Support for AirPods Pro
- Includes improvements and bug fixes.
- This update also brings watchOS 6 to Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2.
If you use these features, you should install the update now. There are also likely some additional security updates, but Apple has not posted them yet.
watchOS 6.1 Compatibility
The watchOS 6.1 update is available to all Apple Watch devices running watchOS 6 already. This update adds support to the Series 1 and Series 2 models.
You need to install iOS 13.2 on your iPhone in order to be able to install the watchOS 6.1 update.
Apple has not yet confirmed watchOS 6.2.1 or watchOS 6.2 to the public, but the company is clearly working on new watchOS updates. With the upcoming updates, we expect to see Apple roll into an update cycle of 1-2 small updates with a bigger update and then rinse and repeat. There is a good chance that we see a small update before the end of the year, but it could be into 2020 before we see watchOS 6.2. This all depends on what problems appear and how long it takes for Apple to release a developer beta.