Thursday, 05 October 2017 07:04

watchOS 4.01 for Apple Watch Series 3 LTE fixes Wi-Fi/LTE bug

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A bug that saw the 4G/LTE enabled Apple Watch join captive Wi-Fi networks without letting you enter details to connect, thus blocking LTE connectivity, has now been patched.

If you've purchased an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE capability, then a must-download update to watchOS 4.01 has now arrived, at 42.9MB in size.

I'm downloading the app as I type, having seen information about it at Seeking Alpha, which took me to AppleInsider.

The bug prevented 4G/LTE connectivity when the watch was connected to a Wi-Fi network that didn't actually let you get through to the Internet. This type of "captive" Wi-Fi network can be seen on iPhones, iPads, Macs, PCs and Android devices when connecting to free Wi-Fi in shopping centres, for example, and requires you to log in or accept terms and conditions.

This additional page of terms and conditions isn't viewable on the Apple Watch screen, and this caught Apple Watches in a limbo of being connected to Wi-Fi but not connected to 4G/LTE, which was well reported by initial Apple Watch Series 3 reviews.

I've been using watchOS 4.0 on both a Series 2 and a review unit Series 3, and it is definitely a very worth update, delivering the new Siri intelligent watch face, but also a range of other new faces, new way to interact with open apps and more.

The Watch Series 3 with 70% faster dual-core processor is extremely noticeable, instead of apps opening with three or four spins of the spinning circle animation, the Series 3 watch doesn't even complete a full spin of the animation before apps spring to life.

Siri also speaks back to you in her own voice, which is a very welcome addition, and making 4G phone calls without your phone nearby works absolutely as advertised!

Battery life when on 4G/LTE is obviously lower than when not exclusively connected to cellular connectivity, but this is to be expected, and with most people still set to have their iPhones nearby most of the time, you'll just have to deal with charging issues during the day should you choose to make extensive use of your Series 3 watch independent of your iPhone.

That said, various apps still require a paired iPhone, so Series 3 Apple Watch isn't a truly 100% independent device as yet, but hey, a massive amount of progress has been achieved since the very first Apple Watch in 2015, with even better still yet to come.

So, if you have an Apple Watch, it's time to upgrade to what is now watchOS 4.01 and enjoy the upgraded new experience, and squished connectivity bug for Series 3 LTE owners.

I'll have a fuller review, unboxing video and more soon. 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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