Does iOS 11.3 require the Apple Watch to be on 4.X?

m.x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 12, 2014
107
461
I read somewhere that 11.3 requires the Apple Watch to be on WatchOS 4.X. Can someone clarify this for me? It would be really bad for me since I own a S0 SS Watch which I kept on 3.2.2. I really don’t want to update the Watch because its battery lasts two days on light use which is perfect for me.

Thank you for your help!
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
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Colorado
What I did the last time a watch update required me to update my phone, I updated an older iPhone that wasn't my daily and that I didn't care much about. I then updated the phone and then re-paired it to my main phone. It actually worked.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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As far as I know, no, you aren't required to upgrade watchOS when you upgrade to iOS 11.x. It is the other way around, however - you need to upgrade to iOS 11.x in order to get watchOS 4.x. (This infers that iOS 11 has to support watchOS 3.x - otherwise, how could you upgrade the watch following the iOS upgrade?)

Personally, I did not encounter a drop in performance when I moved to watchOS 4. The added features may lead you to use more battery than previously, but there seem to be power-utilization improvements that make up for it. But if you're happy with exactly what you have, no reason to upgrade.
 

m.x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 12, 2014
107
461
As far as I know, no, you aren't required to upgrade watchOS when you upgrade to iOS 11.x. It is the other way around, however - you need to upgrade to iOS 11.x in order to get watchOS 4.x. (This infers that iOS 11 has to support watchOS 3.x - otherwise, how could you upgrade the watch following the iOS upgrade?)

Personally, I did not encounter a drop in performance when I moved to watchOS 4. The added features may lead you to use more battery than previously, but there seem to be power-utilization improvements that make up for it. But if you're happy with exactly what you have, no reason to upgrade.
Now that you mention it, I remember a few discussions here right after WWDC where people were having problems when they had their watches on 4.0 and the watches weren’t connecting to iPhones on 10.X.
I think I’ll update to 11.3 but keep my watch as long as possible on 3.2.2, but if we’re wrong and the watch has to be updated, I’ll do that.
Thank you very much for your help!
 

muasachi

macrumors member
Jul 29, 2013
94
98
As far as I know, no, you aren't required to upgrade watchOS when you upgrade to iOS 11.x. It is the other way around, however - you need to upgrade to iOS 11.x in order to get watchOS 4.x. (This infers that iOS 11 has to support watchOS 3.x - otherwise, how could you upgrade the watch following the iOS upgrade?)

Personally, I did not encounter a drop in performance when I moved to watchOS 4. The added features may lead you to use more battery than previously, but there seem to be power-utilization improvements that make up for it. But if you're happy with exactly what you have, no reason to upgrade.
Last year I bought an original Apple Watch for my sister, if I remember correctly it was shipped with watchOS 2
When I was trying to pair with iOS11, it forced me to update watchOS to the latest version first.
No way I'd have done to pair without upgrading watchOS
And also I got a replacement for my watch and it's shipped with watchOS 3, this time it didn't force me to update the watch
 

m.x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 12, 2014
107
461
Since 11.3 is now out in the wild, has anybody tried to use a watch with 3.2.3 with a freshly updated iPhone?
 

thesaint580

macrumors member
May 15, 2008
90
3
Since 11.3 is now out in the wild, has anybody tried to use a watch with 3.2.3 with a freshly updated iPhone?
Looks like 11.3 is forcing me to update to 4.3. If I open the watch app, only option is to Exit and reset or Continue update. This is the new Apple.
 

m.x

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 12, 2014
107
461
Looks like 11.3 is forcing me to update to 4.3. If I open the watch app, only option is to Exit and reset or Continue update. This is the new Apple.
Well, I really hoped that this wouldn’t happen. Does it still sync to the Activity app?
 

matrix07

macrumors 601
Jun 24, 2010
4,927
1,446
Looks like 11.3 is forcing me to update to 4.3. If I open the watch app, only option is to Exit and reset or Continue update. This is the new Apple.
Yep. This sucks. I want to keep my S0 on OS 3 but now I have to update it to 4.3 or I won’t be able to pair it. sigh...

Why?
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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Yep. This sucks. I want to keep my S0 on OS 3 but now I have to update it to 4.3 or I won’t be able to pair it. sigh...

Why?
Do you want a specific explanation from the engineers who made the change or speculation?

Since I'm not one of those engineers, all I can do is speculate. Generally, this kind of mandatory upgrade is due to dependencies of various sorts - as soon as multiple devices must communicate and share data/functionality with each other, there are conditions that must be met on both ends in order for the changes/fixes to work. In the particular case of Watch/iPhone, those dependencies are particularly strong - a fair amount of Watch functionality is pushed over to the iPhone. It could also be a recently discovered security hole that needs to be patched at both ends of a wireless comm link. It might be a new feature on one end that affects a database structure on the other end. And, of course, the conspiracy theorists who believe that every change is due to evil intent on Apple's part may just be right upon occasion.
 

matrix07

macrumors 601
Jun 24, 2010
4,927
1,446
Do you want a specific explanation from the engineers who made the change or speculation?

Since I'm not one of those engineers, all I can do is speculate. Generally, this kind of mandatory upgrade is due to dependencies of various sorts - as soon as multiple devices must communicate and share data/functionality with each other, there are conditions that must be met on both ends in order for the changes/fixes to work. In the particular case of Watch/iPhone, those dependencies are particularly strong - a fair amount of Watch functionality is pushed over to the iPhone. It could also be a recently discovered security hole that needs to be patched at both ends of a wireless comm link. It might be a new feature on one end that affects a database structure on the other end. And, of course, the conspiracy theorists who believe that every change is due to evil intent on Apple's part may just be right upon occasion.

It's just a question out of desperation.. but thank you for taking the time to explain. Appreciate it.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,423
3,439
I can’t recall Apple being so aggressive in regards of the software update back in old days. But oh well. iOS 11.3 is still a disaster for me essentially.
I do update to watchOS 4.3, but the navigation of music is bad.
Damn it, I run out of words.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,141
1,801
Between the coasts
I can’t recall Apple being so aggressive in regards of the software update back in old days. But oh well. iOS 11.3 is still a disaster for me essentially.
I do update to watchOS 4.3, but the navigation of music is bad.
Damn it, I run out of words.
They didn't have to be so aggressive back before the "ecosystem" became so complex. There were fewer OSes, fewer platforms, far fewer dependencies.

But then, back in the old days upgrades to new versions of an OS (like from Tiger to Leopard to Snow Leopard to Lion) cost money. Companies can't be nearly so aggressive about forcing upgrades when payments are required. Free upgrades became a necessity if Apple was to succeed at fully integrating as many users as possible into the ecosystem. The fact that upgrades are free should tell us just how important the ecosystem is to Apple's profitability.

In my opinion, there are remarkably few OS upgrade disasters considering the dramatically greater complexity of today's operating environment. I'm far less worried about upgrading today than I was 20 years ago. Despite the simplicity of the good old days, I recall having far more app and hardware incompatibilities after an OS upgrade back then.
 

doxielover

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2011
838
99
CA
Since 11.3 is now out in the wild, has anybody tried to use a watch with 3.2.3 with a freshly updated iPhone?
I’m on 3.2.3 on my AW series 0 my iPhone 6s Plus on iOS 11.2.6. Everything works great I heard OS 4 really slows down the series 0 watch. Should I update to 11.3 and the watch or will I be sorry?
 

minik

macrumors 65816
Jun 25, 2007
1,247
62
Bellevue, WA
Looks like 11.3 is forcing me to update to 4.3. If I open the watch app, only option is to Exit and reset or Continue update. This is the new Apple.
I have the first generation (watchOS 3.2.3) and Series 3 Apple Watches paired with my iPhone 8 (iOS 11.3.1). As I received the iPhone X, I unpair the Series 3 Apple Watch from the iPhone 8. My first gen AW remains in the iPhone 8 Watch app, I open the app and see this. Quite disappointing.
 

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