Must Apple Watch setup always use latest watchOS and iOS?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by timidhermit, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. timidhermit macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    #1
    Is it true that on first setup of the Apple Watch, both the iPhone and the Apple Watch MUST be at the LATEST signed firmware? So even if the Apple Watch's stock watchOS is compatible with the iPhone's stock iOS, will Apple still force you to upgrade before it allows the watch to finish setting up? I am asking because I am thinking of buying my parents an Apple Watch, but they are on older iPhones with older iOS and do not have to upgrade.
     
  2. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #2
    As I understand it, if your iPhone is older than 11.3 then it will allow the watch to have older watchOS.
     
  3. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #3
    In my experience, if the watch is same or older firmware than the phone, the two will pair. They will not pair if the watch firmware is higher version number than the phone. If your parents haven't updated in a while, buying a new apple watch will undoubtedly mean the watch is more recent firmware, so no pairing possible...

    Anyway, why wouldn't you want to update your parents' phone(s)? That's unwise in a world where you can crash a phone with just a text message, or use other vulnerabilities to install malware and so on.
     
  4. Shirasaki macrumors 604

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #4
    I am perfectly fine with your decision to not update. However, here is the situation. watchOS is not backward compatible to older version of iOS, although iOS is backward compatible to older version of watchOS. Say you buy the apple watch Series 3 from Apple right now, it will be loaded with watchOS 4.3. Then, unless your parents phone is using iOS 11 or newer, you won’t be able to use your newly bought watch and pair it with iPhone.

    So, if for whatever reason your parents stays at iOS 10, your only option is to buy a used Apple Watch and make sure it is loaded with watchOS 3 or below. This leaves you with Apple Watch series 2 and below.
     
  5. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Yep. My husband went from having 9.3.5 to 11.4. We had to because we sent his watch which was on 2.2 to Apple for the battery swollen issue.

    He's not very happy as all his old apps that never went 64bit are gone.

    Then we had to replace the battery on his 6s because it also had a battery problem being one of the ones with shut off issues. So he would have been pushed into the update there anyways.
     
  6. timidhermit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    #6
    Thanks to all who answered so far.

    Yep, my parents have certain apps on the phone they must use which are not compatible with iOS 11. It looks like I need go to Craigslist to look for an used watch with watchOS 3. Sigh...
     
  7. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    Should be some first gen that might be on 2.2 as well. You should post on here with a want to buy as well.
     
  8. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #8
    It's like pulling teeth... With these things it's better to bite the bullet than to dig oneself in on a branch which Apple is actively sawing on. Future iPhone/iPad SoCs will lack 32-bit instruction execution hardware entirely, so these old apps will cease to function no matter what, unless Hubby plans on never owning another phone ever again... ;)
     
  9. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    He's not planning on it now. We got the battery replaced under free recall on his 6s. After I fought tooth and nail for them to replace his swollen battery watch.

    He's already said once these devices go, he's headed back to Android. Just like I did when I got my V30+.
     
  10. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #10
    Ok, well we all make our choices. Personally I would not enjoy android much with the way various manufacturers tend to mess with the default UI, or them not offering updates after a couple years, and then there's pre-installed crapware as well to struggle with at times.
     
  11. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    I like to customize them and am very familiar with putting custom ROMs on them. Everyone has their own thing.

    My Note 3 still works like it did the day I bought it.
     
  12. Solver macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #12
    Beware the iPhone 5! Although it should be able to pair with any watchOS below 4, a bug may force the watch to unceasingly attempt to update to the lastest watchOS version. In this case it will never pair.
     

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