Series 2 becoming laggy and unresponsive [typical or extraordinary?]

Jim Lahey

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 8, 2014
514
867
Sunnyvale
Hi chaps!

I have a series 2 running the latest software and I’m recently finding it very laggy. Many screen taps have a noticeable latency before anything happens, and sometimes I have to tap two or even three times to get any response at all. Generally it’s just becoming a bit of a chore to use. Not disastrous, but certainly very far from fluid.

I understand completely that older hardware eventually begins to struggle with the later, more sophisticated software, but is my experience consistent with that of others? Battery life still seems good so I’m guessing it’s not intentional performance throttling (if that even happens on the watch). It feels like latency rather than an unresponsive screen.

I’m not overly concerned, as it would be nice to find an excuse to upgrade to a series 4, even though UK pricing of Apple products is getting faintly ridiculous! All input greatly appreciated :)
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,710
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Clearwater, FL
Before I traded-in my Series 1, it was not running slower on watchOS 5 than it had on watchOS 4. This was before the 5.1.1 update came out, but so far I haven't seen anyone mention that 5.1.1 slowed their watch down.

There is a big performance increase between Series 2 and Series 3, so don't rule one out unless you really want the larger screen of Series 4. Personally, I enjoy the larger screen of Series 4 and having more complications on the new watch faces makes it easier for me to launch more apps. I don't have to dive into the grid of app icons very often and can launch most apps I need from the watch face now.
 

Der Keyser

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2016
188
122
I would expect Apple’s “planned obsolecense” speed killer to start kickin in at around watchOS 5.1/5.2 for the series 1+2. They ususally start hitting devices pretty hard on speed at the x.1 update of the second major new OS release for a device. For series 1+2 that would be on watchOS 5.1
They never do it at the x.0 release as that would attract too much attention and negative publicity.

You can also feel the app launch speed gains that IOS12 gave has almost vanished now at 12.1 on iPhone 7 and older. Uncommonly for Apple though, it also seems to hit iPhone 8 and 8+ which are only one year old. But perhaps the plan is to get rid of touchID devices a little faster.
 

tromboneaholic

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Jun 9, 2004
3,710
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Clearwater, FL
I would expect Apple’s “planned obsolecense” speed killer to start kickin in at around watchOS 5.1/5.2 for the series 1+2. They ususally start hitting devices pretty hard on speed at the x.1 update of the second major new OS release for a device. For series 1+2 that would be on watchOS 5.1
They never do it at the x.0 release as that would attract too much attention and negative publicity.

You can also feel the app launch speed gains that IOS12 gave has almost vanished now at 12.1 on iPhone 7 and older. Uncommonly for Apple though, it also seems to hit iPhone 8 and 8+ which are only one year old. But perhaps the plan is to get rid of touchID devices a little faster.
I don't know what kind of slowdown other people may be experiencing, but iOS 12.1 is running fine on my older iPad Air 2 and my wife's iPad Mini 4.

I usually set my devices up as new between major updates, and don't tend to experience the issues people seem to complain about.
 

Jim Lahey

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 8, 2014
514
867
Sunnyvale
Thanks for the input guys. Mostly as I suspected, as I haven’t heard much chatter about the latest watchOS slowing down older devices. Not at all interested in the planned obsolescence conspiracy nonsense so please try to leave that out of the discussion.

I’m guessing there’s a way to do a fresh software install/reset, so I’ll look into it.
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,710
2,925
Clearwater, FL
Thanks for the input guys. Mostly as I suspected, as I haven’t heard much chatter about the latest watchOS slowing down older devices. Not at all interested in the planned obsolescence conspiracy nonsense so please try to leave that out of the discussion.

I’m guessing there’s a way to do a fresh software install/reset, so I’ll look into it.
You might want to try unpairing the watch and pair it as new instead of from a backup.
Just make sure you have "Health" turned on in iCloud sync on your phone to keep your Health, Activity, and Achievements from the watch.
 
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