Updating an Apple Watch Collection 3 is a nightmare in 2021

The Apple Watch Collection 3 was to start with unveiled in September 2017, bringing physical fitness enhancements and a quicker processor. Virtually 4 a long time later on, in 2021, Apple is even now providing the Sequence 3 as its entry-level Apple Look at product beginning at $199, an $80 personal savings in contrast to the far more current Apple Look at SE. Only, as I have a short while ago acquired, “still selling” and “supporting in a sensible manner” are two incredibly distinctive factors, and updating an Apple Look at Series 3 in 2021 is a nightmare of infuriating technological hoops to leap by means of.

Usually, updating an Apple Observe is an annoyingly extensive but uncomplicated procedure: you charge your Look at up to 50 p.c, plug it in, and wait around for the slow procedure of the update transferring and putting in to your smartwatch.

But the non-cellular Apple Look at Sequence 3 has a very small 8GB of inner storage, a truthful chunk of which is taken up by the functioning program and other significant software program. So installing a big update — like the not too long ago introduced watchOS 7.4 — goes one thing like this:

  1. Unpair and wipe your Apple Check out to factory configurations
  2. Established up the Apple Observe all over again and restore from backup
  3. Notice you weren’t intended to restore from your backup still
  4. Watch an episode or two of Brooklyn Nine-9 even though you hold out for the backup to complete restoring
  5. Begin from move one particular again — but as a model-new Apple Watch, without having restoring from an current backup
  6. Update totally new Apple Observe, which now has enough free memory to update
  7. Take into consideration how substantially you basically want to use this experience unlocking function absolutely everyone retains hyping up in the initial area
  8. Unpair and wipe the Apple Enjoy a third time
  9. Restore from your backup and lastly use ordinarily

And the challenge appears to be to implement whether you have put in a pile of applications or not. Apple’s aid web page does not even endorse that Collection 3 proprietors bother making an attempt to distinct up place — it just advocates that they go straight to the aforementioned reset cycle.

It is very clear that the latest process is untenable.

I’m an editor at a engineering information site and eager to put in the comical sum of time and strength to handle this, discouraging as it may possibly be. But if you are a a lot more informal user — the very same a person who is likely to personal an more mature, outdated Observe in the initial area — why on earth would you hassle with the worst update system because GE’s guidance for resetting a good bulb? And remaining in a position to update your hardware’s computer software is critical: the just-introduced watchOS 7.4.1, for case in point, patches a crucial security flaw. But with it remaining so challenging to set up, there is a very good probability that lots of Sequence 3 owners will not hassle.

I know that Apple loves to declare aid for as quite a few more mature hardware generations as it can with just about every new update. It’s just one of the major appeals of Apple merchandise, in contrast to the lackluster speed of updates on competing Android telephones (like the just-deprecated Galaxy S8).

But the miserable update course of action for the Sequence 3 is a strong argument that Apple is currently being a tiny too generous with what it considers “current” components. Trying to keep the Series 3 about this very long was normally a money get, a way for Apple to very clear out aged stock and choose gain of mature producing processes that have very long considering that broken even in buy to attraction to consumers who definitely just can’t afford the extra $80 for the markedly greater Apple Check out SE. It is a equivalent pattern to the inexplicably nevertheless-on-sale Apple Tv Hd, which is pretty much 6 many years aged and prices just $30 much less than the model-new 4K model. (A lot like the Collection 3, really don’t buy a new Apple Tv set Hd in 2021 possibly.)

But hopefully, with the announcement of watchOS 8 nearly assuredly about the corner at WWDC this June, the company can take into account the basic functionality of its hardware when thinking about what it does and doesn’t provide support for. Due to the fact if Apple is going to insist on selling a item this aged in the long term, it’s going to want to be a ton additional aware of just how it basically handles its program help.