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A widely publicized bug that shipped with the new Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular has been addressed with a new software update, in the form of watchOS 4.0.1, which should improve the reliability of LTE cellular connections without an iPhone nearby.
Apple Watch owners can now download watchOS 4.0.1 via the official Watch app on a paired iPhone. Release notes accompanying the software say that it addresses the Wi-Fi bug that could prevent LTE connectivity when near a public hotspot.
Because LTE use is a significant drain on battery life, the Apple Watch prefers Wi-Fi networks when possible. And because of the small screen size of the Apple Watch, Wi-Fi information is shared from a connected iPhone, allowing the watch to use known Wi-Fi networks while on the go.
However, the watch failed to identify public Wi-Fi networks with portals, which cannot be accessed without accepting terms and conditions. Without a browser or full-fledged iOS operating system, watchOS is unable to connect to such networks.
But on watchOS 4.0, the Apple Watch still attempted to connect to those networks, rather than reverting to LTE, leaving users on the go without any data at all. With watchOS 4.0.1, that issue should be addressed.
Another update expected to arrive later this month, watchOS 4.1, will bring LTE music and radio streaming to the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular. Currently, users must sync songs to their watch to listen on the go, and cannot stream from Apple Music or iCloud Music Library.
The Apple Watch Series 3 launched just a week and a half ago, giving the software update a relatively quick turnaround. AppleInsider found that the addition of LTE makes the Apple Watch Series 3 a much more mature platform.