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Apple has unexpectedly shipped an update to watchOS bringing it to version 5.1.1, a release of the wearable operating system that seems to solve a recent issue that bricked some models of Apple Watch.
The new watchOS 5.1.1 replaces version 5.1, following reports some users attempting to install the release discovered their devices had bricked. Users were able to download the update and begin the installation, but the process froze at the Apple Logo, with it remaining onscreen for hours.
The complaints caused Apple to pull the release the same day. While not all users were affected, those with non-functional devices had to contact Apple to obtain a replacement. It is unlikely that the bricked Apple Watch models would be able to install the new update without Apple's intervention.
The watchOS 5.1.1 release is notable as it did not enter into any publicly-visible beta process before its release. Apple's other operating systems have restarted the beta testing cycle for new versions, including iOS 12.1.1, tvOS 12.1.1, and macOS Mojave 10.14.2, with watchOS now the only one of the four not to be undergoing the beta process.
Initially issued on October 30, the release of watchOS 5.1 introduced a number of bug fixes and other minor improvements, including support for Group FaceTime calls via audio, new emoji, and new watchface customization options.