Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Suggests Restoring iPhone and Apple Watch to Fix WatchOS 7 Bugs

Arnold Kim, MacRumors:

Multiple online support threads including our own found GPS data was not being properly recorded during activities. The issue appeared to affect all models of Apple Watches.

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In a newly published support document titled If you’re missing Workout GPS routes or Health data after updating to iOS 14 and watchOS 7, Apple writes that users may see the following issues after upgrading to iOS 14 and watchOS 7:

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If you are experiencing two or more of these symptoms, Apple suggests unpairing your Apple Watch, backing up both your iPhone and Apple Watch, wiping both devices and restoring from backup. Apple provides steps to accomplish these tasks in their support document which was published today.

I get that bugs happen, that Apple’s internal development methods for testing WatchOS 7 probably make it difficult to test problems with upgrading during every build, and that these issues might be pretty rare. But, even so, it is frustrating to see how often Apple recommends restoring or resetting a device in its support materials.

For example, if you have a problem with Activity Sharing, Apple’s only recommendation is that you sign out of iCloud on your iPhone. This is an enormously time-consuming action if you have iCloud syncing enabled for photos, music, and videos, in particular, and it risks duplication or destruction of all iCloud-synced data.

If you can’t get Personal Hotspot working, Apple suggests resetting an iPhone’s network settings before the document advises you to check if “Allow Others to Join” is switched on, and also before turning Wi-Fi off and back on. Resetting an iPhone’s network settings will also get rid of Wi-Fi passwords, VPN configuration, and more.

These are only a couple of quick examples that I found, but it is advice that I see far too often in these support documents. In my mind, it overlaps with Apple’s semi-recent tendency to hide error messages and fail silently. In all cases, it buries problems and their causes in favour of unfriendly simplicity.