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Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 1st-Gen SE Left Behind as watchOS 11 Arrives

Apple Watch Series 4, 5, and 1st-Gen SE Left Behind as watchOS 11 Arrives

In a move expected by many Apple enthusiasts, the tech giant’s latest software update for its wearable devices, watchOS 11, is leaving behind several older models. The Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, and the first-generation Apple Watch SE will not be receiving the update when it launches this fall.

Why the Cut-Off?

Apple regularly phases out software support for older devices to focus development resources on newer models and to incentivize customers to upgrade. In this case, the Apple Watch Series 4 and 5, released in 2018 and 2019 respectively, share the same processing capabilities (despite the Series 5 having a newer S5 chip). This makes them less able to handle the demands of watchOS 11’s new features, particularly those that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The first-generation Apple Watch SE, despite being released in 2020, also shares this processing limitation, as it uses the same chip as the Series 5.

What Does This Mean for Users?

For owners of the affected models, this means missing out on new features and improvements coming with watchOS 11. However, their existing watches will continue to function with the current watchOS version. It’s worth noting that Apple typically supports older devices with security updates for some time after ending major software updates.

Which Models Will Get watchOS 11?

The update will be available for Apple Watch Series 6 and newer models, including the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation) and the recently unveiled Apple Watch Series 9. These devices are equipped with more powerful processors and are better suited to handle the advancements in watchOS 11.

Key Changes in watchOS 11

While the specific features of watchOS 11 have not been fully disclosed, Apple has hinted at a significant focus on health and fitness tracking. The update is expected to bring enhanced activity tracking, more sophisticated sleep monitoring, and potentially new health metrics.

The decision to discontinue support for older models may be disappointing for some users, but it’s a common practice in the tech industry. As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, older devices inevitably become less capable of running the latest software.


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