Happy updates day, everyone! Apple is today unleashing a barrage of updates for its software platforms, starting with a feature-packed iOS 10.2 release and tvOS 10.1 with support for Single Sign-On, Apple’s new “TV” app and more. Also available today: watchOS 3.1.1, a minor release with bug fixes, performance improvements and support for more than a hundred new Unicode 9.0 emoji which are also available in iOS 10.2 and via the upcoming macOS 10.12.2 software update.

watchOS 3.1.1 is available for the original Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 2. The software update is recommended for all users.

How to update to watchOS 3.1.1

To update your Apple Watch to watchOS 3.1.1 over the air, launch the Watch app on your paired iPhone, then tap My Watch → General → Software Update.

If a new watchOS version is found, tap Download and Install and enter your iPhone’s passcode if requested. Agree to Apple’s terms and conditions and watchOS 3.1.1 should begin downloading to your Apple Watch. This may take a long time to complete.

Once the update is downloaded, tap Install to start the upgrade process.

TUTORIAL: How to update Apple Watch software

Make sure that your Apple Watch is in range of its paired iPhone, connected to its inductive charger and charged at least fifty percent to complete the upgrade.

To download the full watchOS 3.1.1 firmware file, visit our Downloads page.

What’s new in watchOS 3.1.1?


  • Unicode 9.0 emoji, such as clown face, drooling face, selfie, face palm, fox face, owl, shark, butterfly, avocado, pancakes, croissant and more. There are also profession emoji in male and female genders like firefighter, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, scientist and others. There are 100+ new emoji to choose from and some of the older emoji have been redrawn in Apple’s new style.
  • A new feature allows you to change the skin tone of emoji.

Bug fixes

  • Fixes an issue that could prevent contact names from appearing in the Messages app and notifications.
  • Fixes an issue that could impact ability to respond to notifications.
  • Resolves an issue where the Stocks complication may not update on the watch face.
  • Fixes an issue that may prevent the Activity rings from displaying on the Activity watch faces.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented the dials on an analog watch face from appearing after changing the temperature unit in the Weather app.
  • Resolves an issue that could cause the Maps app to stay launched after navigation has ended.
  • Resolves an issue where the incorrect date could be displayed in the Calendar app month view.

Apple’s support document details bug fixes and security patches in watchOS 3.1.1.

What’s your favorite new feature in watchOS 3.1.1?

Do you like the improvements in watchOS 3.1.1?

Are you excited for a bunch of new emoji and the ability to easily change emoji skin tones right from your wrist? Chime in with you thoughts in the comments below.

  • Scott Cain

    Must I update to iOS 10.2 to update watchOS, or can I stay on 10.1.1?

    • Waldemar Sinicki

      I think you may stay on 10.1.1

    • You can stay on iOS 10.1.1. I’m updating Watch without updating my iPhone right now.

      • Scott Cain

        Thanks–I’m actually on 9.3.3 jailbroken and getting a watch shortly, so I wanted to know if I could go to 10.1.1 while it’s still being signed (in hopes of a jailbreak for it) and still get the newest watchOS.

      • Waldemar Sinicki

        10.1.1 is still signed and how long? Nobody knows

  • Steve R.

    “Apple is today unleashing…” sounds kind of awkward to me

  • James G

    That Maps fix…finally.

    Now if it could just get better about keeping my calendar in sync.

  • Waldemar Sinicki

    I’d like to know how to behave battery on the watchOS 3.1.1?

    • Xavier Pont Casadevall

      Me too, 3.1 has great battery performance. I’m afraid it goes worse on 3.1.1

    • Lui

      Battery is just perfect with 3.1.1. No need to worry.

  • Mark_Kitz

    How do you change the skin stone of an emoji on the apple watch?

  • Abhijeet Gupta