This week Apple Support released a note about GPS functionality on the Apple Watch and iPhone with the latest software update to each. This update seems to have created an issue with the pairing of iOS 14.0 and watchOS 7.0, requiring a relatively drastic fix to make it all function as intended. This oddity appeared after updating iPhone to iOS 14 and Apple Watch to watchOS 7 in late September.
Per a recently released Apple Support document, iOS 14 and watchOS 7 updates created several potential errors or error-adjacent situations. These include all of the following bits and pieces:
• Your workout route maps are missing in the Fitness app on iPhone for previous GPS-enabled workouts from your Apple Watch.
• The Activity, Heart Rate, or other health-related apps fail to launch or load data on your Apple Watch.
• The Fitness app or Health app fail to launch or load data on your iPhone.
• The Health app or Fitness app is reporting an inaccurate amount of data storage on your iPhone.
• The Activity app is reporting an inaccurate amount of data storage on your Apple Watch.
• Your environmental sound levels data or headphone audio levels data from Apple Watch is missing in the Health app on iPhone.
• Increased battery drain on your iPhone or Apple Watch.
Per the Apple Support document, the best way to fix this array of issues is to unpair the devices, create backups, erase all content and settings from your devices, and restore the lot. That’s no small deal, right there. This is the sort of process you’re not going to want to do on your own if you’ve never done it before, or you consider yourself in any way “not good with computers”.
The Apple Support document to which we’re referring was found by MacRumors and appears to be the only solution to the issue if the most basic set of solutions should fail.
Before you do ANYTHING, try the classic fixes. First, unpair the devices, then pair them up once again. If your GPS still doesn’t work on both or one device, you should try turning it off and turning it back on again. Otherwise, call up your local Apple Store and see what they’ve got to say – or your helpful family IT specialist.
In any case, now’s a good a time as any to make sure you’ve saved all your photos and videos to a 3rd-party source and/or iCloud. Make sure you’ve saved everything, created backups, and make sure you won’t be absolutely crushed if you have to delete the whole lot.