Apple Watch Bands With Magnets May Cause Interference With Compass on Series 5 Models

by

New to Apple Watch Series 5 models is a built-in compass that allows users to see which way they are facing, complete with a new Compass app that displays heading, incline, latitude, longitude, and current elevation.


In fine print on its website, however, Apple has indicated that ‌Apple Watch‌ bands with magnets "may cause interference" with the compass. This includes the Milanese Loop, Modern Buckle, and Leather Loop. Sport Bands, Sport Loops, Link Bracelets, Nike, and Hermès bands do not contain magnets.

Magnetic interference can affect any compass, so this is not an ‌Apple Watch‌ issue, but something to keep note of while choosing a band.

Update: Apple has published a support document with more information:

The presence of magnets can affect the accuracy of any compass sensor. Apple's Leather Loop, Milanese Loop, and earlier Sport Loop watch bands use magnets or magnetic material that might interfere with the ‌Apple Watch‌ compass. The compass isn't affected by Sport Loop bands introduced in September 2019, or any version of the Sport Band.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
11 months ago
"Man, Apple sucks under Tim Cook. Why couldn't they just change the laws of physics to make this work with all bands. Their days of innovation are obviously over"
- someone here, probably
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago

Still having a really hard time thinking of a time that I'd EVER need a compass

Comes in very handy if you travel a lot.
[doublepost=1568650377][/doublepost]

So one of the two selling points of series 5 is potentially not useable by people if you have the wrong band.

You’re wearing it wrong?

So Apple is bad because cannot change the laws of physics?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago

Still having a really hard time thinking of a time that I'd EVER need a compass

You're not living then.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago

No one needs a compass

“I don’t need a compass” ≠ “no one needs a compass”
[doublepost=1568649912][/doublepost]So I guess Apple won’t be able to use stories in one of their inspiring videos about people getting lost and using their Apple Watch’s compass to take them to safety.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago

Still having a really hard time thinking of a time that I'd EVER need a compass

I use it when I emerge from a subway station, to make sure I know which way I'm facing. Unless the stars are out, in which case I can go by the positions of the constellations.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago

So one of the two selling points of series 5 is potentially not useable by people if you have the wrong band.

You’re wearing it wrong?

Magnetism is magnetism. What do you want from them? The Apple Watch isn't located far from the band. The magnet on the band needs to be very strong so it stays on the wrist. Most people aren't going to be wearing these fancier bands when they're hiking anyway. I know I always put on a sport band or loop.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Tom Hanks WWII Movie 'Greyhound' Debuts on Apple TV+

Friday July 10, 2020 3:33 am PDT by
Apple TV+ today debuted "Greyhound," the highly anticipated Second World War movie starring Tom Hanks as a naval officer given command of Navy destroyer Greyhound in the Battle of the Atlantic. "Greyhound" features Hanks as George Krause, who must fight his own self doubts and personal demons as he leads a convoy of Allied ships against German U-boats to prove that he belongs in command. ...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Hands-On With tvOS 14: Picture in Picture, 4K YouTube, HomeKit and More

Thursday July 9, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple at WWDC introduced a new version of tvOS, the software that's designed to run on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS updates are often more minor in scale than iOS, watchOS, and macOS updates, but tvOS 14 has some useful new features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple in tvOS 13 introduced a Picture in Picture option for the Apple TV...

Apple CEO Tim Cook's 2019 Compensation Totaled Over $133 Million

Friday July 10, 2020 12:01 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook was the second highest paid CEO in the United States in 2019, according to Bloomberg's list of the highest paid CEOs and executives in 2019. Cook received compensation totaling $133,727,869 by Bloomberg's count. Almost all of Cook's compensation was provided in the form of stock awards and related performance bonuses. As reported by the SEC earlier this year, Cook received ...