The new Apple Watch Series 5 offers a built-in compass and updated Maps app allow users to see which way they are facing. Users will now be able to use the new Compass app to see heading, incline, latitude, longitude and current elevation.
However, buyers should keep in mind that Apple Watch bands with magnets could interfere with the proper operation of the Apple Watch Series 5 compass.
In the fine print of its website (first noticed by MacRumors), Apple notes that Apple Watch bands with magnets “may cause interference” with the compass. Bands that can cause compass interference include the Milanese Loop, Modern Buckle, and Leather Loop. (Third-party bands that use magnetic fasteners should also be expected to cause the same interference.)
Sport Bands, Sport Loops, Link Bracelets, Nike, and Hermès bands do not contain magnets.
As any current or former Boy Scout or Girl Scout can tell you, the magnetic interference can affect any compass, so the issue isn’t limited to the Apple Watch.