Are you an Apple Watch owner who anxious awaits for the moment your wearable does everything you could ever dream or imagine? After days of delay, yesterday Apple released the first watchOS update ever – and it’s a pretty big deal!
watchOS is the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch, much like iOS runs on iPhones and iPads and OS X runs on Macs. While watchOS has taken design cues from iOS 8, it’s been built from the ground up for the Apple Watch, with features and apps that take advantage of all of the hardware in the device.
Along with these new developer tools, watchOS 2 brings two new watch faces and a feature called Time Travel, displaying future complication info like weather and calendar events. watchOS 2 also introduces a new Nightstand mode that’s activated while the Apple Watch is charging, plus it improves Mail, adds support for FaceTime Audio, allows multiple colors for sketches, and lets users add more than 12 friends.
Because I be up in the gym, just working on my fitness – I want to share my #ThickFit accomplishments with friends! watchOS 2 adds new health and fitness achievements, with new trophy icons that can be shared with friends over social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Siri is able to answer more requests and do additional tasks with watchOS 2, like starting specific workouts with the command “Siri, start an 30-minute indoor run,” or “Siri, start a 45-minute outdoor walk.” Siri is also able to open specific Glances, even those that are not present in the Glances menu. If you want to get a quick look at Twitter but don’t have the Glance activated, you can still ask Siri to open the Twitter Glance.
iOS 9 brings transit information to Maps, and with watchOS 2, Siri is able to provide directions that include transit routes, as long as you’re in one of the cities where transit directions are available. Transit directions are available in the following places: Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington D.C., and several cities in China. Siri can also look up words in the dictionary and calculate tips on command.
In the original version of watchOS, Apple’s Mail app only allows users to view and organize email. With watchOS 2, Mail supports dictation, so you can send replies to email messages directly from your wrist. You can also reply with emoji or preset responses like in Messages. Who needs to fumble with email responses on your smartphone when you can conquer your inbox with the flick of da wrist?
Apple’s not ready to let developers create third-party watch faces just yet, but watchOS 2 does introduce two new watch face options designed by Apple. The first is a photo watch face that takes advantage of the photos stored on your Apple Watch, letting you pick a photo or an album of photos to use as your watch face. If you pick an album, the Apple Watch will display a different photo each time you lift your wrist, cycling through all of the available selections. If you pick a single photo, it’ll always show the same image. If you pick an album, the Apple Watch will display a different photo each time you lift your wrist, cycling through all of the available selections. If you pick a single photo, it’ll always show the same image.
The second watch face is a dynamic Time-Lapse face that displays videos shot over 24 hours in different locations around the world, including Hong Kong, London, Mack Lake, New York, Shanghai, and Paris. When you glance at your watch, the image will be different based on the time. For example, with the New York watch face, if you look at your watch at 10:00 a.m., you’ll see a sunny skyline. If you look at your watch at 10:00 p.m., it’ll be dark and you’ll see a skyline filled with lights.
Nightstand mode is a new feature that’s activated whenever the Apple Watch is placed on its side when connected to the charger, allowing it to better function as an alarm clock. In this mode, the Apple Watch illuminates whenever the screen or Digital Crown is pressed, clearly displaying the time. Nightstand mode also changes the function of the buttons on the Apple Watch when used as an alarm. When an alarm sounds, the side button turns it off while the Digital Crown acts as a snooze button.
These are just a few of my favorite watchOS 2 features keeping me connected in this ever-changing world. What about you? What are some of your favorite new features of the watchOS 2 – share your new favorite features in the comments section below.