WatchOS 2 is a second chronicle of a handling complement that powers a Apple Watch lineup, and it arrives about 5 months after a wearable’s entrance — and five days after it was creatively expected. Even yet it’s been usually a few months given reserve held adult with a initial high demand, growth of a underlying handling complement has continued.
The recover of a updated watchOS had been timed to coincide with a arrival of iOS 9 — that creates sense, since a Apple Watch and Apple’s iPhones sojourn alone linked. But a last-minute bug forced Apple to reason off on a recover until now. (Note to those updating: You’ll need your watch on a horse for a new OS to be installed, and a watch needs to be during slightest 50% charged.)
Early issues addressed
WatchOS 2 is designed to repair a few of a complaints justly directed during a Apple Watch program and to tweak a underline list to improved accommodate users’ needs. These changes should yield faster app launch times, some-more display-on time so a watch’s shade doesn’t spin off before an app loads, some-more extensive apps and improved standalone functionality.
In fact, I’ve had my possess complaints specifically associated to heart rate monitoring when we was regulating a Workout app for tracking weight-lifting sessions. we was anticipating this bug would be squashed in this update. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.)
One of a categorical complaints from users has been about app speed. In a initial watchOS, many of a app information — as good as a analogous extensions that concurrent with a watch — was stored on a iPhone; usually interface elements resided on a watch itself. This led to a loiter in launch times while a watch contacted a app on a phone and afterwards waited as information altered from a phone behind to a watch.
In watchOS 2, a app prolongation joins a interface formula on a watch itself, bringing speedier launches and improved responsiveness. The some-more formula a developer brings over into a now-native watch extension, a some-more a watch app can accomplish though wanting to fasten itself to a iPhone.
Apple has also bound another aggravation: The watch would mostly spin off before app info had loaded. There’s now an choice underneath Settings / General / Wake Screen that keeps a arrangement incited on for adult to 70 seconds when a watch is awakened with a tap.
WatchOS 2 now gives third-party developers entrance to a onboard hardware, something that had formerly been singular to Apple’s possess apps. The permitted watch hardware includes a accelerometer (which marks activity and movement), a heart rate sensor, a little speaker, a microphone, a Taptic Engine (used to yield taps and other haptic feedback) and a Digital Crown (which can now be used to control several tradition interface elements).
For Apple Watch users wanting some-more eccentric operation, a new program allows tetherless Wi-Fi, so that a watch can use Wi-Fi for some-more tasks on a possess rather than relying on a iPhone for information and Internet connection.
Complications (in a good way)
Another further to watchOS 2 is support for third-party complications (the elements that offer discerning entrance to information in a watch face). According to Apple, a watch will shortly be means to arrangement a standing of home automation devices, moody times, headlines and other useful pieces of data. To supplement third-party complications, we have to use a Watch app on a iPhone, that has a new category, reasonably called Complications, for handling them.
There are several ways in that developers will be means to keep their complications updated around a day, including consistent updates by pull notifications. For example, sports fans could be means to lane their favorite team’s diversion in genuine time.
The new refurbish also has a Time Travel feature, that lets we use a Digital Crown to pierce forwards and retrograde in time, so that we can see what events, continue data, sports schedules, etc., are entrance adult subsequent (or occurred in a past). As a result, we can now see what your day will demeanour like in a Calendar app or what a continue will be hours from now. It’s really handy. (Note: This doesn’t work for observation a final scores of live games. we tried.)
As useful as these changes will be, developers still have to rewrite their apps to take advantage of a new functions, so it might be a few weeks before your favorite app is updated.
More new features
There’s a new Nightstand mode, that is activated when a watch is placed on a horse and incited on a side, with a Digital Crown confronting up. In that mode, a watch arrangement takes on a coming of an alarm clock. You can manually configure alarms in a suitable app or ask Siri to set a alarm for you.
When a wake-up time comes, an heard alarm will sound, like any customary alarm. This mode uses a Digital Crown as a snooze button, while a Favorites symbol becomes a approach to check or henceforth overpower a alarm.
WatchOS 2 will also underline new watch faces that were in a strange proclamation though didn’t make a final cut for chronicle 1.x, including time relapse images of several famous locations — such as Hong Kong, New York and Paris — and dual tradition watch faces formed on your possess photos, called Photos and Photo Album.
Photo Album incidentally displays a print from a comparison manuscript whenever a arrangement is incited on, while a Photo choice lets we name a sold shot to use as a wallpaper. Even better, Photo supports a new Live Photos underline that comes with a iPhone 6S and 6S+; a print animates into position, kind of like those enchanting paintings in Harry Potter.
Existing functions in Siri have been enhanced. Siri can now start workouts, move adult Glances, demeanour adult words, calculate tips and find movement information for open travel (where available, of course).
You can now respond to emails though regulating a iPhone, and there can be mixed pages for a Friends symbol on a side of a watch, including a new ability to emanate Groups. (This is set adult by a Watch app on a iPhone.) And we can promulgate with your friends in a accumulation of colors regulating Digital Touch sketches.
Wallet, a iPhone app that formerly stored usually boarding passes and debit/credit cards, now can support store cards and faithfulness cards. Personally, we can’t wait for a Dunkin Donuts Perks label support, though others — such as Discover and Kohl’s assign cards — will also be supported.
For a confidence minded, Apple has introduced a Activation Lock, that is meant to deter thefts. If we ever remove your watch, capacitate Mark as Missing in a Watch app on a iPhone. Anybody who afterwards tries to span a watch with an iPhone won’t be means to do it though your iCloud Apple ID and cue — even if they find a approach to clean all of a information from a watch and start from scratch.
Also, with a choice enabled, we can clear a watch by authenticating on a iPhone; accessing a Home Screen from a Lock Screen on a iPhone, possibly around passcode entrance or Touch ID, will automatically clear a Watch as well, saving a step.
Still room for improvement
Despite all these advances, it’s not all good news for Apple Watch owners.
For me, a many unsatisfactory thing about a watch has been a fitness-tracking capabilities. Running, jumping and activities that engage overhanging your arms all work good with a watch. Lifting weights? Not so much.
And that hasn’t changed. When regulating a heart rate tracking feature, a watch starts off accurately enough, though within 15 minutes, heart-rate tracking is all over a map. Even after updating to a final chronicle of watchOS 2, we found that for many of my workout, a heart rate readings were still possibly approach off or only stranded on scanning.
Because a watch is incompetent to accurately lane heart rate with this activity, a calories-burned depends are off; that’s frustrating when you’re perplexing to lane calories and make a idea — and those meddlesome in a Watch for aptness should take note.
WatchOS 2 brings improvements to a Apple Watch in some useful and startling ways. While we approaching a new chronicle to speed things adult and supplement some indispensable refinements, we didn’t design Apple to embody Nightstand mode or Time Travel.
Of course, watchOS stays a work in progress; we don’t see a device truly sappy for a integrate some-more program and hardware generations.
That said, for stream watch owners, watchOS 2 improves roughly each aspect of a device. And it’s value a cost of an ascent — that is free.