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Apple Watch app icon upgraded from original model to Series 4 in iOS 12.1.1

iOS 12.1.1 sounds like a small point release for bug fixes and performance improvements, but the upcoming software update is shaping up to be a bit more interesting than just behind-the-scenes maintenance. FaceTime has two notable improvements to changes made in iOS 12 and iOS 12.1 as we discovered yesterday, and now the Watch app for managing paired Apple Watches is getting a generational upgrade.

Starting with iOS 12.1.1 which is currently in its first developer beta version, the Watch app on iPhone features a slightly tweaked icon that depicts the new Apple Watch Series 4. Prior to this change, the Watch app icon has always shown the original Apple Watch.

The reason for the change now is likely because Apple Watch Series 4 marks the first major redesign of the product. The new design is most notable for the new case sizes and larger displays, but the side profile which the Watch app icon is based on is also modified.

The new icon shows the taller and slightly thinner Apple Watch with the modified Digital Crown and side button. The easiest way to known which icon is new and which is old is from the mark on the Digital Crown. The old version is filled while the new version only has a ring.

Stainless steel and gold versions of the original Apple Watch had black, red, white, and blue caps on the Digital Crown while aluminum models had no cap. Apple Watch Series 4 has a black ring on GPS-only models and a red ring on GPS+LTE models.

Here’s another look at the change between iOS 12.1 (the current version) and iOS 12.1.1 (coming soon):

The Watch app, originally labelled ‘Apple Watch’ app, is used to pair and manage connected Apple Watches which require an iPhone for set up and updates. watchOS 5, the current version of the Apple Watch software, actually drops support for the original hardware, although Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 are still supported and feature the original design.

H/T Nikolaj

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created