Apple Watch Overview Updated March 23, 2021

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November 2013 - July 2021

How to see all Apple Watch apps

History

The original Apple Watch (later called Series 0) was released on April 24, 2015, after years of rumors. While there was a lot of initial hype around it, the third-party watchOS apps were slow to launch due to API limitations. Native apps were available in watchOS 2. The original watch came in 38mm and 42mm sizes.

The Series 2 Watch was released on September 16th, 2016 along with a Series 1 Watch. The Series 2 included the S2 chip, built-in GPS, and water-proof construction. The Series 1 included the S2, but lacked GPS and waterproofing.

The Series 3 Watch was released on September 22, 2017, and it included an LTE option and the S3 chip. The Series 4 Watch was released on September 21, 2018. New hardware included the S4 Chip, Electrical heart sensor w/ ECG app, and larger display (40mm and 44mm sizes).

Apple Watch Series 5 was announced during Apple’s fall event on September 10, 2019. Customers were able to purchase the device later that day, and it was released on September 20. The headline feature for this model was the wearable’s always-on display. The new display always shows the time and complications and is also the first from the company to include a built-in compass.

Apple launched international emergency services to every cellular model. Series 5 also brought back ceramic white, and new natural brush and space black titanium models.

Apple Watch Series 6 was unveiled on September 15, 2020 at the “Time Flies” event alongside the more affordable SE and new iPad Air. New features of the Series 6 include blood oxygen monitoring, new watch colors, faster S6 chip, new watch faces, and more.

Apple Watch features

Apple Watch is designed to help you stay active, motivated, and connected. The newest versions are Series 6 and SE while Apple still sells Series 3 as the most affordable option.

Features include:

  • Heart rate monitoring (all models)
    • Including high, low, and irregular heart rate notifications
  • ECG readings (Series 4 and later)
  • Blood oxygen monitoring (Series 6)
  • Workout tracking, Activity Rings, competitions, and awards
  • Works with Apple Fitness+
  • Sleep tracking (with watchOS 7)
  • GPS and GPS + Cellular models
  • Always-on display (Series 5 & 6)
  • Water-resistant to 50 meters
  • Emergency SOS and fall detection
  • Phone calls and Messages
  • Music, Podcasts, and more
  • Third-party apps available through App Store built into watchOS

watchOS

watchOS is the dedicated software that runs on Apple Watch. The current version is watchOS 7 that was released in fall 2020 and is compatible with Series 3 and later.

watchOS 7 brought new features like native sleep tracking, Family Setup, watch face sharing, new workout tracking types, cycling directions in maps, and automatic handwashing reminders.

Apple Fitness+ support and new cardio fitness notifications came with watchOS 7.2 And watchOS 7.4 is coming with the exciting new Apple Watch unlock for iPhone feature.

Current Apple Watch lineup

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Apple Watch Stories Yesterday

Apple Watch Activity Challenges scheduled for next month in Russia and China

Apple has set a pair of Apple Watch Activity Challenges for next month in China and Russia. On August 14 in Russia, Apple Watch users can celebrate Physical Culture Day with their Apple Watch, while users in China can celebrate National Fitness Day on August 8.

Apple Watch has introduced a host of health benefits over the last six years including monitoring heart health/ECG readings, fall detection, blood oxygen, exercise tracking, and has become more widely used in health studies. However, researchers from Harvard and the University of Michigan have now shared concerns about relying on Apple Watch for studies with the wearable’s algorithms creating “black boxes.”

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How to see steps with Apple Watch including custom watch face complications

Whether you’ve just gotten an Apple Watch or have had one for a while and just haven’t tracked your steps closely before, it’s easy to do. Follow along for how to see steps on Apple Watch including distance, flights climbed, along with daily, monthly, and yearly trends. We’ll also look at how to make custom watch complications to track steps right on Apple Watch faces.

Apple Watch Stories July 22

Apple has posted a new video to its YouTube channel today promoting the Apple Watch Series 6. The ad is called “Hello Sunshine” and it focuses on the Apple Watch’s suite of health features, including the Blood Oxygen app, workout tracking, and more.

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Apple Watch Stories July 20

iPhone doesn’t unlock your Apple Watch after updating to iOS 14.7? It’s not just you…

If you’re finding that your iPhone doesn’t unlock your Apple Watch after updating to iOS 14.7, it’s not just you. Apple has admitted that there’s a bug in the latest public release of iOS that affects iPhones with Touch ID instead of Face ID

Apple Watch Stories July 19

Apple earlier today released watchOS 7.6 for Apple Watch users, which brings some bug fixes and also enables the ECG app in more regions. According to Apple, both ECG and irregular heart rate notifications are now available in 30 additional countries. Read on as we detail which countries have received the update.

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