watchOS Overview Updated June 7, 2021

watchOS

Simple, minimalistic, small: The platform for the best smartwatch on the market

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180 'watchOS' stories

June 2015 - June 2021


watchOS only runs on the Apple Watch and launched alongside the product back in 2015. It has seen several major revisions since its launch, such as axing glances, the friends UI, and more.

The original version of the software was very slow and relied on your iPhone for its apps. Everything presumably ran over Bluetooth, and would be unable to open any apps if your connected iPhone was out of range.

Apple quickly moved away from interaction model and pushed native applications as of watchOS 2.0, where the majority of the app’s interface and information were installed on your Apple Watch, instead of your iPhone.

watchOS 3.0 added support for background app refresh, which allowed apps to run in the background, but also enabled complications to be updated without needing to completely launch an app.

With watchOS 4.0, and the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, Apple took this interaction model a step further. The company introduced APIs to allow applications to run completely independently of the iPhone. This meant that users were allowed to stream Apple Music, get the latest News, or take a phone call without being in the range of your iPhone. However, an iPhone is still required to setup and manage your Apple Watch.

Learn more about watchOS by reading the articles below:

watchOS Stories June 7

Apple Watch Series 3 support continues for another year with watchOS 8

Apple Watch Series 3 is having a hard time updating to new versions of watchOS 7, but there’s good news for customers using the hardware first introduced in 2017. watchOS 8 will run on all Apple Watch models that support watchOS 7.

Apple is previewing watchOS 8 for Apple Watch at WWDC 2021. Here’s what’s new:

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watchOS Stories June 2

Apple Watch Series 3 is taking a lot of heat ahead of WWDC. The thing barely accepts watchOS 7 updates, doesn’t work with Family Setup, and makes the much better Apple Watch SE seem overpriced. My pet complaint about the Apple Watch affects modern models too, however, and it was something Apple Watch Series 3 introduced.

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watchOS Stories May 10

Apple today released the third beta of watchOS 7.5 to developers, following the release of the second beta version on April 30. The update likely comes with more bug fixes and general improvements.

Update: Apple also released watchOS 7.5 beta 3 to public beta users as well.

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watchOS Stories May 6

watchOS 8 will be shown off for Apple Watch in just one month, and we’re hoping for a feature-packed update this year. While there’s still time to dream about what could come in the next Apple Watch software update, we’re sharing four short feature requests that would be welcome in watchOS 8 or any future version of the Apple Watch software.

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watchOS Stories May 3

Following the release of the iOS 14.5.1 update to the public, Apple has just released watchOS 7.4.1 for Apple Watch users. The company doesn’t say exactly what has changed with today’s update beyond mentioning that this version brings security improvements.

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