watchOS Overview Updated January 24, 2019


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

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138 'watchOS' stories

June 2015 - January 2019

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 January 24

Update: Developer betas are now available including iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2, tvOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4, and Xcode 10.2 beta 1.

Now that Apple’s bug fix beta updates to iOS 12.1 are now available to all users, it’s time for the next big point release of iOS 12. Apple will release iOS 12.2 developer beta 1 today. watchOS 5.2 beta 1 for developers is also arriving today. The software update should be available at the top of the hour. We’ll update and report back any changes that we discover inside.

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watchOS Stories January 22

Two weeks after releasing the latest watchOS 5.1.3 developer beta, Apple is releasing its final version for consumers later today. The release notes only mention bug fixes, but we’ll update if anything notable is discovered on the new release. iOS 12.1.3 is also coming out to all customers.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

watchOS Stories December 10, 2018

[Update: Now available over-the-air with developer profiles installed. macOS 10.14.3 beta 1 and tvOS 12.1.2 beta 1 are also available for developers.]

Apple is releasing the first iOS 12.1.2 developer beta shortly following the official release of iOS 12.1.1 last week. watchOS 5.1.3 developer beta 1 for Apple Watch is also coming today. The release notes for the upcoming iOS developer beta only highlight bug fixes and performance improvements, but we’ll dig in and update if any notable changes are discovered.

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watchOS Stories December 9, 2018

As I have done over the past few weeks, I am finishing up 2018 by looking at Apple’s various product lines to see how far they have come, where they are at, and where we hope they go in the future. As we think back to the Series 0 Apple Watch (released in 2015), it’s tough to believe how far the Apple Watch has come in just a few short years. The Series 4 Apple Watch was released a few months back, and by all counts, it’s the best Apple Watch ever released (if not the best wearable as well). expand full story

watchOS Stories November 5, 2018

There’s a new maintenance software update coming for Apple Watch today. watchOS 5.1.1 follows the rocky release of the previous watchOS software update that caused Apple Watch bricking after failing to successfully complete the installation for some customers.

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watchOS Stories October 22, 2018

Apple has released the fifth beta versions of iOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1, and tvOS 12.1 for developers. We’ll dig in to the new iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV builds and update with any changes.

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