watchOS Overview Updated December 3, 2020

watchOS

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

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164 'watchOS' stories

June 2015 - December 2020


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 December 3, 2020

A new concept from Matt Bircher today imagines how Apple could overhaul Control Center in watchOS 8. Currently, the Apple Watch Control Center is reserved for quick access to things like WiFi, Do Not Disturb, and Water Mode, but this concept imagines a more versatile design with support for complications.

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watchOS Stories September 14, 2020

GymKit for Apple Watch is brand new technology that will hopefully one day be in all gyms and personal fitness equipment, but for now you need to know where to look to find it. The good news is there are several models of workout machines that work with GymKit today, but you may want to seek out a fitness club with the right equipment for now.

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watchOS Stories June 8, 2020

Watchsmith is a powerful Apple Watch application that gives you the ability to create custom dynamic complications for your watch faces. A new update for Watchsmith today focuses on introducing dynamic and interactive maps.

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watchOS Stories June 3, 2020

Right after tvOS 13.4.8 beta, Apple has just released the first watchOS 6.2.8 beta version to developers. The update comes two days after watchOS 6.2.6 was released to the public, and as with tvOS, Apple has skipped version 6.2.7 for some unknown reason.

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watchOS Stories April 8, 2020

Apple has released watchOS 6.2.1 to the public today, bringing bug fixes and performance improvements specifically related to FaceTime. Today’s update for Apple Watch users comes following yesterday’s release of iOS 13.4.1 and iPadOS 13.4.1.

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Hodinkee delivers a lesson on twilight with the Apple Watch ‘Solar’ face

Jack Forster has published a fascinating piece for the watch experts at Hodinkee that takes a deep dive look at the Solar face in watchOS 6 for Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5:

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