watchOS Overview Updated August 4, 2019

watchOS

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

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148 'watchOS' stories

June 2015 - August 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 August 4

While I haven’t worn an Apple Watch 100% of the time since the release of the Series 0, I have owned every single one. There are benefits to wearing one for health reasons, and there are also reasons to wear one for connectivity purposes. I particularly love owning a cellular version so I can go running without my iPhone or make a quick trip to the store. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I could see future versions of the LTE Apple Watch as a great first cell phone for kids. There has been something that has frustrated me about the Apple Watch from the first day I owned it to today, that’s when Apple Watch doesn’t have a network connection. Is it time for Apple to release a version of Wi-Fi Assist for Apple Watch? expand full story

watchOS Stories July 21

I’ve been thinking a lot about my kids, and how we will approach technology as they get older. I recently wrote about our approach to social media, and that led me to thinking about how I will approach cell phone usage in their lives. My oldest son will turn nine this year, so it’s something I know is going to come up sooner rather than later. After thinking about the role of a cell phone in a child’s life, I’ve realized that an Apple Watch with a LTE connection will eventually become the perfect kid cell phone. We’re not quite there yet technology-wise, but I can see a day when all the stars will align. expand full story

watchOS Stories June 21

watchOS 6 includes six new watch faces with even more customization options for personalizing your Apple Watch — if you have a Series 4 model. The upcoming software update is also coming to Apple Watch Series 1 through 3, but you’ll need to upgrade your Apple Watch if you want to try out all the new watch faces.

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watchOS Stories June 20

watchOS 6 introduces several new watch faces for the Apple Watch Series 4 including the new California option. Much like the recent Infograph face, California can be customized in a range of ways to fit your style.

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watchOS Stories May 13

Apple debuted a brand new Pride face in the middle of the WWDC 2018 keynote last year, pairing a rainbow colored watch face with a matching band. Now Apple’s Pride face is getting a new design on the Apple Watch with an updated style option. There’s also a new Pride Analog version with full screen and circular versions.

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watchOS Stories April 28

I’ve had a long road with the Apple Watch. I bought the original one on release day, but sold it within a few months due to the slowness of watchOS 1. I purchased a Series 2 when it was released, but I ended up returning it a few weeks later. When the Series 3 Apple Watch was released, I ended up buying one to write a review, but returned it before the return period was up (it was around Christmas so I had a longer return period). In the entire time the Apple Watch has existed, I’ve probably owned it a total of six months. A month ago, I picked up another one. This time, I have a Series 4 Apple Watch with LTE. I know I am late to the Apple Watch party, but I do have some thoughts that I think are interesting based on my past history, and my thoughts on Apple’s health plans with Apple Watch. I’ve been around the watchOS scene from day one, but I’ve definitely come and gone for periods of time.

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