watchOS Overview Updated April 20, 2021

watchOS

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

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172 'watchOS' stories

June 2015 - April 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 Today

During Apple’s special “Spring loaded” event this Tuesday, the company finally revealed that watchOS 7.4 will be available to all users “early next week.” The long-awaited update brings an important feature to users, which is the ability to unlock iPhone models with Face ID using the Apple Watch when wearing a mask.

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watchOS Stories March 31

The sixth developer beta version of the upcoming watchOS 7.4 software update for Apple Watch is now available. iPhone users will be able to use Apple Watch to replace Face ID and a passcode when wearing a facial covering once this update goes public.

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watchOS Stories March 30

Now that Apple has confirmed the dates for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, rumors are sure to start swirling about this year’s software releases. We’ve been working on a series of concepts for each of Apple’s core platforms over the past few months and we wanted to share them again. So far, we’ve shared concepts for iOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS 12. We’re at work on concepts for tvOS 15 and iPadOS 15, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for them. Let us know about those in the comments below! In the meantime, check out our already published concepts.

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watchOS Stories March 23

The fifth and hopefully last developer beta version of the upcoming watchOS 7.4 software update for Apple Watch is now available. iPhone users will be able to use Apple Watch to replace Face ID and a passcode when wearing a facial covering once this update goes public.

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watchOS Stories March 15

The fourth developer beta version of the upcoming watchOS 7.4 software update for Apple Watch is now available. iPhone users will especially appreciate this update as it allows the Apple Watch to replace Face ID and a passcode when wearing a facial covering.

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watchOS Stories March 8

watchOS 7.3.2 security update with WebKit fix drops for Apple Watch

There’s a new software update awaiting Apple Watch users. watchOS 7.3.2 is now available as the latest version of watchOS 7.

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