watchOS Overview Updated September 19, 2019

watchOS

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

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151 'watchOS' stories

June 2015 - September 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 September 19

Apple has today released iOS 13 for the iPhone, and watchOS 6 for the Apple Watch, and you can see our roundups for an overview of the new features you can start using right now. However, there’s a lot more still to come as Apple is staggering the software update schedule this year.

There are more features for the iPhone already previewed, and entire OS updates coming over the next month or so. Here’s what Apple has announced so far.

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Apple Watch has a major new software update out today that brings loads of new features to existing models. Look for the watchOS 6 update inside the Apple Watch app on the iPhone after updating to iOS 13, then head below to find the top features included in the new update.

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SmartGym for iPhone gains ARKit 3 Body Detection and Pose Estimation, full Siri Shortcuts support, Apple Watch app now independent, more

SmartGym is out with an update today that brings a range of new features and capabilities. Headling the update for iOS is ARKit 3 integration that brings Body Detection and Pose Estimation. There’s also full Siri Shortcuts support for parameters. The SmartGym Apple Watch app is now fully independent with watchOS 6 with a new “Explore” section, while iPad will gain multiwindow support when iPadOS 13 arrives.

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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