watchOS Overview Updated April 10, 2019


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

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143 'watchOS' stories

June 2015 - April 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 April 10

Footpath custom navigation app for runners and cyclists launches audio guidance with AirPods double-tap support

Google Maps is likely the first app to come to mind for navigation in a vehicle, but a sharp app called Footpath offers a great custom navigation experience for cyclists, runners, and walkers. Today, the app is gaining turn by turn audio guidance with dedicated AirPods double-tap functionality and more.

watchOS Stories April 5

watchOS 6, the next major version of Apple Watch software, will be an interesting operating system update. In recent years, the Apple Watch OS has focused on health and fitness features matched with software that uses new hardware like streaming Apple Music and Podcasts over LTE and the ECG app.

Apple Watch Series 5 hardware rumors are already extremely light, limited to the return of the ceramic Edition casing, and watchOS 6 rumors are even more sparse. With several Apple Watch features complete and built-in sleep tracking not expected until late 2020, what should we expect to see in watchOS 6?

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watchOS Stories March 28

Apple Watch Explorer face lost its numbers after watchOS 5.2? You’re not alone 

Notice something weird about your Apple Watch since updating to watchOS 5.2? There’s a software bug affecting the Explorer watch face on the latest Apple Watch update.

watchOS Stories March 3

Matt Birchler is out today with his annual watchOS concept, this time imagining watchOS 6. Birchler envisions some of the features he’d most like to see, including a redesigned Siri face, new sleep tracking rings, and more.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

watchOS Stories February 28

A handful of popular Apple Watch applications have been updated today with FlickType integration. FlickType is a third-party keyboard designed for the Apple Watch that uses a gesture system to streamline typing on the Apple Watch’s display, and a new SDK makes it easier for developers to implement the keyboard.

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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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