watchOS Overview Updated June 19, 2018


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

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110 'watchOS' stories

June 2015 - June 2018

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 June 19

watchOS 5 developer beta 2 for Apple Watch is now available for testing. As always, we’ll dig through the latest beta version and highlight all the changes between the first beta and the latest beta below.

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watchOS Stories June 12

Apple Watch already excels as an advanced fitness tracker, and watchOS 5 will further push the watch into that space later this fall. Apple is adding Competition to Activity Sharing, automatic workout detection, and presenting useful heart rate data on the Siri watch face for the first time. Check out our experience so far…

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watchOS Stories June 5

watchOS 5 is packed with lots of welcome changes and new features on Apple Watch — many that check off boxes from my wish list this year. Not everything works in the first developer beta version, but there’s a lot to try now and more coming this fall:

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watchOS Stories May 30

After releasing one bug fix update for Apple Watch yesterday, Apple is back with another today — at least for developers. watchOS 4.3.2 beta 1 is now available for developer testing on all Apple Watch models.

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watchOS Stories May 14

watchOS 4.3.1 beta 5 for Apple Watch now available

watchOS 4.3.1 beta 5 for Apple Watch is now available for developer testing. While the new update is light on new features, it does include a new warning when launching older apps.

Ahead of WWDC, this is my top software wish-list, addressing the number one feature addition I’d like to see for each of Apple’s platforms; iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS.

These are just my personal picks, choosing just one thing per OS that I think I would appreciate the most for the iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5 and tvOS 12 cycles.

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