Alongside the company's latest operating system for mobile devices, the iOS 10, Apple also released watchOS 3 for the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 2 will come with the latest watchOS installed upon its release on Sept. 16, but owners of the first version of the Apple Watch can now download watchOS 3 through an over-the-air update.
What can current Apple Watch owners and future Apple Watch Series 2 wearers expect from watchOS 3? Here are the new features that are coming with Apple's wearable device operating system update.
Through the new Scribble feature, text responses can be written on the Apple Watch's screen for apps that allow users to send out replies, such as Messages and Facebook Messenger. If the feature is available, a Scribble icon will be shown on the screen, and tapping it will display a dotted square where users can write the letters of their message.
The side button of the Apple Watch, previously used to bring up a contacts list, will now reveal a dedicated Dock for apps when pressed. The Dock will show the user's favorite apps and recently used apps, with favorite apps kept in the memory of the Apple Watch so that they will launch seven times faster compared with other apps.
The Dock is fully customizable with up to 10 apps and will replace the Glances feature. Swiping through the apps will reveal information about them.
With the new Activity Sharing feature, users can share their activity and workout information to other users. Swiping right on the Activity app's Activity rings view will bring up the feature, showing the activity rings of selected friends and family members. The information can be sorted by a variety of factors such as steps and exercise minutes, with the feature also coming with a messaging system.
In case of an emergency, users can activate the SOS feature by holding on the side button of the Apple Watch. There will be an alarm and a countdown that will allow users to cancel in case the activation was not intended. After that, the Apple Watch will call 911, and text messages, along with location information, will be sent out to three contacts that users can set through the Watch app on the iPhone.
Edit And Switch Watch Faces
Users can now create, edit and browse watch faces through the My Faces menu of the Watch app. A new tab at the bottom, named Face Gallery, will reveal a collection of watch faces collected by Apple, where users can add and customize the faces.
Users can now also easily switch between watch faces by simply swiping left or right on the Apple Watch display, making it easier to customize the look of the device depending on the time of day and situation.
The watchOS 3 update also brings with it the new Breathe app, which will guide users through deep breathing techniques. The app will allow users to incorporate breathing exercises and meditation to their daily routines, with the exercises spanning between one and five minutes.
Other New Apps
In addition to Breathe, the watchOS 3 update also adds the Home, Reminders and Find My Friends apps to the Apple Watch, with all these apps working similarly with their iOS 10 counterparts. There is also a new Heart Rate app, which replaces the Heart Rate Glance.
With Glances removed, swiping up from the bottom of the Apple Watch will instead call up a Control Center. Similar with the iOS version, the Control Center for the Apple Watch contains shortcuts to commonly used features and settings such as turning on silent mode, checking the battery level and locking the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch users on wheelchairs can now customize activity options through the wheelchair mode, accessible through the profile of users on the Health menu of the Watch app. While the mode is activated, the Apple Watch will accurately add wheelchair pushes to the daily calorie goals, with wheelchair workouts added.
There are many new features to the watchOS 3, and the best way to learn all about them would be to try the new wearable device operating system. Apple Watch users should download and install the update as soon as it becomes available on their device.