Apple has fixed the bugs that delayed the release of watchOS 2, and Apple Watch owners can download the much-needed software update. Here's a first-hand look at the install process and new features you'll want to use once you upgrade to watchOS 2.
When Apple released its highly anticipated iOS 9 update for its iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches on Sept. 16, the company announced it would be the same date owners of its first wearable, the Apple Watch, would receive watchOS 2.
When Sept. 16 rolled around, in a move untypical of Apple, it announced it would delay the release of watchOS 2 since it found a serious bug in the final shipping software. An Apple spokesperson promised the update would arrive shortly.
Sticking to its word, Apple has announced that watchOS 2 is now available to be downloaded and installed on Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.
The update can be obtained by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap General, then Software Update. If you don't see an update available, force quit and then relaunch the app. You should then see the update, and you'll then need to place the Apple Watch on its charger and make sure it's at least 50 percent charged before beginning the software upgrade.
Many users have faced issues with the watchOS 2 update before finally achieving a successful install. The whole process took about 40 minutes, and in some cases, an hour from start to finish, so be patient. This will hopefully improve over the coming days as less people are hitting Apple's servers for the update.
Once the Apple Watch watchOS 2 update finishes, your smartwatch will reboot and you'll be greeted with a much-improved device. If you happen to have your Apple Watch on a dock, you'll get your first look at NightStand mode in action. This allows the device to function as an alarm clock, complete with the Digital Crown acting as a snooze button, while the side button turns the alarm off.
The new Watch Faces included in watchOS 2 will allow you to turn any photograph or photo album into your watch face. Choosing a photo album will display a new image every time you raise your wrist. There are also new faces that are called Time-Lapse, which displays what the title implies. A 24-hour video becomes your background and includes New York, Paris, London, Shanghai, Mack Lake and Hong Kong.
Time Travel will allow you to go back or forward in time directly on your watch face. Simply spin the Digital Crown left or right to view upcoming and previous appointments, weather and more. Users also have the option of choosing to keep the display on for15 seconds, or increase it to 70 seconds when tapping the display.
The real star of watchOS 2 is the ability to run third-party native apps on the device, allowing developers to access hardware, including the heart rate sensor and Digital Crown. Developers can also create Complications in addition to Glances for their apps, which will allow users to display third-party app info in Complications, which were restricted to Apple-only apps prior to watchOS 2.
Most of Apple's native apps now load much faster, including Weather, Music, Calendar and Mail. Unfortunately, there aren't many third-party apps available that take advantage of being able to run natively on the Apple Watch or having Complications available to be used on watch faces. This will hopefully change in the coming days, as more developers update their apps to take advantage of watchOS 2's new abilities.
Have you upgraded to watchOS 2, and how was experience? What's your favorite new feature or trick? Let us know in the comments below.