WWDC has been in full flow this week, showing off plenty of Apple based software including iOS 9 – which will be finding its way onto our iPhones this autumn.
But one of Apple’s latest creations is also getting a fresh new treatment as well, with the Apple Watch 2.0 software getting revealed at the show as well. But what does it bring to the table?
Previously, the Apple Watch gave us a good level of control on the wearable, but now we’re seeing that grow much further.
The Digital Crown was only able to zoom in and out, but with Watch 2.0 at the helm, it now offers a way of going backward and forward in time. This means that you’ll be able to find out the weather in three days’ time with a quick spin of the button. This will also work with numerous other apps as well.
On top of this, third-party developers will also get extra functions with the Digital Crown, with apps like Insteon making use of it for dimming and brightening lighting at home.
Other areas are also getting opened up for developers, with the likes of the microphone, accelerometer and taptic engine all included. This means that voice control and dictation will be available along with other features outside of the standard Apple bloatware.
Some users have bemoaned the Apple Watch’s reliance on the iPhone, especially with features like Wi-Fi. But now it seems that Apple is beginning to ween the wearable off its smartphone compatriot.
Much like the Android Wear software, your wearable will no longer need to be tethered to your phone to connect to the web.
Obviously, calls and iPhone notifications will always require tethering, but for a quick glance at Facebook or Twitter, this is no longer required.
Whilst we’ve been given a huge array of watch faces to pick from on the Apple Watch, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more. So it will be good to hear that Apple is bringing more our way with this latest update!
We’ve been given 10 more to play with from Apple, featuring time lapse videos of several worldwide cities set to prove the most popular.
Along with these we finally get the chance to use our own photos as a watch face, giving your Apple Watch a much more customisable feel about it. The excitment about this wil be the same as when the Apple watch became available in shops.
‘Complications’ are Apple’s way of describing the information which pops up on the watch face as a sort of constant notification. These have been restricted to only a select set of apps, but now third party apps will be allowed to join in on the fun.
This means everything from your electric car’s battery level to your HomeKit apps can be shown on your wrist, giving your more information without making you access the app itself.
Thanks to its small display, videos have been kept well away from the Apple Watch, but as the hype around Vines and other video medium hasn’t slowed down, Apple is finally bringing them to your wrist.
The Apple Watch will be able to display the seven second clips through its display with the new OS, albeit on a much smaller level than you’d be used to on your phone. Apple is promising a decent quality, but we’ll wait and see before making a definitive call on this.
Fitness apps and Siri are also seeing notable improvements, allowing them to link with one another. So, we’ll now be able to tell Siri that we’re going on a run, and it will automatically begin to track us, cutting out the painful process of starting the app ourselves.
Other additions include a nightstand mode, email replies, added friends and Apple Pay improvements. Whilst extra features like Activation Lock and Digital Touch are also getting refreshed for more wearable fun.
Similarly to iOS 9, the second version of the Watch OS will be available this autumn as a free download for all users. We’re likely to get more news on a solid release date in the near future, so keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Written by Luke Hatfield