WWDC 2015 recently revealed more about the Apple Watch OS 2 update. The latest update helps developers access the smartwatch's sensors and controls including the Taptic Engine, Digital Crown attribute,and the like. This means that native apps will have a faster run time and extremely powerful app capabilities.
The update is expected to launch this fall, although the date hasn't been specified; most analysts believe it will launch alongside iOS 9. This software upgrade will be free like the upgrades before this. Here's the list of best features of Watch OS 2.
Sensors and Controls
- The Digital Crown will include several functionalities beyond the zooming in and out attribute.
- Rotating the crown will let the user “Time Travel” revealing various events from the last 72 hours (or the future) on the watch face.
- Weather forecasts and headlines of the latest news will be displayed through Time Travel.
- Third party gadgets like Insteon are already working on turning home lights on and off with an easy turn of the crown.
- The microphone on the watch will help you record your voice. Developers can use the accelerometer for cool functions too, especially motion gaming.
- The Taptic Engine is open for development which would lead to cool vibrational feedback and sounds on specific events.
- The Apple Watch can be connected to Wi-Fi networks without the medium of the iPhone.
- One would not need any other device to re-route the internet connection other than the Apple Watch itself, which is similar to what Android wear can do.
Apple Watch Faces and Photos
- Apple Watch includes 10 customizable faces and many more are expected to be revealed.
- One can shoot time-lapse videos to create new faces.
- Just like iPhone backgrounds, your own set of pictures can be added to smartwatch faces.
- The Photo Album will display a rotating gallery of images every time the wrist is raised, just like Motion watch face.
Apple Watch Complications and Night Stand
- The Apple Watch “complications” or information will reveal third party apps wherein Homekit devices can be accessed from the Watch. These can be changed along with most of the other faces.
- The Nightstand mode will flip the Apple Watch face horizontally when you plug it in for charging. The Digital Crown acts as a quick snooze button while the side button will help you to switch off alarms.
Quick Email Replies and Tiny Videos
- With Apple Watch you can send email replies like text messages with voice dictation, use emojis and send other smart responses.
- Third-party apps will be able to dial phone numbers and even ask after menu options through Yelp. You can reply to notifications from third-party apps easily with pre-set, canned responses which are most appropriate to a specific software.
- Apps will likely also be able to let users tweak their own responses, which means users will have far more flexibility in how they communicate in general in Watch OS 2, across all their favorite communication channels.
- Tiny videos on Vine can be watched through the Apple Watch with great quality despite the small size.
Fitness, Siri and Maps
- Workouts will be easier with the OS 2 update and with Healthkit support, and the metrics shown on the watch will be able to stream right from your wrist.
- “Hey Siri” will prompt a workout, or a a 30 minute run. You can even instruct Siri for a 300 calorie walk.
- Siri will provide Glances and even control HomeKit devices with transit directions.
- Apple Maps' new transit directions will indicate train, bus and even subway schedules. Only select cities around the world will provide information.
- Walking directions to and from different stops will also be featured in the app.
Wallet and Apple Pay
- Wallet, or Passbook, will be updated with new options from iOS 9 with Wallet.
- Use Apple Pay on the smartwatch, with more credit cards and reward cards stored within for better accessibility.
- One can generate own Passes to work with Passbook that would be mirrored on the Apple Watch.
- You can get concert or conference tickets through Watch app notifications These would be location-based passes for new loyalty card support.
Friends and Digital Touch
- Add more people to your inner circle if you have many friends instead of adding them from the app.
- They can even be categorized in different groups and segregated in different screens for systematic layout.
- Digital Touch will let you use multiple colors for better sketching and other creative tasks.
- The new security feature, Activation Lock, will work with your existing iCloud Apple ID and password. The details are expected to be revealed during the real launch
The Bottom Line
The Apple Watch OS 2 brings a whole new world for wearables with its new and exciting features. The new attributes of the OS are trendy and certainly whetting the appetite of Apple lovers who cannot wait enough for the part two of their beloved watch.