Apple was supposed to release the watchOS 2 on last Wednesday, though a bug discovered at the last moment forced the company to delay its release. Now the new OS for the Apple Watch has finally started rolling out.
Being the first major update for the Apple Watch, the latest watchOS 2 brings a bunch of new improved features such as faster performance, new faces along with improved apps, though most importantly it brings native third-party app support.
Essentially aimed at a better Apple Watch experience, it’ll allow users to run more native apps directly on the Apple Watch, making it more of a self-sustaining device. It can potentially do a lot more now as a standalone device, and even replaces Apple’s workout app for tracking fitness data. This is a just small taste of what is expect to come, as in the coming future more and more native apps will available on the platform, bolstering Apple Watch’s overall functionality significantly.
Apple Watch users will also see significant improvements in Siri’s capabilities. It can a now launch apps with voice commands like “Open Workout”. It also gets dictionary support along with tip calculation and offers certain refinements to the way it handles commands.
Apps also get slightly overhauled in the update with improved features. For instance, ‘Mail’ now allows users reply to messages using speech-to-text, pre-installed responses or standard emoji. While Music now gets the Apple Music version icon and allows hassle-free switching of your locally synced tracks on the iPhone without the use of ForceTouch. It also gets redesigned with better animations for improved navigation.
Other apps also get enhanced with improved features, as Map now supports the new transit feature introduced on iOS 9 while Passbook is now Wallet as it gets a new icon along with support for reward card in Apple Pay.
The company has not yet officially declared any sales figures for the Apple Watch, though said there are now 10,000 apps available for the company’s latest wearable.
Competition in the wearables market is indeed getting intense. Manufacturers including Samsung, Microsoft, and the most recent one to hop onto the smartwatch bandwagon is Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, who is reportedly working on a smartwatch codenamed ‘Halfbeak’. While Samsung will be announcing its next-gen Gear 2 smartwatch this holiday season, along with Microsoft, who are also expected to unveil the new Band 2 at its October 6 event in New York.