Apple debuted watchOS 3 during the Keynote address kicking of their Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. The new Apple Watch operating system offers several performance improvements, new navigation features, watch faces and apps, new fitness-related features, and much more.
Performing common tasks will be easier and faster, and watchOS 3 offers a number of performance enhancements. With a simple press of the side button, users can access a new Dock that shows their recently used and favorite apps.
Users can launch their favorite native and third-party apps instantly, and see the latest information in the app already updated and ready for viewing. They can swipe up, ala iOS, and access a new and improved Control Center, swipe down for Notification Center, and swipe left or right to swap out a watch face.
Fitness & Health
watchOS 3 improves on the social aspect of fitness, making it possible to share workout and fitness data, compare and compete with friends, family or even a personal trainer. Users will receive notifications about their friend’s progress, including completed activity rings, finished workouts, and more.
Activity sharing is now directly connected to the Messages app, so users can communicate, motivate and celebrate with friends and family with new Smart Replies specially customized for Activity and Workouts.
The Activity app is now optimized for wheelchair users, with the “time to stand” notification changed to “time to roll.” Also included are wheelchair-specific workouts.
A new Breathe app encourages users to take a moment to do short deep breathing exercises.
New Communication Features
Users can now reply to messages via tickers, handwriting, full-screen effects and invisible ink, which reveals the message only after a friend swipes over it. Smart Replies are faster, as they are available in the message notification itself. A new Scribble feature allows users to quickly write words on the display, which the Apple Watch converts to text.
SOS allows users in emergency situations to quickly call emergency services, either via their iPhone, or via a Wi-Fi connection, and also notify their emergency contact by simply pressing and holding the side button.
New watch faces include Minnie Mouse, an Activity watch face, simple and elegant Numerals, and more. Complications can now be added to the Photo, Timelapse, or Motion watch faces.
watchOS 3 will be available this fall as a free update to Apple Watch. WatchKit for watchOS 3 is available immediately for iOS Developer Program members.