WatchOS 3 is now available to download, and the update is all about speed. The biggest change is for watch apps, as there is new instantaneous launch, rather than sitting and watching the spinning loading circle. To pull this off, you will be able to set favorite apps in memory that receive background updates for refreshed information. It was a night and day difference in Apple’s on stage demo, and the new system allows for other interface changes.
WatchOS 3 introduces a new Dock allowing you to press the side button to access a scrolling list of app thumbnails. The Apple Watch dock will work a lot like iOS multi-tasking to scroll through apps, and tap on the one you want. The dock apps will be live as they’re the favorite apps that can receive background updates. You can also reply to messages quicker as you don’t need to press reply to bring up quick reply text strings, dictation, and emoji buttons, and instead those buttons appear with the message. Speaking of Messages, you can also now scribble a text to write each letter on the Apple Watch screen. Now the Apple Watch also has Control Center available by swiping up on the watch screen to access quick settings.
A big part of WatchOS is activity, and WatchOS 3 features a new Activity watch face in three different forms to show your daily progress built right into the watch face. You can also share your activity with friends and family, and check in on their progress throughout the day. Apple is including some other new watch faces such as Minnie, the minimalistic Numerals, and more with each one now just a swipe away, rather than using force touch. WatchOS 3 features an all new stock app as well in the form of Breathe. The app offers a way to initiate and track deep breathing sessions with the ability to see your heart rate when the session is complete. Apple is also optimizing the back end of WatchOS with new developer APIs allowing third party watch apps to connect to Game Center, Cloud Kit, Sprite Kit, and more to offer more animation, in-line video, and even the ability for select apps to run in the background constantly, like fitness apps.
WatchOS 3 is a significant update that changes the entire usability of Apple’s wearable device.