Get Ready: New Apple Watch Software Coming September 16

Apple

Ready to give your Apple Watch a little bit of an upgrade? The next version of the software for the Apple Watch, dubbed Watch OS 2.0, will officially be available on September 16th (here's how to update). Apple showed the software off for the first time during this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, and then gave it a release date on Wednesday during the company’s annual September iPhone event.

Since its launch, more than 10,000 apps have been made for the Apple Watch. That’s certainly a tremendous number, but it’s a number that’s only going to get bigger over the next few weeks and months thanks to the newest version of the OS. In the hands of some developers since WWDC, the newest version of the Watch OS gives developers a lot more control over the Watch, enabling new experiences previously impossible with the device.

Native Apps

The biggest news with Watch OS 2.0 is that the Watch will be able to support native apps. Right now, all the apps you run on your Watch are essentially being run on your iPhone, with data transported back to your Watch so you can view it. With native apps, the processing action will happen on the Watch hardware, that means things can happen much faster.

During Wednesday’s event, Apple showed off a few of the apps that have already been built for the new version of the OS.

A few notable ones include a Facebook Messenger app that allows you to both text and send audio messages to friends on the social network, and a new app by GoPro that turns the Apple Watch into a viewfinder for the camera, giving you control over recording as well as the resolution of the video you’re capturing on the device.

New Watch Faces

Watch OS 2.0 will support a number of new watch faces. A small feature that turns out to be a huge one With the watch faces you’ll be able to select a time-lapse video shot in a major city around the world such as New York, Paris, or London, or create your own watch face using a favorite photo or even a favorite photo album, with the image changing each time you raise your wrist.

Time Travel

A new feature called Time Travel in Watch OS 2.0 will let you take a look at what’s coming up in the future (or what’s already happened) by turning the digital crown on the side of the Watch. It has obvious uses for things like your calendar, allowing you to get a quick preview of what’s in store for the rest of the day or week. The feature also works place like the weather app, giving you a preview of the upcoming forecast.

Nightstand Mode

A new Nightstand Model for the Apple Watch adds a layer of functionality to the Watch even when you’re not wearing it. With Nightstand mode, when you plug the Watch in at night, the display will go into a special night mode that illuminates the Watch whenever you tap on the screen. Designed to be used with the Watch on its side, when he Watch is Nightstand mode you can do this like dismiss an alarm by tapping on the digital crown, giving the Watch an alarm clock like feel.