Apple just announced the latest version of WatchOS during the keynote presentation at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple executive Kevin Lynch has unveiled the WatchOS 3 that includes a bunch of features and improvements.
The major highlight of the WatchOS 3 is the improvement of speed in terms of launching the apps. Apple introduces Instant Launch that will open apps faster than before, that’s up to seven times faster than its previous version. The side button triggers a dock that stores the most recent and running apps. It will no longer bring up contact menu like it was before.
Apple has made a significant overhaul to its interface to make it easier to access apps and information. The revamped interface brings Control Center that can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the display. watchOS 3 also brings a handful of new watch faces, including a Minnie Mouse face, Activity Ring face, and several others. It can be changed by swiping across the display.
The Reminders and Find Friends apps have been redesigned, and third-party apps can also now run in the dock area. It also brings a new feature called Scribble that allows users to write a message using their fingers and that will be converted into text with handwriting recognition. It’s similar to one that was introduced in Android wear.
There’s a new feature added to the WatchOS 3 called the SOS which allows you to call emergency numbers – 911 in a case of emergency. Holding down the side button will bring the regular shutdown screen with SOS option, and it will dial 911 either through phone’s cellular connection or through watch Wi-Fi connection. And, it will alter emergency contacts as well.
Apple has tweaked the Apple watch for wheelchair users with WatchOS 3. For instance, the “Time to stand” notification will now say “Time to roll,” while Apple Watch is also better at recognizing wheelchair movements and recognizing that as exercise. There’s a new fitness app that lets users connect with each other enabling them to view activity and progress and send messages and heart rates to others.
Another new health app is called Breathe and is designed to encourage relaxation and breathing techniques. It can provide haptic feedback to guide users when their eyes are closed.
For third-party apps, Apple is enabling Apple Pay, background processing for fitness apps, native control for the crown, APIs for speaker control, video, and more. Apple says that a developer preview of watchOS 3 is available today and will be available to all Apple users later this fall.
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