watchOS has now received a huge boost in App launch time called Instant Launch which was one of the biggest and most requested feature ever since the release of the Apple Watch. Your favourite apps now update themselves before you open it. Apple does this by keeping your favourite apps in memory with background updates and refreshed information which when you launch the app loads instantaneously. Apple claims that it is 7x faster than watchOS 2.
Apple added a dock to quickly access your favourite apps by clicking the side button below the digital crown. The dock is fully customizable and can be swiped through quickly to see your different favourite apps in one place and all the apps are both glance-able and interactive. There is now a Control Center by swiping upwards similar to iOS to toggle quick actions and view your battery status.
iMessage on watchOS now has multiple reply options including a newly introduced feature called Scribble which uses your handwriting to instantaneously translate into words ready to send. iMessage updates for iOS will also be reflected on watchOS like stickers, invisible ink, larger emoji’s, sketches, taps and even your heartbeat. Scribble currently works with English and Chinese(Mandarin).
There are new watch faces being used including a new Minnie mouse in different coloured dresses, numerals and Health circle in different forms replicating a modular style watch face. You can now swipe watch faces to quickly change the watch face based on what information and look you prefer.
Apple added a new SOS feature which when you press and hold down the side button for a while, the watch will automatically call your location’s respective emergency number on its own and send a message with your location to all of your emergency contacts and will present your medical ID on your watch. This feature is available for use internationally.
The Activity app got a major update for motivation through competition using Activity Sharing which lets you see your friends and family’s activity information. You can even access data from third party apps and you can share your workout to your family and friends. After your activity you’ll receive suggestions based on your activity along with the ability to send a voice message to probably challenge someone or send your heart rate. Wheelchair users also got an update in Activity for better applicability. Wheelchair users can now get a ‘Time to Roll’ instead of ‘Time to Stand’, new push counts instead of step counts and also optimized health and tracking features. There are also new optimized workouts optimized for wheelchair users.
Apple also launched a new app for meditation called Breathe which encourages deep breathing for mind relaxation and exercises during stressful times. It helps you calm the body and mind by deep breathing. You can launch it from dock or app menu or using smart notifications and you can setup the time with a visual cue or a gentle tap with the taptic engine. Apple also opened up Apple Pay within apps, the ability to manage all your HomeKit devices in one place using a new Home app and the ability to auto-unlock your Mac while wearing your Apple Watch skipping the login screen.
The public beta for watchOS 3 will open up in July and will be launched in Fall this year. To see what else was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference(WWDC) this year, click here.