Now may be a better time to buy the Apple Watch
By Digital News Asia September 22, 2015
- WatchOS 2’s release delayed due to bug but now made available
- Gives developers full access to create native apps
APPLE has released a software upgrade for its smartwatch, called watchOS 2.
The software release was due to hit Apple Watches on Sept 16 but due to the last-minute discovery of a bug, the US technology giant delayed the release. Now, just a week after the release of its iOS 9 update iPhones and iPads, the watchOS 2 is available for download and installation to the watch.
Announced during the company’s keynote at the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference back in early June this year, this new operating system is the first major update for the device.
On the company’s website, Apple featured some of the most important highlights of the watchOS 2.
Key among them is that it allows app developers to create software that runs on the watch directly, rather than rely on the iPhone’s connectivity. This potentially speeds up the performance of the app and reduces lag, which was one of the main criticisms of the watch.
Before this update, only Apple had this ability but this is now available to developers, opening the floodgates to new ‘native’ apps for the Watch. This gives developers direct control of the hardware aspects of the watch such the rotating ‘digital crown’ as well as the plethora of sensors within the Apple Watch.
Another new feature which targets consumers rather than developers is the availability of more watch faces, and the ability to personalize them.
For example, users can choose from a selection of videos shot from locations around the world (pic above) as their watch face wallpaper, or even use photographs from their Photos app in their iPhone, or randomly select a photo from their Favourites list each time they raise their wrist.
Users can also customize the type of information they want to see on the watch face, called ‘complications’, such as the weather, world clock or flight times.
At night, while the watch is being charged (since it typically won’t last most than a day and a half) the Apple Watch can now double up as a night clock (pic above), in what the company calls ‘nightstand mode’.
For busy executives, the new OS allows users to respond to their emails, when in the past they could only read them. Replying emails requires the user to speak to the watch, or select an emoji or pre-set reply.
For creative doodlers who felt hampered by having just one colour to express themselves, the Apple Watch now lets them draw and send sketches to other users using multiple colours.
On a more serious note, the new update now has beefed up the security feature on the Apple Watch with the inclusion of ‘Activation Lock’, which basically locks up the watch using the user’s iCloud Apple ID and password so if the device is stolen, the information in the watch will remain safe, according to Apple.
These new enhancements may still not convince some to plonk down S$518 / RM1500 for this wearable accessory to the iPhone, but at least Apple has provided a few more reasons to do so.
Will you be rushing to make the purchase now, or will you wait for more native apps (hopefully ‘killer’ apps) to show up before throwing down that investment? Let us know in the comments below.