AppleWatch watchOS
August 19, 2015

What to Expect from watchOS 2

Written By Rebecca Larkin

The Apple Watch has only been around since April 24th, but boy has it made an impact, and the smartwatch’s popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Consumers and critics were impressed with the Apple Watch and with watchOS 2 launching this Autumn, we wanted to taker a closer look at what changes and improvements users can expect from the new operating system.

New Faces

Finally, Apple has listened to it’s consumers and released a customisable watch face. The watch will spend most of its time as just that, a watch, so allowing users to customise its resting state makes perfect sense. Whether you want a particular picture, a slideshow of your favourites, or a lovely little time lapse of your favourite city, you’ll enjoy having new faces to pick from.

The new faces even have updated and customisable Complications (Complications are what Apple call the other features on the Apple Watch face – complicated, I know).

App store data can now synchronise with the home screen to allow, create and update new Complications including flight times and scheduled events.

Time Travel

It might be 2015, but hold your horses Back to the Future fans, we’re not on about real time travel (much to our disappointment).

Time Travel is a new feature that allows you to check your plans for tomorrow, remember what you did yesterday, and plan your schedule for the weeks or months ahead. You can even go back and check yesterday’s news in case you missed anything, pretty handy right?

Nightstand Mode

Another handy feature coming in the watchOS 2 is Nightstand Mode, a basic time telling screen which allows you to view and set your alarms. Nightstand Mode is automatic too, all you have to do to activate it is take your watch off, pop it on charge and lay it on it’s side and voila!

Say Hello to Native Apps

Finally we can look forward to native apps on the Apple Watch! Native apps mean faster loading times, and a better performance with a smoother user experience and even more opportunities for apps.

Native apps can also take advantage of Apple Watch’s built in functions such as the heart rate monitor, speaker, microphone, accelerometer and the Digital Crown, and use them to their advantage within their app.

Old Apps, New Tricks

While there will be plenty of new apps emerging out the woodwork, a few old faces have some new tricks up their sleeves.

Email now allows you to reply straight from your wrist, you can unleash your inner artist with Digital Touch, and send your creations to a newly created literal circle of friends.

Adding even more functionality to Maps is Transit, a new feature that will allow you to plan your journeys on another level, by including public transport information.

Siri will also be around to help you out more than ever, and do things like starting workouts, sending an email and defining words, all on top of her old functions.

And of course, there’s Apple Pay! Allowing you to pay for things with your wrist.

Security Gets Tighter

With the new addition of Activation Lock users will need their Apple ID and Password to access and synchronise their watch with their phone.

This added level of security will make sure that if you ever lose you watch, your information will stay safe.

Under the Hood

For developers watchOS 2 brings oodles of juicy features to play with. Apple is unleashing specific SDKs for the watch and its resting clock state, named WatchKit and ClockKit.

With WatchKit, Apple has given programmatic access to the Digital Crown for simpler item selection and animation APIs for fluid and more dynamic user interfaces.

The ClockKit framework enables apps to provide up-to-date and meaningful information that updates throughout the day directly on the clock face with Complications. You can even enable multiple versions of your apps Complications on the same face to display a variety of information.

Our developers can’t wait to get their hands on watchOS 2 and create smooth running and intuitive apps, but in the meantime here’s a video of watchOS 2 in action to really whet your appetite.

Do you think it’s time for an Apple Watch app? Don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to hear your app ideas.