It is not just iPhone and iPad users who had the privilege to upgrade to a hot new and huge update from Apple.
WatchOS3 is the operating system designed for Apple Watch, which was first announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year in June. It was said then, that this update “is going to feel like a whole new watch.” While the very heavy update comes with new apps especially fitness and health related, a new dock, sharing of activities, improvements in navigation and overall performance, many users are still wondering whether or not to upgrade.
The two strong reasons for anyone to download are that it is free and enables integration of a lot of new apps. The updated OS enhances the user interface and experience for every Apple Watch user, for free, which means no need to upgrade the hardware or buy a new watch. Secondly, it enables great speeds on many of the popular third party apps. This will also encourage more and more developers to create better iWatch apps thereby pushing the entire ecosystem forward.
We list down the five new things that are cool about this update and makes it worthy of a download.
Thanks to this new update of WatchOS3 users can scribble or doodle on the screen of the watch and the software will identify and confirm it quickly. This can be used to swiftly reply to texts messages and Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and any other chat apps. For every incoming message notification, the user will see the scribble option pop up on the screen. All one has to do then is to tap on it and start doodling in alphabets. The WatchOS3 is smart enough to recognize the most illegible of handwritings and the user can easily keep scribbling away!
2. App dock
With this new update, Apple has brought a tiny replica version of the dock that you see on Macbooks. If you press the side button, the screen goes to the app dock where you can see all apps that you visit frequently and the ones that you visited recently. This dock can show up to ten apps on the dock screen. From this dock itself, you can rearrange the apps being shown to you or shut them down with a single swipe like in iPhones.
3. Control Center
The new update also brings to you a control center which is extremely useful. This control center gives you access to all shortcuts that you have defined for your Watch by swiping up from the lower end of the screen of the watch. The screen that pops up has information on your battery level, silent or loud mode, the option of going on airplane mode, the option to ping and locate your lost iPhone, control, play music and use AirPlay. This is exact same control center like the one on iPhones.
4. WheelChair mode
Lately, Apple has shown a big push towards health and fitness apps. A lot of third party developers have also created apps and services for Apple operating systems in this regard. The new Wheelchair mode on the WatchOS3 is Apple’s endeavor to include users who are in a wheelchair. Since these users are not walking or running, this mode allows software to calculate their movements and fitness metrics and align it to the fact that they are in a wheelchair.
5. SOS alerts
The WatchOS3 also has a much needed SOS tool for the Apple Watch. The user needs to long press hold on the side button and a pop up for emergency service app is seen on the display screen. This app lets you contact three SOS contacts that you need to assign in advance who will receive a text message saying that the user is in distress along with a link to your location. In an emergency situation this will enable help to reach the accurate location in time.
However, to prevent users from accidently pressing this button and contacting emergency services, there is a countdown timer that goes off after the button is pressed. This time, gap enables a user to cancel the transmission of SOS message in case the service was summoned unnecessarily.
While all these features add to the cool of the iWatch as it existed earlier, there are certain downsides that have been noted by users across the world.
Some say that location and navigation on the new WatchOS3 don't really work well at all locations. This has been the complaint in general regarding Apple Maps for some time now. But on WatchOS3, specifically many users have claimed not to be able to use ‘find nearby’ searches for essentials like gas stations and restaurants, even the ones that showed up on Apple Maps on the iPhone with which the said Watch was connected. There have been no answers from Apple regarding this phenomenon, which many users have written publicly about on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
Some complained that the upgrade itself is a painfully slow process. And some users took as long as three hours for the WatchOS3 update to download and launch. Another general rant on social media networks is about the update’s effect on the battery life of the iWatch. The new iWatch has a bigger battery and will last all day. This is not so great since there is so much more that a user would want to do with all new features and access to so many new apps on the new iWatch.
Steps to Update to WatchOS3
- Start by updating your iPhone to iOS 10. This is because iWatchOS3 is not compatible with iOS9 or versions released before that.
- Charge your iWatch to at least 50% battery to update; your iPhone needs to be at 50% battery level or higher. If you forget this and there is a power down on either the iPhone or iWatch during the update, you will have to start all over again.
- Connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi for downloading and installing the WatchOS3 update. Also, ensure there is no interruption to the connection between the iWatch and iPhone while the update is on.
- Now that the preparation is completed, you are ready to download the WatchOS3.
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone. Tap on the My Watch, then go to General, then go to Software Update and select.
- You may need to enter your Apple Watch password at this stage. Follow the auto pop ups on your screen for this.
- Your update should now have started, and the progress will be shown in the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Another thing to note is that the update may need your Apple Watch to restart twice during this whole process and that is absolutely fine.
What are some of the features that you like about WatchOS3? How was your experience? Let us know below in the comments section.