It took Apple three tries but with the debut of watchOS 3, Apple has finally made the Apple Watch something I can use every day. Back at WWDC, Apple showed off the host of new features that make watchOS 3 feel like a massive overhaul of the Apple Watch experience. The new Apple Watch Series 2 comes out in just a few days, but owners of the original Apple Watch can get the software upgrade today.
With the previous OS’s, the software can still be laggy from time to time—but now, it seems like it an entirely new watch again. Here are the nine new features in watchOS 3 you need to know about:
You can now share your workout and activity information with fellow Apple Watch users so you can compete with each other. There are also customized workouts for wheelchair users with “time to roll” instead of “time to stand” notifications.
This is a brand new app that is designed to help you cut down on stress by helping you go through breathing exercises.
You can now use the Digital Crown to zoom in and out when using the camera app to control your phone.
Gone is the favorites menu when you push the button on the side of the Apple Watch. In its place is a brand new dock that lets you add up to ten apps where it will be updated constantly and will be able to launch INSTANTLY. The Dock is one of the biggest changes to the Apple Watch in terms of day-to-day use. Jumping between apps and opening up ones you use a lot is now easier than ever.
There are a few new changes to the Messages app in watchOS 3. Apple made it easier to reply to a text so when a text comes in, you’ll see an option for dictation, emoji, sending your heartbeat, and Scribble. The Scribble feature allows you to write replies on the watch face with your finger and it will convert it to text. You write one letter at a time—and although that might seem silly, it works better than you’d expect.
The addition of the Reminders was long overdue so now, you don’t have to pull your phone out to view your reminders.
The SOS feature is a fast an easy way to call emergency services wherever you are in the world. You can activate it by pressing the side button and then selecting the SOS feature.
When hooked up to your Mac, you don’t have to enter your password every time you turn your Mac on as long as you are wearing your Apple Watch.
There are three new watch faces—Minnie Mouse, numerals, and one that shows your activity rings. You can also add more complications to the existing watch faces. We still haven’t gotten third party watch faces, which is mind-boggling, but this will have to hold us over for now.