watchOS is getting a bump up to version 3. It will keep favorite apps in memory, speed up launches, and updates information in the background. More importantly, instead of the multiple seconds it takes to load an app and update its front-end data, it’s all instant.
The Dock is new to watchOS 3. By pressing the side button, you can fly through recent apps, all of them showing a live screenshot with new data for your quick glance.
Control Center makes a migration from iOS. With a swipe from the bottom, you get a quick look at battery and toggles. Quick reply options for messages get updated and you can also respond with “Scribble,” a quick multilingual handwriting solution (it was demonstrated in Chinese on-stage) that takes in each letter you put in.
Mickey Mouse is joining Minnie Mouse in the watchface category. The Activity watchface also has several reconfigurations and there’s a new one called “Numerals.” You can swipe between watchfaces right from the home screen and also set different watchfaces to show up during different occasions like meetings or bedtime.
The SOS service for watchOS makes comprehensive executions from dialing the emergency number to then notifying emergency contacts and then allowing medical professionals to access your vital information.
Activity sharing is also introduced for you to compare and contrast activity rings and stats with your friends and family, even with third-party data — and you can instantly trash talk/encourage them via voice, text or heart rate. Wheelchair-enabled buffs also get different modes for when they cross over different propulsion methods. Instead of having a “Time to Stand,” they will be notified that it’s “Time to Roll”.
Breathe is a new app that takes on deep breathing exercises for your healthfulness. With lovely visuals and taptic nudges to keep track of your cycles, it’s a relatively new app experience.
Speaking of app experiences, the Apple Pay API can now be implemented into apps, live background tracking for fitness data is also supported and Crown and Button-based events can be triggered as well.
The Developer Preview gets out today with a free upgrade for all Apple Watch owners to watchOS 3 in the fall.
This story is developing…