Apple Watch has been performing quite positively in the market, however, there are still some major shortcomings it encounters including slow response time, complicated interface and more. Apple aims to fix that with the third substantial update for its wearable ecosystem, watchOS version 3.0 which brings significant performance improvements and a lot sublimed software design alterations.
To start off, with the new update, applications now have the ability to reside in the memory and refresh data in the background, Apple calls this addition – Instant Launch. It will bring a much better experience while interacting with utilities, however, it also brings some worrying battery considerations. The side button is now called the “Dock Button” and instead of the communications screen, clicking the button will redirect to “the dock”. Additionally, long pressing the dock button triggers the new SOS feature which directly calls emergency services through the phone and forwards location information along with sending messages to friends and family. Once all that is done, it pulls up your medical card which is also a new addition, it shows your name, Date of Birth and other related data.
Apple says they’re trying to create a more familiar experience for users and as a result, has added a control center accessible from a swipe up containing quick actions. Furthermore, a new touch keyboard has been integrated which lets you draw letters in Chinese or English on the screen to type. Sounds quite cumbersome but it’s there now. WatchOS 3 also comes with a new watch face called “Numerals” which displays activity rings measured for example, from your steps count along with other usual components like the time and date.
Another focus Apple believes for the success of any wearable is fitness and health. Keeping that in mind, they’ve also unveiled a new fitness feature which allows users to check their friends’ shared activities, send quick messages and heart rates because that’s a thing now apparently. For wheelchair users, the UI has been gently differentiated by replacing “time to stand up” with “time to roll”. The watch can now also track wheelchair pushes in a variety of ways and will present them in the form of activity rings. Another health-oriented service called “Breathe” is attached to the WatchOS for providing relaxation and breathing exercises with the use of haptic feedbacks.
Apple has also enabled some third party modules including Apple Pay, background processing for fitness apps, APIs for controlling video, audio and interestingly, native control for the crown. WatchOS 3 will be available starting today for developers, the official release is expected this fall.