I’ve been testing watchOS 3 all summer long and it’s jam-packed with updates to make your Apple Watch much more user friendly.
One of the new things you will notice is that the Glances are gone. They have been replaced by a customizable dock. A press of the side button (which used to bring up your favorite contacts) lets you access apps you use on a regular basis. Any app, like weather or calendar, will show you real time information, without needing to actually select the app from the dock. You can customize the dock from inside the watch app on your iphone.
Glances used to be accessed by swiping up from the bottom. This feature has been replaced by the control center and is very similar to the control center found on iOS. Command Center was a part of Glances, but was easy to be buried in pages of them. This new feature makes it easily at your disposal whenever you need to quickly access it.
Apple has included a new feature that will revolutionize safety. By pressing and holding the side button for more than 3 seconds, it will automatically connect you to local emergency services, which will adapt to whatever country you are located in. It will then send out your location to anyone you have listed as an emergency contact in your health app, and then once the emergency call is over, it’ll display your Medical ID that you set up in Health.
One of the main selling factors for the Apple Watch is fitness. Anyone who used the Apple Watch for fitness loves closing their activity rings. For that, Apple has added plenty of new features. The first is that you can now share your activities with friends. This will help you keep each other motivated. As you receive progress updates from your friends, you can hit reply and your watch will display some predetermined messages that will either taunt or encourage your friends.
Apple understands after the year that they’ve had the watch out, that many people in wheelchairs use their product. So for that, the time to stand notification and activity ring has been changed to “time to roll”.
Apple has taken note of the many people that use wheelchairs with the latest update changing the “Time to stand” notification and activity ring to “Time to roll”.
Apple has also included a number of new watch faces, which include a digital activity watch face or two different analog watch faces. This will help you keep track of your rings without wasting a Complication on the activity. Also among the watch faces are Minnie Mouse (complete with the ability to change the color of her dress). We also now have a numerals which simply shows an analog clock with a big number that denotes the hour it is. Some of the other watch faces have gotten added features to add Complications. To change a face, all you need to do is swipe from edge to edge to change between the watch face that suits you at the time. You can also edit and change watch faces from inside the Watch app on your phone.
Breathe is another app that Apple has included in its watch. This app simply reminds you to breathe throughout the day, and helps you with deep breathing. This feature can be turned on or off within the Watch app.
Just like in iOS 10, messages got a face-lift. You can see all the new emotes used on iOS, like invisible ink, slam, gentle, even the screen animations like confetti. The newest feature I’m excited about is scribble. You can now write out your replay straight from the watch. This comes in handy if you’re in a place you can’t dictate a reply. Using it on a small screen isn’t a problem, and that’s coming from someone who uses the 38mm watch.
Last but not least, Apple has improved the performance of the Apple Watch in watchOS 3. Your apps now launch in the blink of an eye and are updated when you launch it.
All and all, they have made the Watch much more versatile, user friendly, and applicable in our everyday lives. I couldn’t be happier with their update, and Apple has addressed almost all of the concerns that I had from watchOS 2.