Apple today announced a complete revamp of its Apple Watch operating system, watchOS. The new version, watchOS 3, will be available in Canada in the fall. The developer preview is available today.
Kevin Lynch, vice-president of Technology at Apple, says that in watchOS 3, app launch times will be improved by seven times. It will do this by keeping apps in memory, with background refresh for user’s favourite apps.
This new version of watchOS includes a feature called “Scribble,” which converts finger swipes to text. Users will also be able to swipe up on the home screen to enter the control center, reminiscent of iOS. The side button on the watch will now open on to a dock of apps, rather than the communications screen.
Additionally, holding down the side button will allow the user to quickly notify emergency services. This feature is called SOS and works internationally.
Lynch also announced several new watch faces, including a Minnie Mouse face, and simplistic style called Numerals. Users will be able to easily switch between these faces with a simple side-swipe.
Apple has made its activity feature more inclusive by adding activity rings optimized for wheelchair users. It has also launched a new stock health app called “Breathe,” which is built to help users manage stress.
Apple’s Apple Watch just recently passed its first birthday.
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