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What’s New in Apple WatchOS 2.0 and Should You Update?

by Springbox, June 17, 2015

What’s New in WatchOS 2.0

Apple announced updated watch OS 2.0 in WWDC on Monday 8th June, 2015. The release was available to developers on the same day along with iOS 9.0.
Among many exciting new features the followings are worth mentionable-

New watch faces- The new WatchOS contains time-lapse videos of watch faces of 5 different cities- New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, London and Mack Lake. The watch face changes depending in the time of the day you are looking at your watch. It also contains Photo face where you can select a single photo from your photo library or Photo Album face where you can select an album from which images will show up on the watch every time you raise your wrist to look at the time.

Complications - With WatchOS 2.0, apples allows custom third party apps to push information to the watch faces. So information like the temperature of your Nest thermostat, battery level of your electric car, your next flight information etc. will be a glance away.

Time Travel and night stand mode - This features allows you to travel ahead of time and find out about your next meeting or weather later today. You can do the same going backward through time. In night stand mode, you can set your watch on it’s side while charging and it will display the beautiful horizontal watch face. The digital crown and power button can be used as snooze and off button respectively.

Other Updates - Other updates includes being able to play video in your tiny watch screen if you decide to do so, updated maps with transit options, replying emails directly using Siri, smart replies or emoji, updated wallet app with support to rewards and private label cards etc.

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New Watch face

Should You Update?

You must update your iPhone to iOS 9.0 beta to be able to install Watch OS 2.0 in your phone. You will need a Apple developers account to get both of the Betas here is an article that describes the procedure in detail.

But you should not really update to iOS 2.0 if you are truly a watch app developer. The main reason is, you will need to update your iPhone first to iOS 9.0 beta to be able to update to WatchOS 2.0. iOS 9.0 is currently in beta now. Like all beta releases, this version is full of bugs. I have been using in for more than a week now. Apps crashes, phone becomes unresponsive and biggest of all- the battery life really goes down. You can downgrade to your iPhone to the current stable version of iOS but you need an iPhone running iOS 9.0 to get the watch work.

In short, you can’t downgrade your apple watch once you have updated to 2.0 and you have to keep your iPhone to buggy 9.0 for the watch to work. Though the new Apple watch features are cool, my advise- hold your horses for few months!

Written by Iftekharul Islam, Frontend Developer at Springbox