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Updates to Apple Watch OS and Apple TV are in the pipeline

Updates to Apple Watch OS and Apple TV are in the pipeline

That iThingy You're Wearing
May 18, 2015

Apple Watch is nearly a month old, and a proven source has revealed to 9to5Mac that a collection of software and hardware updates are already on the way. The updates are currently in development, and will provide features to make your Apple Watch more secure and improve connectivity with other Apple devices. Other features will enhance the existing health and fitness features, beef up Wi-Fi capabilities, and make it easier for third-party applications to integrate with Apple Watch.

The first new feature is dubbed “Find my Watch,” a version of Find My iPhone for the wearable device. This will allow a user to track a Watch’s location, as well as lock or perform a remote wipe on it if the device is lost or stolen. This has been in development since long before Apple Watch shipped, but implementing the feature for an iPhone-dependent device forced engineers to think more outside the box. Find my Watch will use its wireless signal to establish its location relative to the iPhone, and will be able to notify a user if the iPhone is accidentally left behind. The source told 9to5Mac that Find my Watch could be farther down the road than other new features, because such a service might require a more capable and independent wireless chip in a next-generation device.

Apple is also working to improve the capabilities of the wearable device’s health and fitness apps, including the possibility of a way for the heart rate sensor to notify a user about an irregular heartbeat. Of course, potential liability concerns and governmental regulation could table that feature indefinitely. Apple hopes to add sleep tracking features and a blood pressure monitor in the near future, and glucose/blood sugar sensors in the long term.

Next up, Cupertino is working on allowing developers to build native, full-speed apps for Apple Watch. In addition to that development, there is also development being pursued to allow third-party watch face complications, such as a set of Twitter integrations that could display a count of unread Twitter mentions as well as other possibilities.

Finally, the source has revealed that Cupertino plans to market the current wearable device as the primary input device for the next-generation Apple TV, in addition to a fancier remote control that will be bundled with the set top box. The new Apple TV box is expected to debut in June at WWDC, with deep Siri integration and third-party app support. According to 9to5Mac’s source, a new version of Xcode includes a previously absent feature called “TVKit” for developers to use in building third-party apps for the Apple TV.

There isn’t any clear indication about release dates for these features, but we can certainly expect at least some of them to make their way into the WWDC announcements in June. We are already expecting Cupertino to announce iOS 9, OS X 10.11, and the relaunch of Beats Music as Apple Music.