The next-generation of watchOS software is here. Anyone with a Series 4 or Series 3 Apple Watch can now download watchOS 6. It will be available later this fall for Series 2 and Series 1 watches.
How to Update
The update can be downloaded now through the companion Watch app on your iPhone by heading to General > Software Update in the My Watch portion of the app.
Your watch needs to have more than 50 percent power and connected to a charger. Like most Apple Watch updates, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete, so be patient.
Here’s a look at some of the new features in the software.
A Built-In App Store
The biggest addition in watchOS 6 is the addition of a standalone App Store. Instead of needing to download Apple Watch apps on an iPhone, that can now be done directly from the watch itself.
You can easily search for different apps and view curated choices from Apple on the watch. Just like the App Store on your iOS device, the watch version also shows more information about the app, screenshots, and reviews.
Speaking of apps, watch users can now take advantage of a new Audiobooks, Calculator, and Voice Memos apps. The Reminders app also has a new look mirroring the changes in iOS 13.
Available for the Series 4 and new Series 5 models, a new Noise app will keep a constant track of the levels of noise around you. When the decibel level rises to a dangerous level that could damage your hearing, you’ll receive a notification on the watch.
There is also a new Cycle Tracking app that can give women more insight into their menstrual cycle.
Even More Watch Faces
One of the best features of the Apple Watch is the wide variety of different watch faces. And Apple has a number of new options that range from information-packed to beautiful.
Probably the most interesting new complication option is a Noise option that will show you real-time decibel levels on the watch face.
Other new features include:
- Apple Watch data is used to provide data for the new Trends section in the iPhone Activity app. You can view trends for active calories, exercise minutes, walking pace, and more. The app will also offer coaching if any trends are going down.
- When sending messages directly from the watch, you can add fun new Animoji stickers.
- Staying true to its time-keeping capabilities, Apple has also added a few nice improvements. The Taptic Engine can tap your wrist silently at the top fo the hour. You can also select a chime to ring at the beginning of each hour. Also, when you hold two fingers on any watch face, you can hear the time out loud.
The Apple Watch Series 5 will officially arrive tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 20 with an always-on screen.