Second generation of Apple Watch OS called WatchOS 2 has just been announced at WWDC 2015, putting more light not only on Apple newest wearable, but mostly on software side of it.
As we found out, directly the developers will benefit from the new OS, which in fairness will get native apps support thus be able to run faster and more accurate.
Thanks to new WatchOS 2 workout APIs, third-party apps will gain access to activity and workout data. Existing iOS HealthKit APIs will sitill be in use and data saved to Watch apps will also automatically sync back to the paired companion device it works with. What more, workouts done on the watch will show up in your daily roundup in the iOS Activity app too.
WatchOS 2 will continue to support Apple’s privacy approach with Watch workouts where users will have to grant apps permission to access their Health data and feed workout data back to the app, on an app-by-app basis. Authorizations will be shared between devices.
Developers can specify the activity type to improve tracking accuracy on Apple Watch, and their apps will remain in the foreground, meaning a user wrist raise will activate whatever workout progress or summary view developers create for their app instead of the watch face.
They will also be able to take advantage of features like the Taptic Engine, Digital Crown, accelerometer, heart rate sensor, speaker or microphone. This way we can see use of the accelerometer to measure the speed of golf swing, heart rate sensor to gather and display data during workouts and use of the Digital Crown to control your lights.
With WatchOS 2, there are more faces to choose from, thus ways to make your Apple Watch your own. Apps running faster, will enhance user experience together with improved communication options.
Complications are important pieces of information for Apple, therefore users will be able to track them directly form watch face, like your Activity rings, upcoming calendar events, flight information of state of supported car battery.
A press of the Digital Crown will allow time travel (some sort of) with catchup of past, actual or future events. That feature will benefit watch faces with complications the most, allowing them to display additional information like weather i.e. for upcoming meeting.
With WatchOS 2, in addition to already available feature of receiving e-mails, users will be able to respond to them by dictating a response message, or i.e. choosing from a list of relevant, preset replies.
Apple was always serious about quality, speed and feel of their OS and WatchOS 2 is no different in that matter. This time, any apps that are native apps, will run entirely on your Apple Watch, so they will load more quickly and have even greater capabilities. Same devotion user will experience from Maps and from transportation feature in particular. That’s because WatchOS 2 adds Transit, feature that combines more kinds of transportation in a single trip. In select cities around the world, there will be detailed maps and accurate train, subway, and bus schedules.
Included in WatchOS 2 Activation Lock on the other hand, is a new security feature apple was really proud to announce. Activating watch will require iCloud Apple ID and password, thus securing it if Apple Watch would get lost or stolen, and your information would remains still safe.
To sum up, Apple try to satisfy both sides: users and developers throwing some interesting features at both directions. Of course, bigger responsibility will still rest on developers who should get familiar with WatchKit and ClockKit for watchOS 2.
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