WWDC 2016 Recap: watchOS 3

Apple started the day off with what’s new in the Apple Watch While we didn’t get a new watch, we got a new operating system update with many changes. First, the way you view apps has changed. Pressing the long button on the side will bring up the “Dock”, rather than the friends page. It looks similar to the way you select watch faces. You can also pick from apps on the home page, but these will allow you to filter through some recent apps.

The performance of apps is also much better. Apps can now refresh in the background and will stay in memory for opening quicker. Finally, we see something called “Instant Launch”. This is a feature that will allow apps to open instantly by keeping them running all of the time.

From what we can tell, it seems as if Glances is gone. Rather, Apple is focusing on getting these same tidbits from the watch face. Also, swiping up will only give you the control center with quick settings.

To reply to a message, there are some new options. You can draw letters on the screen. That will then convert to type. While it may to slow, you can finally type messages on the watch rather than choosing a suggestion or dictating it.

We also got a few new watch faces. They’re not open to developers yet, but we did get three new ones. First, there’s a simple numeral face with just numbers. Mickie got a new friend. Minnie has come to the Apple Watch. Finally, there’s an activity face that allows you to quickly view your daily activity. To change watch faces, all you need to do is swipe to the side and change which one you’re on.

The Activity app got some changes as well. There’s activity sharing, where you can compete with friends and see what their activity is for the day.

Apple has also brought Reminders and Find my Friends to the watch. Now you can quickly keep tabs on your family and see what’s on the docket for the day. Finally, there’s a Breathe app. It will give you a reminder throughout the day, telling you to follow the app’s instructions to take deep breaths and meditate.

watchOS 3 will be available to the public this fall and it available for testing by developers now. You can learn more here.

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