Alongside iOS 13, Apple also released watchOS 6 for all compatible Apple Watch models out there. The latest release of watchOS comes with a number of new watch faces, a dedicated App Store, new complications, and more.
With watchOS 6, Apple has taken another step towards making the Apple Watch less reliant on the iPhone. A dedicated App Store for the Apple Watch should help stir developer activity for the wearable which has so far been missing. Apart from Apple Watch Series 0, watchOS 6 is compatible with all other Apple Watch variants released so far.
You can only install the watchOS 6 update on your Apple Watch after you have updated your iPhone to iOS 13.
Below is a quick look at some of the key new features that watchOS 6 brings to the Apple Watch.
1. App Store on Apple Watch
The biggest news in watchOS 6 is the new App Store. Developers will be able to build independent Watch apps. These apps will be installed independently on the Watch and will work without an iPhone counterpart. Nothing will be installed on the iPhone automatically.
The full Watch App Store is available here. The editor’s picks and the featured collections will do the heavy lifting here. But you can actually search manually as well. Searching using Siri dictation and scribbling works as well.
2. New Watch Faces
watchOS 6 has a couple of new watch faces and most of them are only available for Apple Watch Series 4. One of them is the new Solar Dial watch face. It builds on the old solar watch face by taking an analog route. There’s a special solar dial in the middle of the analog dial. You can add four complications in the corners outside the analog dial.
The modular watch face is finally adopted for the Series 4 screen. It has a huge analog or digital watch face at the top-left. And you can customize the other three complications easily.
The California watch face brings the classic Rolex style watch face to the Apple Watch. It looks very cool, in both the full-screen view and the circular view. You can have multiple designs and color combinations for this analog watch face. You can also switch between different indices from Roman numerals to Arabic, Hindi, Numerals and pill shapes.
The gradient watch face is the minimalist colorful option for watchOS 6. You can choose any color you want and Apple Watch will create a gradient watch face where the gradient starts from where the minute hand lands.
There are two new Numerals watch faces – Mono and Duo. Mono only shows the hour along while the Duo shows both the hour and the minute as the background.
3. New System Apps
There’s a new standalone app just for Audiobooks. While it has the same icon as the Apple Books app, you’ll only be able to access your Audiobook collection from the Books app here. There is no way to browse the store. But if you have added an audiobook to your library, it will show up here. The great thing is that if you have a Cellular Watch, you can stream Audiobooks from anywhere.
New Calculator App
Apple finally added a Calculator app the Apple Watch and quite good. Unlike third-party Calculator apps, it has all the important features in one screen. You’ll find the standard number pad and the function on the right. There’s even a tip feature. You can add a tip and then split the bill as well.
New Voice Memos App
The new Voice Memos app is quite simple. You open the app, tap on the record button and the voice recording begins. If you want to stop it, tap on the record button again. You’ll find all the recordings in the list. Tap on one to play it back.
4. Reminders App
The new Reminders app on Apple Watch goes hand in hand with the new iOS 13 version. And for a change, there’s actually a big button for creating a new reminder just as you open the app (something that’s missing in the iPhone app). You can create a reminder using your voice or by scribbling the letters using your fingers.
All your lists are available in the app. You can tap on a list to view all reminders and even check things off your list.
5. Third Party Apps Will Be Able to Stream Music, Radio and Podcasts
This is going to be very exciting once watchOS 6 is released to the public in Fall 2019. The final version will enable streaming features for music apps, radio apps, and podcast apps. This means that apps like Spotify and Overcast will be able to stream media from their servers directly to the Apple Watch without the need for an iPhone. This is going to be a great feature for the cellular Apple Watch.
6. Siri Search Results will Display Full Web Pages
Siri is getting smarter in watchOS 6. Now you’ll be able to view full web pages from Siri results right on the Apple Watch.
7. Send Memoji Stickers from Apple Watch
If you’ve created a Memoji on your iPhone, the associated Memoji stickers will show up on your Apple Watch as well. You’ll be able to quickly reply to a message using Animoji or Memoji stickers.
8. New Cycle Tracking App
There’s a new Cycle Tracking app pre-loaded on the Apple Watch. It’s a menstrual cycle tracking app for women. Users will be able to input their period dates, flow frequency and will be able to record symptoms as well. The Apple Watch will then send notifications about period time frames and if the user opts for it, the fertility window.
9. New Noise App
The new Noise app measures the sound levels of the environment you’re in. If it’s too loud, you’ll get a notification about it and you can step out to protect your hearing. You can monitor the decibel levels of your environment at any given time using the app or the live complication.
10. New Complications
- Voice Memos
Once you are done updating your Apple Watch to watchOS 6, make sure to drop a comment and let us know how you are liking the update.