The WWDC 2016 keynote in San Francisco started with the focus on Apple Watch. No, there isn't any new hardware release for the Apple Watch. Instead, the company has announced significant features on the watchOS 3, which will offer improved performance with the ability to launch favourite apps instantly, enhanced navigation like the new Dock and all-new fitness and health capabilities. It even features a new 'Breathe' app that encourages users to take moments in their day to do short deep breathing sessions.
"Apple Watch is the ultimate companion for a healthy life and with watchOS 3, there's now even more to love," said Jeff Williams, Apple's Chief Operating Officer. "Favourite apps launch instantly and are simple to access, and the breakthrough new fitness and health features like the Breathe app make it feel like a whole new watch."
Instant Launch: All the favourite apps are now stored in the memory, which helps in launching them faster. Apple claims that with this new feature, apps will launch seven times faster than before. The favourite apps can be placed in a dock, which can be accessed by pressing the side button.
Control Center: Similar to iOS, even the Apple Watch will get a Control Center with watchOS 3 where users will be able to access it by swiping from the bottom. It contains options like battery meter, airplane mode, do not disturb, lock and others.
Scribble: This feature was recently announced for Android Wear and Apple too has launched this for Apple Watch. As the name suggests, you will be able draw letters on the screen.
Watch Faces: Along with adding new watch faces including the one with Minnie Mouse and Activity, Apple has also made switching watch faces much simple with just a swipe. Users can also now add complications to the Photo, Motion or Timelapse watch faces. It's easier to customise watch faces and discover third-party apps with the new Faces Gallery in the Watch app on iPhone. Even more apps can launch straight from the watch face including Workout, Music or Messages.
Fitness & Health
With watchOS 3, the Activity app experience is now optimised for wheelchair users. Wheelchair pushes contribute to all-day calorie goals, the "time to stand" reminder is now "time to roll" and there are dedicated wheelchair-specific workouts.
Similar to Yoga, the new Breathe app is for short deep breathing sessions during the day. The beautiful, calming visualisation and haptic cues guide users through deep, full breaths in sessions lasting one to five minutes and on completion, they will receive a heart rate summary.
Smart Replies: Replying to notifications is much simpler now. The Smart Replies are even faster as they are now available right in the message notification. When a more custom reply is needed, the new scribble feature will let users to quickly write words on the display and Apple Watch will convert the handwriting to text.
SoS: SOS in watchOS 3 enables people in critical situations to call emergency services by pressing and holding the side button. It will call 911 either through the iPhone or while on Wi-Fi.
The WatchOS 3 will be available as a free update to Apple Watch and will require iPhone 5 or later model running iOS 8.2 or later.