watchOS 2
Apple first major watchOS software update goes live Apple

Apple's latest watchOS 2, which was delayed for at least a week due to the discovery of a battery-draining bug, has finally arrived. The update that was originally scheduled for a rollout on 16 September alongside iOS 9, is the first major software update for Apple Watch and incorporates a slew of new features including watch faces, third-party app complications, new capabilities in Mail, Friends and Digital Touch, apart from the support of third-party apps. Installing the update you should be able to experience the following changes and improvements:

New watch faces and timekeeping features

  • Time-lapse videos of Hong Kong, London, Mack Lake, New York, Shanghai, and Paris
  • Photo and Photo Album so you can see your favourite images every time you raise your wrist, including support for Live Photos
  • Time Travel with the Digital Crown to see what's coming in the future or what's happened in the past
  • Nightstand Mode so your Watch can be used as a bedside alarm clock
  • Nine new colours to customise your watch face, and a new multicolor Modular face
  • Support for third-party apps to create complications

Siri improvements

  • Start a specific workout, get transit directions, or ask to see a glance
  • Support for FaceTime audio calling and replying to email
  • Support for HomeKit to control supported devices in your home using Siri
  • New support for Austria, Belgium (French and Dutch), and Norway

Activity and Workout improvements

  • Workouts from third party apps on the Watch can be included in your Activity rings
  • Activity rings, workouts, and achievements can be shared from the Activity app on iPhone
  • Interactive achievements
  • On-demand weekly summary
  • Mute Activity notifications for one day
  • Workouts saved automatically

Apple Pay and Wallet improvements

  • Support for Discover cards
  • Support for rewards cards and store credit and debit cards
  • Add passes to Wallet directly from third party apps on your Watch

Friends and Digital Touch improvements

  • Add more than 12 Friends directly from Apple Watch
  • Multiple Friends' groups that you can name
  • Send sketches using multiple colours
  • New options for animated emoji

Maps improvements

  • Transit view, showing transit lines, stations and intermodal connections in select major cities
  • View the list of directions for your current route
  • View station placards with departure information

Music improvements

  1. New Beats 1 button to start playing the 24/7 radio station
  2. New Quick Play button to play a variety of songs from Apple Music
  • Reply to emails using dictation, emoji, or smart replies customised specifically for email
  • Make and receive calls using FaceTime audio
  • Support for Wi-Fi calling without iPhone in proximity on participating carriers
  • Activation Lock prevents anyone from activating your Apple Watch without your Apple ID and password

New developer capabilities including

  1. Native SDK to build faster and more powerful apps running natively on Apple Watch
  2. Access to accelerometer to more granularly track your motion
  3. Access to heart rate sensor for use during a workout
  4. Access to microphone and speaker to record and play audio
  5. Access to the Taptic Engine with eight different types of Haptic feedback
  6. Access to the Digital Crown for more precise controls
  7. Ability to play video directly on Apple Watch
  8. Support for running apps without iPhone in proximity, including access to networking capabilities when connected to known Wi-Fi networks
  9. Complications on the watch face
  10. Workouts from apps can be counted towards Activity rings
  11. Workouts from apps can be included in Activity app on iPhone
  • New support for system language in English (India), Finnish, Indonesian, Norwegian, and Polish
  • New support for dictation in Dutch (Belgium), English (Ireland, Philippines, South Africa), French (Belgium), German (Austria), Spanish (Chile, Colombia)
  • New support for smart replies in Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong, Taiwan), Danish, Dutch, English (New Zealand, Singapore), Japanese, Korean, Swedish, Thai

Note that all the features will not be available in all regions. If you are wondering about the security content in this update head over to the Apple support site.

Check out the following guide in case you are wondering how to go about the update process.

  • Ensure that the paired iPhone you are using is updated to iOS 9
  • Connect the paired iPhone to Wi-Fi
  • Keep your Apple Watch and paired iPhone close to each other
  • Open the watch app on your iPhone
  • Click My Watch tab
  • Click General then Software Update. If an update is available you can go ahead with the download and install watchOS 2

Once the update is completed, your Apple Watch will reboot and upon a successful boot up your Watch should be running on the latest software.