Everything You Need to Know About Apple Watch OS 2

With over 10,000 Apple Watch apps in the App Store, Apple Watch users have been waiting for the next big thing: watchOS 2. What's new for Apple Watch? What's changing? What does it mean for you?

Here are your answers:

Time Travel

Rotate the digital crown to Time Travel, which lets you take a look at your schedule for the day, weather for this afternoon, and even rotate back in time to see what news you missed this morning when you accidentally slept in.

Live Photos

The Live Photos feature is something we didn't expect to see during the announcement today, but it's a welcome surprise. iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and the Apple Watch OS 2 will have the ability to capture "live" photos—photos with 1.5 seconds on either side of a photo. You can add a live photo to your watch face to see the photo in action every time you raise your wrist.

3rd-Party Complications

Complications are what Apple calls the pieces of information you see on your watch face—such as the weather. With the integration of third-party complications, you can now choose to see other information on your watch face, like flight times, home automation systems, and even the local news. 

Nightstand Mode

It's easier for you to use your Apple Watch as an alarm now. Place your watch on your nightstand and attach it to the charger to activate nightstand mode. Tap the display to see the time, press the side button to turn off your alarm, and tap the Digital Crown to snooze an alarm.

Native Apps

The folks at Apple now allow more native apps, which means they run right on your Apple Watch and are allowed to use internal features such as Taptic Feedback, Digital Crown, microphone, speaker, and heart rate sensor. With everything the app needs residing inside the watch, your apps will run faster and have the power to do more including video playback. 

New Apps and Features

Facebook Messenger is coming to Apple Watch with the option to send text and audio messages and share your location.

GoPro turns your Apple Watch into a viewfinder for the app.

AirStrip is an app that's redefining  messaging and communication in healthcare. For medical professionals, that means it's allowing patients and caretakers to share important medical information through HIPAA compliant messages.

New App Functions

So many new functions! Reply to email, add more friends (and organize them onto different screens), use multiple colors in your sketches, view public transportation in the Maps app with Transit, and use Apple Pay with store credit and rewards cards. Siri has been revamped, as well, and you can now ask her to keep track of your workouts, calculate a tip, and help you map your route to work with Transit using public transportation as an option.

Activation Lock

A new security feature allows you require your Apple ID and password to open your Apple Watch, activated right from your iPhone.

Apple Watch OS 2 will be available September 16.

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Becca Ludlum's picture

Author Details

Becca Ludlum

Becca is a blogger, freelance writer, and iDevice addict. She lives in the middle of the Arizona desert with her husband and two boys, and can't imagine life getting any better. Read about her crazy life at MyCrazyGoodLife.com, or connect with her on twitter @BeccaLudlum