Apple Releases WatchOS 2 With Native App Support, New Watch Faces, Nightstand Mode, and More

Apple today released watchOS 2 to the public, making the first major update to the watchOS software available to all Apple Watch owners. The update requires iOS 9 and can be downloaded over-the-air through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software Update.

watchOS 2 was originally scheduled to launch on Wednesday, September 16 alongside iOS 9, but Apple delayed the launch in order to address a major bug that was found shortly before the software was set to debut.

As the first significant update to watchOS, watchOS 2 introduces a lot of new features to the Apple Watch, mainly through new developer tools. watchOS 2 brings native apps that run on the watch itself instead of the iPhone, and it lets developers access several sensors and hardware features including the Taptic Engine, heart rate monitor, microphone, and accelerometer.

timelapsewatchfaces

The new time-lapse watch faces in watchOS 2

Along with these features for developers, which will lead to more complex and full-featured third-party apps that run much more smoothly, watchOS 2 also includes new watch faces (photo album and time-lapse), third-party Complications, a tweak that makes the screen stay on for up to 70 seconds when activated, and Activation Lock.

There's also a new Time Travel feature for viewing past and upcoming events in a watch face Complication, and a Nightstand mode that's activated when the watch is charging, displaying the time.

nightstandmode

Nightstand mode

More details on what's new in watchOS 2 can be found in our dedicated watchOS 2 roundup, which includes all of the features the update brings, big and small. Discussion on new features in watchOS 2 is also taking place in our dedicated Apple Watch forum, and we encourage all of our readers to join in with new discoveries and questions about the update.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

ghost187 Avatar
73 months ago
We took into careful consideration, the amount of time it took for the update to download, so our customers can fully appreciate their Apple Watch, and know what it is like to be without it. This sense of separation from something you hold so dear to your heart truly enhances ones ability to appreciate the very existence of that object. We worked very hard to calculate the exact time it took for a human being to feel separated from the Apple Watch and that's the reason why we unapologetically delayed the update. We have reduced the margin of error to plus or minus 50 milliseconds, to deliver the most memorable experience our customers can feel from updating their software.

Attachment Image
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macwick Avatar
73 months ago
Thats what I would have thought as well. My work connection is pretty fast. Just odd. Seems slow for only half a gig.
Agreed, I'm in the same boat. Maybe they're hosting the download on an Apple Watch.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
73 months ago
Good god there's people on Twitter complaining because the Watch needs to be on its charger in order to update. Seriously you can't wait until you get home to update? Sheesh.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
parseckadet Avatar
73 months ago
One gripe fest has ended. Let a whole new gripe fest begin.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mtmspa Avatar
73 months ago
im curious how much battery improvement there will be over watchOS 1.0.1?

i have the 38 MM sport green watch band.
The green band means battery life goes down 29%.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macwick Avatar
73 months ago
Awesome! I was afraid they were gonna hold off longer! Time to download!
Downloading now. "About 1 hour remaining" :(
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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