Apple Releases watchOS 3 With App Dock, Instant Launching, New Watch Faces, Breathe, and More

Apple today released watchOS 3, the newest version of the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. watchOS 3 is a significant update to the watchOS operating system, introducing an overhauled interface, new apps, new watch faces, and impressive performance improvements.

watchOS 3 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General -> Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone. watchOS 3 is available for all Apple Watch models, but requires an iPhone running iOS 10 to install, which was also released today.

WatchOS3_trio
watchOS 3 features a new dock that houses your favorite and recently used apps so they're quicker to access. Up to 10 apps saved to the dock are kept up to date at all times and are able to launch instantly, cutting down on app loading times.

Navigation is improved in watchOS 3, with left and right swipes able to change the watch face. Upward swipes bring up the Control Center, while a downward swipe opens the Notification Center. Pressing the side button brings up the new dock.

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There are new Activity sharing features in watchOS 3, along with workouts and activities for wheelchair users. A new "Breathe" app guides you through daily deep breathing sessions to cut down on stress, and there are new Reminders, Find My Friends, and Heart Rate apps.

Three new watch faces are available, an SOS feature can automatically call emergency services, and an Apple Watch can be used to unlock a password protected Mac with new Continuity functionality. A revamped Messages app makes it easier to reply to incoming texts, plus there's a new "Scribble" feature for writing replies on the Apple Watch face with a finger.

For more details on what's new in watchOS 3, make sure to check out our full watchOS 3 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
48 months ago

Why does one have to update to iOS 10 to get WatchOS 3?

From what I've heard iOS 10 slows down the iPhone 6. So I'm basically stuck with WatchOS 2...

Well done Apple.

I very much regret having bought this overpriced, slow piece of rubbish.

what childish nonsense. iOS 10 is fine on a 6. not updating on a 6 because you're afraid of a slowdown is insane....you'll be missing out on actual value you could have now, today.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
48 months ago
I like this update. I hardly ever used that side button for contacts. This app drawer concept makes a lot more sense. It seems to work well, but some existing third party apps need to be updated to support it, I think?

WARNING: If you work a lot with your Apple Watch on, especially if you wear gloves, turn off the 911 S.O.S. feature, or at least set it to swipe to confirm you want to call. I changed mine right away because I was worried about accidentally setting it off (especially since I have a toddler), and when I was framing a wall the other night wearing my leather work gloves, it set off the S.O.S. 6-7 times from accidental "holding" of the side button. Like I said, I was lucky I had turned on the "swipe to confirm" functionality or the police would have made an unpleasant visit.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
48 months ago

Why does one have to update to iOS 10 to get WatchOS 3?

iOS 10 would slow down my iPhone 6. So I'm basically stuck with WatchOS 2...

Well done Apple.

I very much regret having bought this overpriced, slow piece of rubbish.

It's dependent on the watch.app for the iPhone, so they need to be updated together.

iOS 10 won't slow down your iP6.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
48 months ago

Why does one have to update to iOS 10 to get WatchOS 3?

From what I've heard iOS 10 slows down the iPhone 6. So I'm basically stuck with WatchOS 2...

Well done Apple.

I very much regret having bought this overpriced, slow piece of rubbish.

Not slowing my 6 down at all. (Unnecessary Snark Deleted)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
48 months ago
apparently I still had the beta profile on watch. removed and rebooted the watch and got the download
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
48 months ago
Here we go

Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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