Apple Releases watchOS 6 With Dedicated App Store, New Watch Faces, Noise Monitoring App and More

Apple today released watchOS 6, the newest version of the operating system designed to run on the Apple Watch. Today's watchOS 6 software update follows several months of beta testing.

watchOS 6 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General -> Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌iPhone‌.


watchOS 6 at release is limited to the Series 3 and Series 4 Apple Watch models, with Apple planning to release the update for Series 1 and Series 2 models at a later date.

watchOS 6 is a major update that offers quite a few new features for Apple Watch owners. There's a dedicated App Store available on the Apple Watch for the first time, allowing apps to be downloaded on the Apple Watch independent of the ‌iPhone‌. Developers can now create apps that run on Apple Watch without an ‌iPhone‌ element.


Apps can take advantage of new APIs so you can do things like follow along with a workout or listen to streaming music from third-party services, and some built-in Apple Watch apps can be removed now that they're not tied to the ‌iPhone‌.

There are multiple new watch faces in watchOS 6, including Numerals Mono and Duo with large numbers, Modular Compact, a new Gradient watch face that shifts over the course of a day, a Solar Dial that visualizes the sun in a 24 hour path around the dial, and a California watch face with a mix of standard numbers and roman numerals.


Taptic Chimes offers up a silent touch on the wrist at every hour, and with sound activated, there's also an audible chime. Holding two fingers on the Apple Watch's display speaks the time aloud.

There's a new Noise app for measuring the noise level of the environment you're in, sending a notification if the sound is loud enough to damage your hearing. There's also a new Cycle Tracking app for tracking menstrual cycles.


Several iOS apps have been ported over to the Apple Watch in watchOS 6, including Audiobooks, Calculator, and Voice Memos. There are new complications you can add to watch faces, including decibel level, cellular strength, rain probability, and more.


Siri can now pull up full webpage results, displaying the info right on the wrist, and ‌Siri‌ can look up song lyrics using Shazam even when your ‌iPhone‌ isn't nearby.

The new Animoji and Memoji stickers from the Messages app work on the Apple Watch, and for Mac users, the Apple Watch can approve some Mac security prompts.

For more on watchOS 6, make sure to check out our watchOS 6 roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
13 months ago
PLEASE GOD let this fix Siri. "i'll tap you when i'm ready" - to set a five minute timer. Absolutely infuriating.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Hmmm, not showing for me yet. Will it show up if you are on 13.1 Beta?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Mine is showing!

Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago


Hmm how you know?

Apple!

Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Still wish the analog faces offered hands that were more precise (pointed ends), and didn't look like hotdogs.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago


The forums are a better place to get news than the front pages. Haha. Never would have guessed that lol.
I have more respect for posts after something occurs and is factual instead of putting it out first. Or maybe even say coming today and out the release notes and then publish updated, it’s now out kinda like they did the beta posts.
This was just not posted very accurately.

This is MacRumors. Not MacFacts! lol
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases Eighth Beta of macOS Big Sur to Developers [Update: Public Beta Now Available]

Tuesday September 22, 2020 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the eighth beta of an upcoming macOS Big Sur update to developers for testing purposes, close to a week after releasing the sixth beta and more than two months after the new update was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas...

AT&T Already Working on 6G, Says 5G iPhones Might Not Be 'Massive Event' Due to Economic Uncertainty

Monday September 21, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming launch of 5G iPhones might not be a "massive event" due to economic uncertainty amid the global health crisis, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a paywalled interview published by CNBC. "I do believe that you will see many of the iPhone subscribers move to upgrade to the device," said McElfresh. "But I wouldn't forecast that it's going to be a massive event. I...