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article imageApple rolls out WatchOS 2 after fixing critical delaying bug

By James Walker     Sep 22, 2015 in Technology
A few days behind schedule, Apple has launched the second-generation version of its Apple Watch software. WatchOS 2 is available to download now and includes several new features designed to expand the functionality of the Apple Watch.
The update was released yesterday, five days after the original September 16 date which would have coincided with the launch of iOS 9. Apple found a major bug during last-minute testing which was deemed serious enough to suspend the public launch.
A few days on, WatchOS 2 has made it to Apple Watch wearers as a 12MB download obtained via a connected iPhone running iOS 9. Described as "more faces and features for an even more personal experience," the update was first revealed back in June at Apple's WWDC developer's conference and has been released only five months after the Apple Watch's launch.
A key feature of WatchOS 2 is the new ability to run apps natively on the watch. Previously, all apps were stored on the connected iPhone and then streamed over Bluetooth when launched. Often, this led to long loading times and sluggish interfaces, leading many users to complain that trying to speed up a task by using Apple Watch could actually take longer than just pulling out their phone.
Apple WatchOS 2
Apple WatchOS 2
Those apps, now saved on the watch, can also do more than before too. Developers can now access extra hardware capabilities and incorporate controls including the Digital Crown and Taptic engine to offer new user input and output methods.
WatchOS 2 also includes support for customised complications, the pieces of information displayed as widgets on Apple Watch faces. App developers can add their own complications to the available selection, allowing users to see data from their app with just a glance at the screen. Although this customisation does not extend to third-party watch faces, Apple has added some new designs to the mix, including 24-hour time-lapse videos of major locations worldwide.
As with iOS 9, WatchOS 2 features an upgraded and more intelligent version of Siri. This includes the ability to control Apple Watch-specific features such as starting workouts from nothing more than a voice command. At the end of the day, a new Nightstand mode turns Apple Watch into a simple bedside clock when left on its side with the charger connected. The display can be activated with a tap and alarms silenced at the press of a button.
WatchOS 2 is a much more polished offering than the first-generation software that ships out of the box. Many beta users have noticed that WatchOS 2 feels as though it is what Apple Watch always should have been with more customisation and competent, responsive apps. Apple Watch owners will be pleased to be able to take advantage of the new features today.
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