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article imageApple's WatchOS 2 coming September 16 with new Watch band designs

By James Walker     Sep 9, 2015 in Technology
Apple opened its San Francisco event today with an update on Apple Watch. It claimed the device has 97 percent customer satisfaction before launching an updated WatchOS which gives app developers more control and access to a broader array of sensors.
Apple CEO Tim Cook began by highlighting a quote from a customer who said that his Apple Watch had proven to be "a life-changing device." The Watch was the source of his motivation for exercising and working out, something that Jobs appeared to see as a valuable incentive for developing wearable devices.
Apple announced several new versions of the Watch that will be going on sale soon. The Sport model has new gold and rose gold variants that are finished with anodized aluminium and Apple is also partnering with fashion brand Hermes to create new band designs that will expand the customisation options of the Apple Watch. A "fall collection" of sport bands includes a large selection of pastel-themed colours for an autumnal feel.
Jeff Williams, Apple's Senior Vice President of Operations, revealed that over 10,000 apps have been made for the Apple Watch to date. Today, the company is seeking even more developers by giving third-party apps access to more of the hardware features of the Watch.
Apple WatchOS 2 will be rolling out to all existing owners on September 16. Although there isn't much new that will directly benefit the end user, the changes will begin to be seen in third-party apps. Apple is releasing access to several of the sensors that previously only it could use in its own pre-installed apps.
Developers can now connect directly to the built-in microphone, sensor suite, Digital Crown and Taptic Engine vibration motor. Customised complications for watch faces can also be designed although creating all-new faces is currently still out of the question.
WatchOS 2 also introduces support for native apps which can be stored directly on the watch, eliminating the need to transfer them over Bluetooth from an iPhone when launched. This will dramatically improve launch speed and response times within apps, creating a much better overall experience. One of the most prominent complaints about the Apple Watch has been the sluggish feel of apps that often leave users waiting at loading screens.
Apple WatchOS 2 looks to be a substantial refresh for the platform before the company unveils the next-generation Watch next year. Features like native app support and enhanced capabilities for third-party apps will please current owners who feel that the device is limited while attracting new customers to the new, more responsive feel. Apple also unveiled the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and an all-new Apple TV at its San Francisco event today.
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