Apple unveiled several big software upgrades for the Apple Watch at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. The new features will arrive with watchOS 2, coming as a free update this fall.
Among the upcoming Apple Watch upgrades:
- Third-party app developers will be able to write apps that run directly on the Apple Watch itself. That should make them faster and more responsive than the current batch of third-party apps, which run on an iPhone paired with the Watch.
- New photo-based watch faces are coming, including one that rotates in photos from one of your own albums.
- You’ll be able to select any photo and make a watch face out of it, much the same way you set an iPhone background.
- App developers can make “Complications” for the Apple Watch faces, tiny widgets that display information and link to other apps.
- A new feature called “Time Travel” lets you see information like calendar events and weather in the future.
- When charging on its side, the Apple Watch will display a “Nightstand” mode that shows the time horizontally.
- Third-party fitness apps will now deliver data directly to Apple’s Activity app, and you can use Siri to begin workouts.
- The Maps app’s Transit feature is getting step-by-step subway and bus directions.
- You’ll be able to control HomeKit smart home equipment from your Apple Watch.