Apple Releases WatchOS 2 With Native App Support, New Watch Faces, Nightstand Mode, and More

Apple today released watchOS 2 to the public, making the first major update to the watchOS software available to all Apple Watch owners. The update requires iOS 9 and can be downloaded over-the-air through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update.

watchOS 2 was originally scheduled to launch on Wednesday, September 16 alongside iOS 9, but Apple delayed the launch in order to address a major bug that was found shortly before the software was set to debut.

As the first significant update to watchOS, watchOS 2 introduces a lot of new features to the Apple Watch, mainly through new developer tools. watchOS 2 brings native apps that run on the watch itself instead of the iPhone, and it lets developers access several sensors and hardware features including the Taptic Engine, heart rate monitor, microphone, and accelerometer.

The new time-lapse watch faces in watchOS 2
Along with these features for developers, which will lead to more complex and full-featured third-party apps that run much more smoothly, watchOS 2 also includes new watch faces (photo album and time-lapse), third-party Complications, a tweak that makes the screen stay on for up to 70 seconds when activated, and Activation Lock.

There’s also a new Time Travel feature for viewing past and upcoming events in a watch face Complication, and a Nightstand mode that’s activated when the watch is charging, displaying the time.

Nightstand mode
More details on what’s new in watchOS 2 can be found in our dedicated watchOS 2 roundup, which includes all of the features the update brings, big and small. Discussion on new features in watchOS 2 is also taking place in our dedicated Apple Watch forum, and we encourage all of our readers to join in with new discoveries and questions about the update.



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Jimmy Kimmel’s iPhone 6s gag makes Apple owners look foolish

We’re all pretty excited about the upcoming release of the iPhone 6s, Apple’s latest and shiniest hardware. And it seems that some people are so excited about the new phone that it makes them forget a bunch of things — like what an original iPhone looks like. Kimmel sent an interviewer out on the street, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Why Apple’s new 3D Touch is like McDonald’s secret menu

You know how McDonald’s (allegedly) has a secret menu? Plenty of people have heard about it, some use it frequently and bask in its glory, but most just stick to the regular menu. That seems an awful lot like how 3D Touch could pan out. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are the first […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple’s new iPhone 6s has a smaller battery than its predecessor

The latest iPhones are packed full of high-end tech, like the new 3D Touch display – but that display takes up a lot of space, and it seems Apple made room for it by reducing the size of the battery. Read more…

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Apple Increases AppleCare+ Prices and Service Fees for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

While Apple didn’t discuss AppleCare+ pricing as it unveiled the new iPhone 6s and 6 Plus today at its „Hey Siri“ event, the Cupertino company did unveil new pricing for the service on its website. AppleCare+ for both devices is $129.99 while its service fee is $99.99.

This is an increase from the pricing for iPhone 6 and earlier models, which are priced at $99.99 for AppleCare+ and $79.99 for the service fee. It’s likely the increased prices are due to the new technology in the new devices, which includes a larger Taptic Engine and the brand new 3D Touch, which Apple is billing as the next generation of Multi-Touch display.

Earlier today, Apple also announced the iPhone Upgrade Program, which allows those who sign up to trade-in their current iPhone for a new model after 12 monthly installments are made. The program includes AppleCare+ with each iPhone, which might lure some away from carriers’ contract-free pricing toward Apple’s alternative. iPhone Upgrade Program pricing starts at $32.41 a month for the 16 GB iPhone 6s and goes up to $44.91 a month for the 128 GB iPhone 6s Plus.



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Apple’s 3D Touch Video Confirms 1715 mAh iPhone 6s Battery

Last month, rumors and photos of a battery that looked very similar to an iPhone battery suggested that the iPhone 6s’ battery capacity would be lower than the iPhone 6’s. Today at Apple’s „Hey Siri“ event, a video that showed off 3D Touch revealed the iPhone 6’s battery capacity.

In the video the iPhone 6s is dismantled and viewers can see that the battery is marked „1715 mAh“. This confirms previous rumors, which have said that the iPhone 6s’ battery capacity would be down to 1715 mAh from the iPhone 6’s 1810 mAh.

Rumors also indicated that the iPhone 6s Plus would see its capacity drop down to 2750 mAh from the iPhone 6 Plus’ 2910 mAh. While the iPhone 6s Plus’ true battery capacity is currently unconfirmed, confirmation of a lower capacity will likely come in the next few weeks as the device is subject to teardowns and technical breakdowns.

It’s likely the smaller battery size is due to multiple factors. Despite the smaller battery capacity, Apple’s stated battery life for the iPhone 6s remains the same as for the iPhone 6, indicating battery efficiency has been improved in the new model. Additionally, the new Taptic Engine takes up a significant amount of space that had previously been devoted to battery, meaning the Cupertino company had to cut down the battery size to compensate. Thanks Brandon!



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Apple Seeds Fourth WatchOS 2 Beta to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth watchOS 2 beta to developers, two weeks after seeding the third watchOS 2 beta and more than a month after announcing the new operating system update at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

watchOS 2 requires iOS 9 and can be downloaded over-the-air through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update.

watchOS 2 is the first major update to the first version of watchOS, the software that runs on the Apple Watch. The new software brings many new features that Apple Watch developers can take advantage of, including native apps that run on the Apple Watch itself instead of the iPhone. It also allows developers to access the Taptic Engine and a number of other sensors in the Apple Watch, including the heart rate monitor, the microphone, and the accelerometer.

Along with these features for developers, which will lead to much more complex and full-featured third-party Apple Watch apps, the update introduces new watch faces (photo albums and time-lapse), third-party Complications, Time Travel for viewing upcoming events in a watch face Complication, and a Nightstand mode that’s activated when the watch is charging, displaying the time.

watchOS 2 is currently only available to registered developers who have also installed iOS 9 on their iPhones. Apple plans to release the software to the public in the fall.



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No Faulty Apple Watches Were Shipped to Customers [iOS Blog]

Apple identified a Taptic Engine defect affecting the Apple Watch before shipping the device to any customers, according to Re/code. The report, citing people with knowledge of the matter, claims that no faulty Apple Watches reached customers, and reiterates that Apple has shifted the majority of production to Japanese supplier Nidec, which has not encountered the same issue.

“I believe no faulty Apple Watches were shipped to consumers,” said Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights & Strategy. “I don’t think this is damaging at all.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Apple discovered Taptic Engines supplied by AAC Technologies Holdings in Shenzhen, China would break over time, likely contributing to current Apple Watch supply constraints. The Taptic Engine, which creates creates motion in a straight line by moving a small rod, powers the haptic feedback capabilities of the Apple Watch by alerting users about incoming messages or notifications with gentle taps on the wrist.

Apple Watch pre-order deliveries began on April 24 in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the United Kingdom, although many customers are still waiting to receive their devices. A portion of customers with initial shipping estimates of 4-6 weeks or later have received their Apple Watches sooner than expected, but there remains several orders that have yet to be fulfilled, particularly some Space Gray and Space Black models.




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