Apple Watch is Apple’s line of smartwatches. The concept of the device is the same as a smartphone or tabled, only reduced to the size and functionality parameters of a watch. It comes with a ton of features including health features, schedule and appointment related features, and once it is paired with an iPhone, it will gain even more capabilities that allow users to control the phone using the watch.
The Apple Watch operates using the company’s watchOS, which the Watch’s equivalent in terms of software, meaning that it’s a scaled down version of iOS, the operating system running on the iPhone. Back in September, Apple had released watchOS 3.0, a major update to the operating system and also a complete revamp of the watchOS experience. The first noticeable about watchOS 3.0 is the speed at which apps operate, both the existing ones and the new ones.
The way people navigate around the watch’s menus has also changed for the better, with a simpler perspective on reaching point B from point A. Once they had watchOS 3.0 on their devices, users were able to benefit from a dedicated app dock and various sharing options. They also received an SoS feature which would allow them to call emergency services.
The firmware wasn’t flawless, as Apple released a new build just one month after watchOS 3.0’s debut. In October, we received watchOS 3.1, which was a minor update which otherwise contained a very important change to the way battery was being drained by the device. Reports were coming in prior to watchOS 3.1 regarding problems with the device’s battery life.
Now, Apple has initiated the beta phase for a new watchOS build, namely watchOS 3.1.1. This will also be considered as a minor update, so there probably won’t be anything too flashy going on with this version. Some of the changes featured in watchOS 3.1.1 include new emoji based on Unicode 9.0. The update will allow users to access a more diverse option list of skin tones for their emojis. Being a minor update, the build will focus more on less palpable updates, pertaining to the bug fixing department. As the fourth beta phase for the update has started, more “behind the scenes” issues are being fixed.
Beta testers which would like to download the update can only do so through iOS 10.2, which is also currently in the beta testing phases of development. This probably means that Apple is intending to release the new Apple Watch software update alongside, or rather within iOS 10.2, which is the upcoming version of Apple’s mobile operating system. This scenario will most likely place the release date of watchOS 3.1.1 somewhere in the month of December.
Alongside the two watch generations Apple has also released a sports orientated smartwatch series called appropriately Apple Watch Nike+.
Downloading the smartwatch software update is simple enough. Users must first of all run iOS 10.2 on their devices. Once that’s been checked off the list, just access the dedicated Watch app on iPhone and navigate over to Software Update, which can be found under the General tab. Just connect the wearable tech piece to the Apple Watch charger and keep it in range while the update process is underway. Also, the watch must have at least half of its battery available prior to starting the update.
While this is just a minor update that focuses bug squashing and issue removal, and will not include the same scale of changes as with its major predecessor, watchOS 3.0, watchOS 3.1.1 is still a welcome patch as it can only improve the quality of Apple’s wearable. It is good to see that Apple is keeping their software updated across all hardware platforms, not just the iOS running devices.
If you can’t wait until the official release of iOS 10.2 which includes the watchOS update, you can opt to become a beta tester and get an early preview of what Apple has been cooking for both iOS and watchOS devices.