Apple Officially Launches watchOS 2

Following the release of watchOS 2 Beta 5 about seven weeks ago, the company has officially launched the final build of watchOS 2, watchOS 2 build number 13S344, to all Apple Watch owners for download and update.

watchOS 2, which is considered the first major software update to hit the Apple Watch, includes new features and enhancements such as:

New watch faces and timekeeping features including:

  • Time-lapse videos of Hong Kong, London, Mack Lake, New York, Shanghai, and Paris 
  • Photo and Photo Album so you can see your favorite images every time you raise your wrist, including support for Live Photos 
  • Time Travel with the Digital Crown to see what's coming in the future or what' s happened in the past a Nightstand Mode so your Watch can be used as a bedside alarm clock 
  • 9 new colors to customize your watch face, and a new multicolor Modular face 
  • Support for third-party apps to create complications
Siri improvements including:
  • Start a specific workout, get transit directions, or ask to see a glance 
  • Support for FaceTime audio calling and replying to email 
  • Support for HomeKit to control supported devices in your home using Siri
  • New support for Austria, Belgium (French and Dutch), and Norway
Activity and Workout improvements including:
  • Workouts from third party apps on the Watch can be included in your Activity rings
  • Activity rings, workouts, and achievements can be shared from the Activity app on iPhone
  • Interactive achievements a Qn-demand weekly summary
  • Mute Activity notifications for one day
  • Workouts saved automatically
Apple Pay and Wallet improvements including:
  • Support for Discover cards 
  • Support for rewards cards and store credit and debit cards
  • Add passes to Wallet directly from third party apps on your Watch
Friends and Digital Touch improvements including:
  • Add more than 12 Friends directly from Apple Watch
  • Multiple Friends' groups that you can name
  • Send sketches using multiple colors
  • New options for animated emoji
Maps improvements including:
  • Transit view, showing transit lines, stations and intermodal connections in select major cities
  • View the list of directions for your current
  • View station placards with departure information
Music improvements including:
  • New Beats 1 button to start playing the 24/7 radio station
  • New Quick Play button to play a variety of songs from Apple Music

  • Reply to emails using dictation, emoji, or smart replies customized specifically for email
  • Make and receive calls using FaceTime audio
  • Support for Wi-Fi ca ling without iPhone in proximity on participating carriers
  • Activation Lock prevents anyone from activating your Apple Watch without your Apple ID and password
New developer capabilities including:
  • Native SDK to build faster and more powerful apps running natively on Apple Watch
  • Access to accelerometer to more granularly track your motion
  • Access to heart rate sensor for use during a workout
  • Access to microphone and speaker to record and play audio
  • Access to the Taptic Engine with 8 different types of Haptic feedback
  • Access to the Digital Crown for more precise controls
  • Ability to play video directly on Apple Watch
  • Support for running apps without iPhone in proximity, including access to networking capabilities when connected to known Wi-Fi networks
  • Complications on the watch face
  • Workouts from apps can be counted towards Activity rings
  • Workouts from apps can be included in Activity app on iPhone

  • New support for system language in English (India), Finnish, Indonesian, Norwegian, and Polish
  • New support for dictation in Dutch (Belgium), English (Ireland, Philippines, South Africa), French (Belgium), German (Austria), Spanish (Chile, Colombia)
  • New support for smart replies in Traditional Chinese (I-long Kong, Taiwan), Danish, Dutch, English (New Zealand, Singapore), Japanese, Korean, Swedish, Thai
watchOS 2 is now available through Software Update by heading to the Apple Watch app on the iPhone > General > Software Update. Although users must be on iOS 9 in order to update to the latest watchOS version.