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Apple WatchOS 3.0 Focuses On Speed Improvements

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Jun 13, 2016, 12:16 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Jun 13, 2016, 12:28 PM

Apple today announced WatchOS 3.0, a forthcoming update to its wearable platform that will provide speed and usability improvements throughout. Chiefly, Apple says WatchOS 3.0 will allow apps to launch instantly. Moreover, apps will update quickly both in the background and when launched so they display new content as soon as opened. The UI includes a new dock accessed by the side button, and a new control center accessed by sliding up from the bottom of the screen. These new tools make it simpler to access apps and control toggles. Replying to messages offers new options, including smart replies and scribbling directly on the screen. WatchOS makes it easier to switch and change watch faces; initiate workouts; and access notifications. WatchOS 3.0 adds an SOS function that will automatically call 911 with a long-press of the button in times of need. When the call concludes, the Watch will alert emergency contacts complete with medical status and map details about the wearer's location. The revised platform allows users to share fitness data throughout the day, sort of how FitBit lets people see one another's step counts and other progress. The company worked with disability fitness organizations so wheelchair-bound Apple Watch owners can track their activity, too. A new app included in WatchOS 3.0 called Breathe can be used to schedule and perform deep-breathing and calming exercises throughout the day. Last, Apple is making new APIs available to developers to expand the functionality of their own apps, such as including Apple Pay, or accessing speaker audio, embedding inline audio, and more. WatchOS 3.0 will be available to the Apple Watch later this year.

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