Framed as a “giant moment” that feels like “opening the App Store” back in 2008, Apple CEO Tim Cook today at Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco said that apps for the Apple Watch, which launched just six weeks ago, will soon run natively on the device through the newly announced watchOS 2.
The forthcoming Apple Watch operating system update, among other things, also brings out a pair of additional watch faces with custom third-party Complications.
The two new watch faces are Photo Album and Time-Lapse, the former originally featured in Apple’s early marketing materials for the Apple Watch but later removed.
The Photo Album face simply lets you choose a synced album to display a different photo from your chosen album each time you wake the device from sleep or raise your wrist.
Another watch face, Time-Lapse (see below), features great Time-Lapse photography posted online, like sunsets, clouds moving across the sky and much more.
The big news in watchOS 2 is support for third-party Complications, a watchmaking term for special features on timepieces other than telling time.
Developers will be able to create varied Complications that can show the user their flight time information, charge level of their electric car, sports score from the MLAB At Bat app and more.
Another great feature is Time Travel, allowing the watch face to update information by turning the Digital Crown.
For example, if you put a watch face that brings your flight times, date and battery level, with Time Travel you can turn the Digital Crown to see how much battery you’ll have left, say, two hours from now.
These Complications work across any watch faces and Apple will be providing a variety of templates for Complications that include, say, live video on a watch face and much more.
watchOS 2 (yes, that’s what they’re calling it) also includes a plethora of other enhancements such as improvements in communications, health and fitness, Maps, Siri and more.
Apple says watchOS 2 is launching this fall as a free update.