watchOS 2 nightstand mode

In addition to releasing a third developer preview of OS X El Capitan and seeding iOS 9 beta 3 with Apple Music to members of the Apple Developer Program, Apple on Wednesday also released watchOS 2 beta 3 for developers.

It follows watchOS 2 beta 2, which was seeded to developers just a little over two weeks ago, and the first watchOS 2 beta that was posted minutes after last month’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote talk had wrapped up.

The latest watchOS software update must be applied through the Apple Watch companion app on an iPhone with iOS 9 beta by going to the General -> Software Update section.

Unveiled at WWDC last month, watchOS 2 brings out support for native apps which execute directly on the Apple Watch hardware, as opposed to being streamed off its connected iPhone which results in lagginess and performance issues.

Native apps are permitted to directly poll the device’s sensors including the heart rate monitor, the microphone and the accelerometer, as well as take advantage of hardware features like the Digital Crown, the Taptic Engine and more.

Other improvements in watchOS 2 include a Nightstand mode, three new watch faces, custom Complications, a Time Travel mode for viewing upcoming events on a watch face and other nice-to-haves.

Nightstand mode, seen at the top, automatically renders a fancy alarm clock and the current time in landscape as soon as you lay your device on its side for overnight charging.

The software will release for public consumption this fall.

Should you spot noteworthy enhancements in watchOS 2 beta 3, tell us in comments or ping us at tips@iDownloadBlog.com and we’ll update the article accordingly.