The 30 best watchOS 2 features [Video]

best watchOS 2 features

After a unscheduled delay, watchOS 2 was released on Monday for the Apple Watch. As we’ve noted in the past, watchOS 2 is a significant upgrade over the first version. It brings with it several big name features, including third-party complications, native apps, Nightstand mode, and a handful of all new watch faces.

No, watchOS 2 isn’t as big as last week’s release of iOS 9 in terms of features, but if you’re an Apple Watch owner, it’s something that you’ll definitely want to update to without delay. Have a look at our video walkthrough to see many of the new features in action

  • Bigger passcode entry buttons – makes it easier to enter your passcode.
  • Time-lapse watch faces – videos of Hong Kong, London, Mack Lake, New York, Paris, & Shanghai.
  • Photo watch face – use a photo as your watch face.
  • Photo Album watch face – a rotating photo album as your watch face.
  • New colors for watch faces – 9 new colors to choose from.
  • New multicolor modular face
  • Third party complications – place complications from installed apps on your watch face.
  • Time travel – use the Digital Crown to see past and future events.
  • Nightstand mode – lets your Apple Watch work as a bedside alarm clock.
  • New animated emoji – even more emoji animations to spice up conversations.
  • Reply to emails – use dictation, emoji or smart replies.
  • FaceTime audio calls – you can now make and receive FaceTime audio calls.
  • Friend groups – add friends to uniquely named groups.
  • Add friends – add more than 12 friends directly from Apple Watch.
  • Multicolor sketches – spice up your sketches with multiple colors.
  • Beats 1 button – play Beats 1 radio directly from the Music app.
  • Quick Play – play a variety of tracks from Apple Music.
  • Transit directions on Maps – show transit lines and stations in major cities.
  • Native apps – faster more powerful apps running natively.
  • Digital Crown support – third-party apps can now use Digital Crown input.
  • Heart rate monitor support – third-party apps can now tap into the heart rate monitor.
  • Accelerometer support – third-party apps can now tap into the accelerometer.
  • Speaker support – third-party apps can output sound through the Apple Watch speaker.
  • Start a workout with Siri – Siri, start a workout.
  • HomeKit support – use Siri to turn on lights, open blinds, turn on HVAC, etc.
  • Activation Lock – prevent activating Apple Watch without Apple ID and password.
  • Longer screen time – wake screen for 70 seconds instead of 15.
  • Mute Activity reminders for a day – mute stand reminders, goal completions, etc.
  • Support for Wi-Fi calling – Make calls when iPhone is out of range on supported carriers.
  • Apple Wallet – support for rewards cards and store credit and debit cards.

Obviously, there are more features included in watchOS 2 than what made it on this list, but this post highlights the vast majority of the significant new features. Which new feature is your favorite? Is there something that I didn’t mention that should have been included in this list? Sound off with your thoughts and opinions below.

Wi-Fi call watchOS 2 no Bluetooth

Note: In the video, I demonstrated a FaceTime call for Wi-Fi calling. I should have demonstrated a regular cellular phone call to truly demonstrate this functionality. I did test a standard cellular call with Bluetooth turned off on my iPhone, and it worked just fine. Let me know if you have any questions.