watchOS 3 update for Apple Watch now available


In addition to iOS 10, Apple on Tuesday also released watchOS 3 for the Apple Watch. The update, which has been in beta for the past 3 months, is free and compatible with all available models of the Apple Watch.

To install the new software, you’ll have to ensure your iPhone is on iOS 10. Once that’s confirmed, simply open the Watch app and navigate to General > Software Update. Your Watch must be within range of your iPhone on Wi-Fi, connected to its charger, and have at least 50% battery life.

Here are some of the major new features in watchOS 3:

Faster performance and simplified navigation

Now apps launch immediately with updated information, so they’re always ready when you are. You can easily get to the app you want by clicking the side button for the Dock. And swiping from the bottom of the watch face reveals Control Center for your most used settings.

New watch faces and gallery

Choose from a variety of faces, and customize them with an even bigger selection of useful apps. And now you can switch faces on the fly, so you’ll always have the right one for whatever you’re doing. Start with the Modular face and apps for your workday. Then easily swipe to the Activity face as you head to the gym.

Auto Unlock for Mac and new Activity features

While you’re wearing your Apple Watch, your Mac senses when you’re nearby and logs you in automatically. So it’s ready to use as soon as you wake it up. You can also now share your Activity rings with friends and family for motivation. Compete to see who can close all three rings first, or let your trainer keep an eye on your daily progress. Get notifications when people finish workouts or earn achievements.

Other notable watchOS 3 features:

  • New SOS option allows you to quickly contact emergency services by holding down on your Apple Watch’s side button.
  • Refreshed Control Center in watchOS 3 offers quick access to useful settings.
  • New Breath app guides you through a series of deep breaths that can help you manage stress.
  • Support for the new Messages features in iOS 10 like stickers and animations.

Keep in mind that Apple Watch updates are notoriously sluggish, and are likely to be even slower on a high volume launch day. If you run into any issues downloading watchOS 3, consider trying again later in the day.