Skip to main content

WatchOS 2 finally available for Apple Watch owners

The latest version of the OS that powers Apple’s first wearable was supposed to be released last week, on the same day that iOS 9 hit devices. However, a last minute bug delayed things, left Watch owners like myself disappointed.

Since it was only the one - albeit major - bug delaying things it was always going to be a case of the updated OS being held back by no more than few days, and today Apple has finally (and quietly) released the new version. If you own an Apple Watch, you can update it now.

So what’s new? A lot. In the release notes Apple says:

This update is the first major software update for Apple Watch and includes new watch faces, third-party app complications, new capabilities in Mail, Friends, and Digital Touch and support for third-party apps running natively.

This last feature is, of course, the big new addition. A lot of people were initially disappointed that Watch does little more than mirror apps installed on the iPhone, and this change boosts the wearable’s capabilities significantly.

Installing the new OS is very straightforward. Open the Watch app on your iPhone (which will need to be connected to the internet via Wi-Fi), and go to General > Software Update. Download the update, agreeing to the terms, and make sure that your Watch is in range of the phone. The wearable will need to have at least 50 per cent charge and should (preferably) be on its charger.

Unlike some updates, there’s really no reason to delay upgrading. The first generation of the OS was rather basic, and this version unlocks a lot of Watch’s potential.

iOS 9 took a long time to download and install for most people when it was first released last week due to the sheer number of eager updaters (50 per cent of iPhone and iPad users have now upgraded to it) but there’s no such delay with watchOS 2. Partly because it’s a much smaller user base, and partly because a lot of people won’t be aware that the upgrade is now available.

Even so, you can expect the new OS to take around 30 minutes to download and install on the Watch.