WWDC 2016: WatchOS 3 Makes Apple Watch Apps Seven Times Faster

Apple Watch users will also be able to pick applications and order them in the dock for one tap access

Apple Watch applications will launch up to seven times faster when WatchOS 3 is released as a free update later this year, adding a range of new health, accessibility and usability improvements.

WatchOS 3 lets users pick their favourite applications and order them in the dock for one tap access, while certain apps will be stored in memory and receive background updates.

This, Apple says, will mean users have information much more quickly, but will almost certainly have an impact on battery life.

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Apple WatchOS 3

Skype Apple WatchFrequently used settings such as network can now be accessed from a control centre, which, like on iOS, is summoned by swiping up on the touchscreen. Reply options for messages are now displayed without the need to tap a button, while the new ‘scribble’ option lets users write letters on the screen using their figure.

Watch faces can now be changed by swiping across the screen and fitness ‘rings’ can now be displayed on the face. Speaking of fitness, the new ‘Activity Sharing’ application lets owners share and track the activity of their friends and family, adding a competitive edge. There’s even the option to leave text or audio messages of support or provocation.

Another new application called ‘Breathe’ will not replace the human lungs, but instead issue notifications for a series of breathing exercises.

And all fitness applications have been update for wheelchair users in a recognition that their movements are different from those without wheelchairs. Certain text has been adapted and Apple is promising at least two wheelchair specific workouts.

As for developers, they can now embed Apple Pay directly within their applications, access more health data and have the ability to embed audio and video in the UI. Developers have access to a preview edition from today, while the public will have to wait until the Autumn.

The Apple Watch is the company’s first wearable and controls half of the world’s wearable market according to analyst figures. However Apple has so far not released any detailed sales figures.

Quiz: What do you know about wearable technology?