The watchOS 3.0 update is finally here delivering better performance, new features and new watchfaces to your Apple Watch. This software dramatically speeds up the Apple Watch, which may be enough to keep you from buying the Apple Watch series 2.
Apple now offers the watchOS 3.0 update on the Apple Watch as a free update to all users. You need to install iOS 10 on your iPhone before you can install watchOS 3.0 on your Apple Watch.
Now that the the watchOS update is out and many users already downloaded it you shouldn’t need to wait for slow downloads, but it can still take a long time to install the new Apple Watch update.
How Long Does the watchOS Update Take?
You should plan on at least an hour to download and install the watchOS 3.0 update on your Apple Watch. This could take as long as two hours depending on your Internet connection and other factors.
Part of the reason the watchOS 3.0 update takes so long is because it first downloads to your iPhone and then is sent to your Apple Watch where it unpacks and installs. You need to have your Apple Watch on the charger and your phone must be connected to WiFi.
The table below outlines how long it takes to update to watchOS 3.0 on the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport.
|Backup Apple Watch (Optional)||1-30 minutes (Automatic)|
|watchOS 3.0 Download||15 to 60 minutes|
|watchOS 3.0 Update||1-2 hours|
|Total watchOS 3.0 Update Time||1.5 hours to 2.5 hours|
In our tests it takes about two hours to install watchOS 3.0 on average, which is what you should plan for even if you don’t need to do all the steps listed above.
The best time to install watchOS 3.0 is when you are going to be sitting at your desk for a few hours or right before you go to bed.
The bulk of your time will not be downloading and preparing for the watchOS 3.0 update like it is for iOS 10. Instead it is spent actually installing the new watchOS update on your Apple Watch 2.
The slides below show you what’s new in watchOS 3.0 and why it might be enough to keep you from needing to upgrade to the Apple Watch 2.