Apple announced the watchOS 6 update today at WWDC. This free update for the Apple Watch brings a load of new features to your watch and changes how it works with macOS 10.15. This is what you need to know about the free watchOS 6 update that Apple confirmed on stage and about the watchOS 6 beta that is available today.
We’ll still see watchOS 5 updates arrive, but Apple is also now publicly working on the next big thing for the Apple Watch. There is no Apple Watch 5 release at this event, but we now know a lot about the software that it will run.
This new Apple Watch update includes exciting new Apple Watch features and it finally delivers a proper Apple Watch app store so that you can easily find new apps designed specifically for your Apple Watch.
watchOS 6 Release Date
The watchOS 6 release date is this fall. Apple confirmed that the new Apple Watch update will arrive later this year, but they didn’t confirm a specific date. We expect that the public watchOS 6 update will arrive in September 2019 alongside the iOS 13 update.
Some of the new features, like the enhanced macOS connectivity may not arrive at the same time. It’s likely that Apple will deliver the macOS 10.15 update shortly after the iOS 13 and watchOS 6 release.
New watchOS 6 Features
Apple showed off a collection of new Apple Watch features that are coming as part of the watchOS 6 update this fall. Here are some of the biggest new features that are coming to the Apple Watch.
- Apple Watch App Store
- New Health Apps – Dose, Sleep and Cycles
- New Watch Apps – Calculator, Voice Memos, Audio Books
- New Complications – Hearing aid, audio book status, rain info, noise info
- New Apple Watch faces – X-Large and California
Here’s a closer look at the new watchOS 6 features.
There is a chance that Apple will not be able to deliver all of these updates in time for the release date. Typically we see Apple push one or two features to the a later update to iron out any bugs.
watchOS 6 Beta
Apple offers a developer watchOS 6 beta specifically for professional users to test the new features and to develop apps for the watchOS 6 update. There is no public watchOS 6 beta, like for the other updates.
We show you how to install the watchOS 6 beta without a developer account, if you want to take the plunge. This is important, because there is no way to downgrade to watchOS 5. Before you decide, make sure you read up on our reasons to install the watchOS 6 beta and the reasons you shouldn’t.
watchOS 6 Compatibility
Apple dropped support for the first generation Apple Watch with watchOS 5 last year, and there is no change in that policy. The oldest Apple Watch is still not supported.
The good news is that the watchOS 6 update is still coming to all of the current Apple Watch models from the series 1 and up. This will obviously pack in the most benefits on the newest Apple Watch Series 4, but older models still gain a few new features.
Apple Watch 5
In September we expect Apple will announce a 2019 Apple Watch with new features that are exclusive to the new model, but that come as part of watchOS 6.
There are not many Apple Watch 5 rumors yet, but we don’t expect a new design this year. Apple upgraded the Apple Watch screen size and size in 2018, so those will likely remain constant.
We anticipate added health features for the Apple Watch 5 as well as otehr exclusive features, but Apple will not likely show those off until the fall.
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