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BW Businessworld

New Features For The Apple Watch

At its World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco, Apple kicked off the event with a roundup of the new features coming to the Apple Watch

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At its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple kicked off the event with a roundup of the new features coming to the Apple Watch.

All the refinements and new capabilities come from the watchOS 3, the third generation of the operating system for Apple's wearable. While there are interesting new watch faces -- and users love changing the face of their watches -- and improvements in speed and ease of use, there are also important advancements in the fitness functions.

The changes to the operating system are full of conveniences that seem as if they will make a big difference to the user experience. Using Apple products as benchmarks, as other companies tend to do, other companies are likely to find the improvements to watchOS show the way forward. This is because the changes show a deeper understanding of how people use their Apple Watch.

A change that is more important than it seems -- faster access to apps -- will make the device much better to use. Before users lose patience, wrist raised and waiting, the app they want will open in less than the blink of an eye. One way this will be brought about is by most-used apps being held in the watch’s memory, ready to be called up. According to VP Kevin Lynch, apps will launch seven times faster in watchOS 3 than watchOS 2.

Activity sharing also comes to the Apple Watch. The Activity app, with the addictive rings that users like to keep checking, can now be compared with the rings of others. This element of competition is meant to motivate users to complete their fitness goals of the day. You can also send messages to those whose rings you follow right from the app.

The Apple Watch is also getting a new health app called Breathe, which helps a user with deep-breathing exercises that sound not unlike yogic pranayama. The length of a breathing exercise session is adjustable using the watch's crown and haptic vibrations guide the user -- a feature Indian users particularly are bound to love.

The Activity app has also become thoughtfully wheelchair user friendly, keeping in view that they will want to not have to pull out their phones every now and then and also encouraging movement with notifications.

The upgrade to all Apple Watch users bringing these and other features will arrive this fall.