Watch OS 2 is officially coming to the Apple Watch on September 16th. That means a host of new and ingenious apps are going to run on your wrist. The Cupertino, California company used some of it’s keynote time to show off several new apps, include Facebook’s Messenger, GoPro’s camera remote and iTranslate, a real-time translation app. The new apps will all run directly on Apple Watch, a change made possible by the upgrade to OS2.
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Prior to OS2, all apps ran via a connected iPhone. In June, Apple announced that it was making changes to it’s WatchKit developer software bundle, letting developers run apps directly on the wearable.
“Apple Watch is helping our users live a better day,”
– Tim Cook, Apple CEO.
Getting useful and popular apps from its successful App Store is crucial for the tech giant. When Apple showcased the Apple Watch just under a year ago, the Wearables market suddenly had a huge contender, but Apple has found limited success with the device, as some users remain ho-hum over the actual need for such a device.
Offering apps that users already know and enjoy using could go a long way in convincing buyers who remain on the fence.
Google and Samsung, rivals to Apple in the Wearables segment, are still attempting to lure developers to their own smartwatch operating systems, to make apps and features that would convince users to stay away from purchasing the Apple Watch
In Apple’s Keynote address on September 9th, CEO Tim Cook said there are currently 10,000 apps in the Apple Watch app store.
That number is impressive, considering Google’s Android Wear has about 4,000 available apps, and Samsung’s older square smart watches only have about 3,000 apps to choose from. Samsung had its own announcement late this summer, unveiling the Gear S2, set to launch in early October with 1,000 apps at the ready.
Apple updated WatchKit earlier this year, in an attempt to give developers more flexibility with what their apps could do with the watch.
The update included access to Apple’s HealthKit platform, allowing developers to access the Apple Watch’s heart-rate monitors and activity sensors, as well as its Microphone to allow voice functions, and access to the ‘digital crown’ to manipulate software more precisely.