What's next: Apple just announced watchOS 6 at WWDC 2019. The newest operating system for the Apple Watch adds new faces, hourly chimes, native first-party apps, and tools that will help developers make their own native apps.
Some of the new Apple Watch faces coming in the next watchOS update include a gradient dial, the California dial, and the Solar face. As the name suggests the gradient dial is a color gradient face with hands where the division of the gradient follows the hour hand. The California dial is a more traditional nice-looking mechanical watch face with room for complications. The Solar face tracks the movement of the sun in real time.
Along with the new faces, Apple is introducing something it calls "Taptic Chimes." Apple Watch can now be optionally set to notify you at the top of the hour with a tap you your wrist. If you have volume on, it will also play birds chirping.
Apple is beginning to roll out native apps starting with first-party offerings including Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and a Calculator. All do as you would expect, but require no companion app on the iPhone. The calculator, which we first mentioned was coming last month, can even calculate tips and split the bill when you are dining out.
While three native apps are nothing to shout about right now, Apple promises more to come and has already rolled out tools to developers to make their own native apps.
The really big news for watchOS, however, is that it is getting its own native App Store. Now users will be able to search and browse for watchOS compatible apps right from their watch face. Finding something they like, they will be able to purchase and download the app to their watch without ever having to open their iPhone.
Apple closed noting that they have improved the fitness aspects of watchOS. The Activity and Health apps will now have "activity trends" and "health highlights" respectively.
Additionally, there will be a noise monitor that can monitor and notify users if their environment is loud enough to cause damage to their hearing. It is always listening, but only checks noise levels in short bursts and never records the user.
Finally, for women there will be a Cycle Tracker app that can track the menstrual cycle and push fertility notifications. Apple will also be releasing some new watch bands as well.
Apple is releasing watchOS 6 to developer this week and to the public sometime in the fall.