It’s not long now until the keynote that will launch Apple’s World Wide Developers’ Conference – 10AM Pacific, Monday, June 3, as it happens. CEO Tim Cook has already hinted it’s going to be a good one. “This is one you won’t want to miss,” he insisted in the recent financials call.
Now, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has indicated that the event will offer new tools and striking extra features in the software announced. Including for the next iteration of operating software for Apple Watch, doubtless to be called watchOS 6.
In fact, it looks like watchOS 6 could be central to the main event, with increased fitness and health features, in readiness for the Apple Watch 5 which is near-certain to be announced in the fall.
If you thought the Apple Watch 3, the one that introduced a sim card to the timepiece, was as far as Apple was going to go in terms of device independence, think again. It looks like new software will make the Watch even more independent. Not to mention new Watch apps like a calculator and audiobook playback.
Here’s everything that’s been predicted…
App Store on your wrist
Why not? There’s an App Store on the Mac, one for the iPhone, iPad and iPod, and one on Apple TV. So, why isn’t there one on the Watch? Why do I have to download Watch apps to my iPhone and then let the phone transfer them to the gadget on my arm?
It seems likely that there’ll be an App Store right on the Watch, so you can download an app when you’re out without your iPhone.
I mean, let’s leave aside one important point: who on earth goes anywhere without their smartphone? Well, apart from when you’re on a run, for instance?
The point is that greater independence for the Watch is a good thing and the thought of not having to download and install apps on your iPhone for an altogether different gizmo certainly makes sense.
I use the Calculator on my iPhone a lot, so its absence from the Apple Watch, not to mention the iPad, by the way, was always contentious. Being able to quickly divide a restaurant bill or estimate the tip right from my Watch seems a good step forward.
Not, this is not so you can read a book on your Watch. That would be silly. But listening to your latest audiobook through your AirPods on the Watch, now that would make a lot of sense.
More Health Features
The rumour is that these new features will include an app to help you remember to take your pills and a menstrual cycle calendar. In addition its reported there is another new feature, a sleep tracker, which I’d expect to appear later in the year.
New Watch Faces
One called Gradient is hinted at which will let you choose a colour and it’ll create a gradient effect from that. Plus a new jumbo clock effect or two, a classic watch face and a new one that looks like a sundial. Which sounds very cool. More complications are also predicted, to show the battery remaining in your hearing aid, a stocks and shares complication for the gloriously detailed Infograph face, and more.
Animoji and Memoji
I can’t wait for these. Stickers that synchronise from your iPhone to your Watch. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
All will be revealed on Monday, June 3. Stay tuned for more rumours.