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Four New watchOS 2 Features That You’ll Love

At this year’s WWDC Keynote, Apple unveiled watchOS 2, the first update to the Apple Watch‘s operating system. The update promises lots of under-the-hood improvements, with more tools for developers and greater support for native apps.  But it’s the “above the fold” updates that have us all abuzz. Here are the four new features we’re most excited to try when watchOS 2 arrives this fall:

1. NightStand Mode

GC41536_Product_GriffinWatchStand_09This one is a no-brainer: Lay your watch on its side and plug in the charger, and, just like that, Apple Watch’s face switches from portrait to landscape, displaying the time, date, and charge-state.  Now your Apple Watch doubles as the modern, low-profile alarm clock you knew it could be. Many of the charging docks that have been made available seem to have been designed to work around the absence of this feature, but a few, including our own WatchStand, will work perfectly in Nightstand Mode, as well as in traditional portrait orientation. UPDATE: watchOS 2 has arrived, and, as expected, NightStand Mode works perfectly with WatchStand!

2. New Watch Faces

Personalization has long been a touchstone of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems, so it was only a matter of time before Apple Watch’s watch faces became more flexible. watchOS 2 promises to bring a personal touch with single photo and photo album slideshow options, as well as crisp, beautiful time-lapse images of cities like London, New York, and Hong Kong.

3. Email Replies

Apple Watch’s great promise was that your phone could stay in your pocket. But in practice, it functioned less like an interface and more like a monitor. You could read incoming emails from your watch, for example, but still needed your phone to reply. watchOS 2 promises to fix that, with new preset replies, as well as the ability to dictate your response without having to reach for your iPhone.

4. Time Travel

What time does the movie start tonight? Are you free a week from tomorrow at 3PM? Will it be raining when I leave work? The answer to these questions will be available at your fingertips, thanks to watchOS 2’s Time Travel. You’ll be able to use Apple Watch’s Digital Crown to virtually scrub forward and backward in time, utilizing watchOS 2’s expanded support for Complications to give you a virtual look at everything that happened yesterday, and what tomorrow has in store.

These features will roll out with watchOS 2 this Fall.

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