Apple Shames Painfully Slow WatchOS 2 to Big Up Slicker-Looking WatchOS 3

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Apple has kicked off its WWDC 2016 keynote with a rundown of watchOS 3, which looks a lot quicker than its predecessor. Kevin Lynch claims it's seven times faster than WatchOS 2, and he demonstrated this by firing up the Onefootball app. On WatchOS 2, it took several seconds; on the new software, it look less than a second. It's a big step in the right direction, but we shouldn't have had to wait this long for the Apple Watch to, you know, not be slow as hell.

Read more: WWDC 2016 Round-Up: iOS 10, MacOS – All Tonight's Apple News

The company's also worked on improving the user interface, adding a mini 'Control Center' you can access by swiping up from the bottom of the display and transforming the side button below the Digital Crown into something called the Dock. You can use this for fast access to your favourite apps (if you have any).

There's also a bunch of new watch faces (the Minnie Mouse one got massive applause upon seeing she could be adorned in customisable dresses) most of which are activity-focused, and a new feature called Scribble allows you to respond to messages by fingering actual letters on your screen (in English or Chinese), rather than just funny pictures of knobs and nipples.

That's not the end of the fitness stuff. There's a new Apple Watch fitness app, which lets you connect with other users so you can easily boast about doing more exercise than them when you've actually attached the damn thing to your dog. Activity tracking for wheelchair users has also been improved, with specific wheelchair motion control movements having been carefully studied to bring accurate readings to the new features.

Scribble shown with 'Starbucks' being written by writing each individual letter on top of one another

The new app, Breathe, isn’t quite as revolutionary. Nor is SOS, which lets you easily contact emergency services no matter what nation you might be in (presumably excluding North Korea?).

Other major improvements are distinctly iOSy: like the ability to scroll through open apps like you might on an iPhone or iPad and the ability to scroll up to access Airplane mode, battery level and other quick settings.