Mobile & Wearable

Apple set to introduce over-the-air watchOS updates

Users no longer need their iPhone to install new updates

Apple could be about to bring over-the-air updates to Apple Watch for the first time.

According to developers such as Jeremy Horwitz, Apple is bringing the feature to the Apple Watch as part of the watchOS 6 beta, currently testing ahead of its September release.

The news was first revealed during the first beta of watchOS 6 last week, where the ability to request over-the-air software updates was spotted for the first time.

Users could navigate to Settings, then General, then Software Update to get started, and just like on the iPhone, the screen will search for available updates and download them to the Apple Watch.

During beta one, however, this functionality wasn’t switched on, and so users couldn’t test to see whether it would be possible to update without an iPhone.

Apple began seeding the second beta of watchOS 6 this week, and it appears as though the functionality is now live.

However, what’s important to note is that users must still head over to their iPhone and accept the watchOS terms and conditions – as Apple cannot display the entire T&Cs on a small Apple Watch display.

Hopefully, the company will remove this friction point before they release the new watchOS operating system to the public this September.

Prior to over-the-air updates, users had to navigate towards their Apple Watch app on their iPhone to begin the process of downloading and installing the software.

However, it is clear that Apple is working hard to separate the Apple Watch from the iPhone, building a product that can be sold independently in the future.

Apple launched a cellular Apple Watch back in 2017, for example, and this year will introduce a watchOS App Store, removing the need for the Apple Watch app.

Subscribe to AppleMagazine for our in-depth analysis on Apple Watch, coming this Friday, where we’ll delve deeper into watchOS 6 and explore the possibilities with Apple Watch Series 5. Keep it AppleMagazine.com for the latest Apple news, every weekday.

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