The long-awaited software update for Apple’s first wearable device was made available on Monday following a delay brought about by a bug found during the testing process.
Apple last Wednesday delayed the Watch OS 2 software, which was supposed to greatly enhance the capabilities of its smartwatch, including allowing the device to better run third-party applications. The company didn’t say at that time when the software would be available.
“We have discovered a bug in development of watchOS 2 that is taking a bit longer to fix than we expected,” said Apple. “We will not release watchOS 2 today but will shortly.”
The bug doesn’t seem to be anything that will impact the iOS 9 launch, and Apple hasn’t shared any details on what the bug might be.
Anything that has already been updated on the App Store for watchOS 2 will likely remain available as well given that the release is expected ..
The delay of Watch OS 2 echoed the setback a year ago when Apple’s iOS 8 mobile software for iPhones and iPads launched with numerous bugs that caused problems with Wi-Fi, the Touch ID system and other functions. An update that quickly followed caused even more issues. Apple finally resolved the problems more than a week after iOS 8 launched.
Apple, which updates its mobile software every year, needs to keep the system fresh to maintain customers’ interest in its products and to ensure that software developers keep making apps for its devices. The refreshes are also vital to keep Apple in step with competitors like Google; predictive technologies in iOS 9 serve as a counter to the predictive capabilities that Google Now and Google Now On Tap can deliver to Android device users.
A high percentage of Apple’s device owners update their phones and tablets within a few weeks or months after the software hits the market. As of August 31, 87 percent of Apple mobile device users had upgraded to iOS 8, while 12 percent were still using iOS 7, leaving a tiny fraction running yet older versions of Apple’s mobile software. On Monday, Apple said that half of its base has upgraded to iOS 9, which was released last Wednesday. By comparison, as of September 7, only 21 percent of Android device users had installed Lollipop, the latest version of Google’s mobile software, which launched in late 2014.
Some apps that take advantage of Watch OS 2 include the AirStrip patient-monitoring app, CNN, Facebook Messenger, the Kayak travel-booking app, the iTranslate language translator app, the Strava fitness-tracking app and the GoPro app that acts as a remote viewfinder for the camera.