Apple’s big watchOS 6 update focuses on building iPhone independence

Apple showcased its latest version of watchOS at WWDC on Monday, and the company’s announcements were largely related to increasing its autonomy and utilizing the extra screen real estate on the increasingly larger screens on the Series 4 Apple Watch.

The company updated its watch faces again this year, adding some classic looks and minimalist ones. WatchOS 6 has also added some complications including a noise level measurement and wind and rain levels. There’s a weird new thing called “taptic chimes” which alerts you when the hour changes, just like a clocktower.

The big news of this release is probably that more standalone iPhone apps are getting watchOS corollaries. Apple detailed that the new watchOS release will include an Audiobooks app, a Voice Memos app and a Calculator app so you can quickly calculate a tip or do some quick adding.

Perhaps most notably, the Apple App Store is coming to watchOS so you’ll be able to browse apps, check out reviews, and download the apps easily.

As the Apple Watch gets more standalone watchOS stock apps, Apple is also making it easier for developers to build independent apps for the device that no longer require an iPhone’s companion app.

When it comes to the health capabilities, the new features are a bit more muted. You’ll now get coaching via notifications if your metrics in the Health app begin to trend in one direction of the other. Additionally, the company has added a cycle-tracking app to help women keep track of their periods.

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