Last week we wrote a post about the best features of the upcoming iOS 9.3 for iPhones and iPads. While that was the major news, Apple also released the beta versions of the Watch and TV OS. And these are not just incremental updates. There are some big additions coming in both tvOS 9.2 and WatchOS 2.2.
Let’s start with Apple Watch
- Pairing Multiple Watches with iPhone
It is now possible to pair more than one Apple Watch with a single iPhone. We know it doesn’t make much sense when you think about it first; but this will be a really useful feature for the likes of app developers who have to test their work on multiple Apple Watches.
- Auto Switch
This update allows the iPhone to automatically connect to a paired Apple Watch when you put it on and raise your wrist. Of course, you can do it manually too. But we all like things to happen intiutively, don’t we?
- Improved Maps
A new feature, called “Nearby” has been added to Apple Maps on the watch. As the name suggests, it quickly lets you find points of interest near you. Now with just one click you can find restaurants/movies/hospitals etc. in your vicinity.
Let’s now look at the key updates in Apple TV OS
- UI Enhancements:
The app switcher has been updated to look more like iOS 9 rather than iOS 8. Full-screen previews have been replaced with “stacked cards”. We are not entirely sure if everyone will like this move, but at least now, there is a lot more consistency between the iOS and the tvOS.
tvOS now lets you arrange apps into folders, pretty much like it is in the iOS. Just drag and drop two apps over each other, and viola, you get a 3×3 grid display within the folder, but there appears to be an infinite scroll. So quite possibly, you can add any number of apps to the folders.
Overall, none of these changes are earth-shattering, but then it’s an update on a new OS! These small things added together can go a long way in making our interactions with the gadgets a lot more pleasurable.
3. Support for a Bluetooth Keyboard
Apple TV now supports external keyboards connected via Bluetooth. It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but if you’ve ever tried navigating the Apple TV interface using a Siri Remote, you know the true meaning of frustration.
In India, especially, the Siri Remote doesn’t support voice search and we’re stuck with only the tedious character-by-character typing. So a Bluetooth keyboard support is really godsend!
4. Podcast support
We all wonder why podcast support wasn’t available right from the beginning. We’d all love the luxury of listening to our podcasts while doing chores or just lazing on the couch; that too without worrying about falling asleep and and waking up entangled in the earbuds. This is a blessing, really.
The let down is that it only works with audio podcasts. To watch video podcasts, you will still have to use your Mac/iPhone/iPad. Also, you won’t be able to search podcasts using Siri. But that’s hardly a big problem for Indian users since Siri doesn’t work here anyway.
Of late, Apple has been moving on to greater horizons. Talks of Apple Car have us thrilled with all the possibilities. But we were also sceptical that Apple might not have time for the lesser products in its lineup. These updates quell those doubts, proving that Apple hasn’t lost its touch for finer details. Thank God!