Apple Watch owners looking forward to the release of watchOS 2 met with disappointment Wednesday as Apple put the release on hold. The company did not go into extensive detail about why the update was delayed.
"We have discovered a bug in development of watchOS 2 that is taking a bit longer to fix than we expected," according to an Apple statement provided to media Sept. 15. "We will not release watchOS 2 [Wednesday], but will shortly."
What does "shortly" mean? Could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Apple never provides specifics if it doesn't have to.
Is this a big deal? That depends on how desperate you were to check out all the new features headed to the Apple Watch. WatchOS 2 is a significant upgrade for Apple's wearable, which is pleasing its owners despite only being in the market for about five months.
Native apps are they key. As third-party apps function on the Apple Watch today, the wearable itself is often mirroring the app running on the iPhone. Native apps let developers run their app on the Watch directly, rather than the iPhone.
Apple updated the watchOS SDK with new APIs back in June and gave developers broader access to the Watch hardware. For example, developers can take control of the Digital Crown, Taptic Engine, microphone, heart rate sensor, accelerometer, WiFi radio, and more.
Perhaps more importantly, the ClockKit framework lets developers add complications to their watch face. Complications let Watch wearers access more data directly from the watch face. Last on the developer front, watchOS 2 adds HomeKit integration, which means people will be able to use the Digital Crown to adjust their lighting and thermostat.
Time Travel is another user-facing feature that will surely delight people. It lets Apple Watch wearers scroll forward and backward in their calendar by twisting the Digital Crown. Nightstand Mode will see the Watch change into a bedside alarm clock at night when it's charging.
[Read more about the wearables market.]
WatchOS 2 will allow people to use their store-issued credit cards to make Apple Pay payments at participating retailers (iOS 9 required). Apple Maps on the Watch can now tap into public transit directions in select US cities.
Third-party apps now have access to exercise counts in Apple Health. WatchOS 2 makes it possible to record specific workouts using Siri. Last, watchOS 2 adds an Activation Lock -- an important security measure that prevents unauthorized people from resetting a stolen Apple Watch.
The updated platform truly brings a new dimension of possibility to Apple's smartwatch. Hopefully the "short" delay won't run too long.