Apple Watch Overview Updated March 23, 2021

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November 2013 - April 2022

How to see all Apple Watch apps


The original Apple Watch (later called Series 0) was released on April 24, 2015, after years of rumors. While there was a lot of initial hype around it, the third-party watchOS apps were slow to launch due to API limitations. Native apps were available in watchOS 2. The original watch came in 38mm and 42mm sizes.

The Series 2 Watch was released on September 16th, 2016 along with a Series 1 Watch. The Series 2 included the S2 chip, built-in GPS, and water-proof construction. The Series 1 included the S2, but lacked GPS and waterproofing.

The Series 3 Watch was released on September 22, 2017, and it included an LTE option and the S3 chip. The Series 4 Watch was released on September 21, 2018. New hardware included the S4 Chip, Electrical heart sensor w/ ECG app, and larger display (40mm and 44mm sizes).

Apple Watch Series 5 was announced during Apple’s fall event on September 10, 2019. Customers were able to purchase the device later that day, and it was released on September 20. The headline feature for this model was the wearable’s always-on display. The new display always shows the time and complications and is also the first from the company to include a built-in compass.

Apple launched international emergency services to every cellular model. Series 5 also brought back ceramic white, and new natural brush and space black titanium models.

Apple Watch Series 6 was unveiled on September 15, 2020 at the “Time Flies” event alongside the more affordable SE and new iPad Air. New features of the Series 6 include blood oxygen monitoring, new watch colors, faster S6 chip, new watch faces, and more.

Apple Watch features

Apple Watch is designed to help you stay active, motivated, and connected. The newest versions are Series 6 and SE while Apple still sells Series 3 as the most affordable option.

Features include:

  • Heart rate monitoring (all models)
    • Including high, low, and irregular heart rate notifications
  • ECG readings (Series 4 and later)
  • Blood oxygen monitoring (Series 6)
  • Workout tracking, Activity Rings, competitions, and awards
  • Works with Apple Fitness+
  • Sleep tracking (with watchOS 7)
  • GPS and GPS + Cellular models
  • Always-on display (Series 5 & 6)
  • Water-resistant to 50 meters
  • Emergency SOS and fall detection
  • Phone calls and Messages
  • Music, Podcasts, and more
  • Third-party apps available through App Store built into watchOS


watchOS is the dedicated software that runs on Apple Watch. The current version is watchOS 7 that was released in fall 2020 and is compatible with Series 3 and later.

watchOS 7 brought new features like native sleep tracking, Family Setup, watch face sharing, new workout tracking types, cycling directions in maps, and automatic handwashing reminders.

Apple Fitness+ support and new cardio fitness notifications came with watchOS 7.2 And watchOS 7.4 is coming with the exciting new Apple Watch unlock for iPhone feature.

Current Apple Watch lineup

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Apple Watch Stories April 19

Apple has already scheduled an Apple Watch Activity Challenge for Earth Day later this week, but there’s another one coming at the end of this month. For International Dance Day on April 29, Apple will hold an Activity Challenge that requires to do a Dance workout of 20 minutes or more.

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With Earth Day this week, there are some new experiences to try on Apple Fitness+. From running to meditations to a new goal, there is certainly something for every subscriber.

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From the creator of the popular app Heart Analyzer comes a new app with next-level analytics. Heart Hive joins the App Store, allowing users to share and compare their health metrics. Heart Hive records the information on your Apple Watch, and you can view it on your iPhone

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Apple Watch Stories April 18

Following up on the Snap 2-in-1, Native Union is out today with its latest MagSafe compatible wireless charging dock. The Snap 3-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger offers dedicated spots for iPhone 12 or 13, Apple Watch, and AirPods along with neat touches like a removable USB-C Apple Watch charger that can be used on its own.

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While we are still months away from a potential new Apple Watch debut, rumors have been speculating for some time. Unlike last year, we are expected to see at least two new watches from Apple in 2022. Here’s a roundup of what we could see from Apple’s line of wearable tech this fall.

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How to find the serial number on your Apple Watch

Need to figure out your Apple Watch serial number? Follow along for how to find it even if you can’t read the serial number on the watch itself or power on the wearable.

Apple Watch Stories April 15

Beyond Apple Watch’s ability to track basic activities like steps and exercise, more sophisticated features like ECG, high/low heart rate warnings, and fall detection offer a lot of value and have gained mainstream attention. But flying under the radar, Apple Watch has several lesser-known important capabilities that measure everything from current to future overall health, likelihood of mortality, and your base metabolic rate. Let’s look at four hidden Apple Watch health features you’re probably not using.

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A police officer on Reddit shares their experience answering an emergency call from an Apple Watch via fall detection. The call was to an elderly woman’s home and the officer says the feature was “cool to see it in action.”

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Apple Watch Stories April 13

How to factory reset Apple Watch with or without iPhone

No matter if you’re having issues or ready to sell or give away your current watch, follow along for how to factory reset Apple Watch. We’ll look at how to do this both with and without iPhone even if you’ve forgotten your Apple Watch passcode.

Apple Watch Stories April 12

Apple has officially set a date for its next Apple Watch Activity Challenge. This time, the company has scheduled an Activity Challenge for Earth Day, which is set to take place on April 22. This challenge requires users to complete a workout of any category for at least 30 minutes. You’ll then unlock stickers that can be used in the Messages app, FaceTime, and more.

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After debuting its Base One premium glass and metal MagSafe charger last month, Nomad is out today with the all-new Base One Max that adds an integrated Apple Watch charger. Check out all the details below on this elegant multi-device charger with full 15W wireless MagSafe speeds for iPhone.

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Google followed Apple in getting FDA approval for AFib detection in Fitbit wearables

We’re learning today that Google followed Apple in successfully applying for FDA approval for AFib detection in Fitbit wearables. The search giant last year completed its acquisition of Fitbit

As Apple continues its work expanding the health features of its wearable, one of the anticipated upcoming capabilities is blood pressure monitoring. However, a new report from Bloomberg says not to expect it with Apple Watch Series 8 this fall or even the following year as Apple has run into trouble with accuracy during development.

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Apple Watch Stories April 6

How to see steps with Apple Watch including distance and custom complications

Whether you’ve just gotten an Apple Watch or have had one for a while and just haven’t tracked your steps closely before, it’s easy to do. Follow along for how to see steps on Apple Watch including distance, flights climbed, along with daily, monthly, and yearly trends. We’ll also look at how to make custom complications to track steps right on Apple Watch faces.

Apple Watch Stories April 5

Like HRV and VO2 max, heart rate recovery is a lesser-known health metric that’s tracked by Apple Watch. Follow along for how to see your Apple Watch heart rate recovery data, why it’s valuable, what good heart rate recovery numbers look like, and some tips on improving it.

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Apple Watch Stories April 4

Bloomberg reported last year that Apple is eyeing a new market for its wearable, with an extreme sports Apple Watch model under consideration. A new waterproofing patent application by Apple lends weight to this idea.

The tech described in the patent would provide the potential for the Apple Watch to progress from IPxx ratings used for everyday life to the far more rigorous ATM ratings used for water sports …

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Apple Watch Stories April 1

Apple’s Health app features a lot of information and can be overwhelming to the average user. It integrates with other apps to give you an overall summary of your health in one place. When used between iPhone and Apple Watch, it can be a useful tool in maintaining your optimal wellbeing. 

Here’s how you can navigate Apple Health a bit better.

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Apple Watch Stories March 29

Apple released watchOS 8.5 for the Apple Watch last week, and while it came with a few new features, it also appears to have broken one feature that’s exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 7. According to Apple Watch Series 7 users, and confirmed by 9to5Mac, watchOS 8.5 appears to break support for fast charging…

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Apple Watch Stories March 28

Accused domestic abuser attached Apple Watch to car to track his girlfriend

We’re used to reports of people misusing AirTags to track people, but one accused domestic abuser has used his Apple Watch to track his girlfriend…

Apple Watch Stories March 17

The Apple Watch’s health features are once again being credited with helping save a life and ultimately detect a much bigger health issue. Raylene Hackenwerth, a 71-year-old woman in St. Petersburg, Florida, told her story to WFTS Tampa Bay, detailing how the Apple Watch fall detection feature helped her in a moment of need…

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Apple Watch Stories March 16

Apple TV now lets you easily authorize purchases with Apple Watch, here’s how

Apple Watch gains a handy functional improvement with watchOS 8.5 paired with tvOS 15.4. Follow along for how to authorize Apple TV purchases on Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Stories March 15

Here’s how restoring Apple Watch firmware with your iPhone works

One of the subtle changes Apple has included with watchOS 8.5 is the ability to restore the wearable’s firmware without having to send it in for repair. Here’s how it works to restore Apple Watch with iPhone.

Apple fixes Mail Privacy Protection privacy failure in Mail on the Apple Watch

Update 2: The security researcher who discovered the privacy failure reports that Apple has now fixed it.

As of iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 the Mail app on the watch no longer leaks the IP address when downloading remote content. Remote content is blocked on the watch even when Mail Privacy Protection is on …

Apple Watch Stories March 14

Apple Watch doesn’t have any data ports accessible to users, which means that only Apple is able to repair your watch if there’s a firmware failure. Luckily, iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 introduce a new tool to let users wirelessly restore the Apple Watch firmware using their iPhone.

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