How Software Updates Can Make Our Wearables Even Better

Software updates are a standard feature of mobile devices; now they are also an integral element of the development process for smartwatches.

On the same day that the new Apple Watch Ultra went on sale, a software update called watchOS 9.0.1 was released to improve the user experience, a harbinger of things to come with Apple and other firms adopting software upgrades to enhance their wearables over time.

‘The Apple Watch is a complex computer on your wrist, so it’s predictable that there be software updates,’ Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, told Lifewire in an email. “Users may find [day-one updates] unpleasant, but it’s not always just bug fixes or security enhancements. There is room for improvement, but Apple has the ability to offer additional features that could make things better.”

Fixing This Is Crucial

How Software Updates Can Make Our Wearables Even Better

Updates to the software installed on Apple devices after they leave the factory allow the company to address issues that were missed during testing. Updates are becoming as critical for wearables as they are for smartphones to ensure a great consumer experience, especially on day one.

WatchOS 9.0.1 includes a fix for an issue that was identified by Apple and could affect users of the latest Apple Watch Ultra. Telephony concerns for Apple Watch Ultra users would have been awful for a wearable device that boasts saving lives through capabilities like auto-crash detection and automatic calls to emergency services if the update hadn’t been made available. However, unlike prior watchOS releases, no confirmed security fixes are included in this version.

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Plenty More to Come

How Software Updates Can Make Our Wearables Even Better

When it comes to smartwatches, updates are just as critical for fixing bugs and ensuring security as they are for adding new and exciting features.

The most recent version of Apple’s watchOS, 9.0, supports the Apple Watch Series 4. That product initially hit shelves in September of 2018, and its latest update introduced a bevy of enhancements—among them, a revamped Workouts app, fresh watch faces, and more. As a result of software updates, even older watches may take advantage of many of watchOS 9’s new capabilities. Furthermore, Apple has promised additional new features that will be released in the near future.

Of course, Apple isn’t the only firm updating the software on their wearables to make them better. It’s also important to recognise OnePlus and similar OEMs.

Some people cannot fathom the thought of purchasing a classic watch because they believe it will not advance in functionality over time, unlike a smartwatch, which will almost certainly do so as a result of software updates.

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Experts, however, caution that there may be unintended consequences to installing new software. A hospital in Leeds, the UK that treats young people with diabetes advised against setting up automatic software upgrades on smartphones and smartwatches, as this could interfere with the functionality of glucose monitors. It advised that they wait for the “green light” before assuming compatibility.

Wood continued, “Obviously, it’s quite a difference to a classic mechanical watch,” before noting that “software upgrades are a fact of life on most consumer electronics devices, and the Apple Watch is no different.” That is a major selling point for both new and used Apple Watches. For decades, new capabilities have been added to electronic devices via software updates. This also applies to Apple Watches.

Wearables are a good investment because they improve steadily over time, thanks to features added via software updates like watchOS 9 and day-one updates for new products like the Apple Watch Ultra.