Smartwatches are all well and good, but one of the biggest shortcomings is that most of them need to be connected to your phone to be of any real use. Sure, we’ve had stand-alone ‘watch phones’ in the past, but none have been as successful as the market-leading Apple Watch, which – even in its LTE form – still needs an iPhone to work properly.
However, there’s evidence buried within the latest watchOS 6 developer beta that suggests Apple is moving towards cutting the cord and making its smartphone stand on its own two feet.
Apple watchOS 6 Update Might Just Change Everything…
Inside the beta, it seems that the Apple Watch is capable of downloading over-the-air updates via Wi-Fi – a process that was previously done via your phone instead.
Sure seems like the stage is being set for direct-to-Apple Watch software updates in watchOS 6, though it hasn’t been fully freed quite yet from the need to approve things on the iPhone. pic.twitter.com/pf3wBC3vU5
— Jeremy Horwitz (@horwitz) June 17, 2019
Before you get too excited, it has been discovered that you still need to use your phone to accept the terms and conditions of the update – but given that this is a developer beta, that could well change when the final version of the OS arrives.
watchOS 6 Update To Bring Straight-To-Apple-Watch Software Updates
The imminent arrival of a dedicated Apple Watch App Store in the next OS update would suggest that Apple is serious about making its smartphone more of a stand-alone deal. While we can certainly see the benefit of a watch being connected to your phone and channelling notifications so you don’t have to keep taking your handset out of your pocket, there are times when we wish the Apple Watch could operate independently – like when we’re out for a run, or when we’re going somewhere where we’d rather not take our phone.
The new watchOS 6 should be dropping around September, which could coincide with the launch of the Apple Watch 5. We could also see the new iPhone 11 at that same time, as well as the release of iOS 13.