watchOS 3 Release Details

watchOS 3
Source: apple.com – watchOS 3

watchOS 3 is an operating system designed and developed by Apple, especially for the Apple Watch from 2016 to 2017. The system was released on September 13, 2016, and was preinstalled on the new Apple Watches and as an update through the iPhone for the previous series.

watchOS 3 provided fast access to a summarized view of the most popular native or third-party applications used on the Apple Watch. The Glances view was opened with a swipe-up gesture from the watch face screen. With watchOS 3, Glances was replaced by a redesigned Control Center – much like iOS.

The friend’s menu, invoked with the side button, now acts as a dedicated dock for apps. Users will be able to keep apps running in memory and receive background updates and refreshed information. Other updates are a new Dock invoked with the side button to replace the performance-laden Glances, an updated Control Center, and new reply options on Messages.

Several new watch faces have also been added, including Minnie Mouse, along with the ability to switch watch faces from the lock screen simply by swiping. A new feature called SOS allows users to hold the dock button to make a call to the local emergency line and pull up a medical ID.

Another feature is the Activity Share, which allows the sharing of workouts with friends and even sending their heartbeats to one another. Breathe’s new app guides users through breathing exercises throughout the day, with visuals and haptic feedback.

gets the last update (3.2.3) on July 19, 2017, and later has been replaced by a newer version of watchOS 4. Today watchOS 3 is 7 years old!

watchOS 3 Details

ReleasedSeptember 13, 2016 – 7 years ago
Last Software UpdateJuly 19, 2017 – 6 years ago
Time of Support309 days (10 months)
Original PriceFree
System RequirementsApple Watch
Apple Watch Series 1
Apple Watch Series 2
iPhone 5 or later
DistributionTrough paired iPhone

Versions of the watchOS 3

VersionsBuildRelease Date
watchOS 3.014S326September 13, 2016 – 7 years ago
watchOS 3.114S471October 24, 2016 – 7 years ago
watchOS 3.1.1*14S883December 12, 2016 – 7 years ago
watchOS 3.1.314S960January 23, 2017 – 7 years ago
watchOS 3.214V249March 27, 2017 – 7 years ago
watchOS 3.2.214V485May 15, 2017 – 7 years ago
watchOS 3.2.314V753July 19, 2017 – 6 years ago
*Update withdrawn

New Features in watchOS 3

watchOS 3.0Initial Release

Favorite apps in Dock
Apps in Dock updates with up-to-date information on the launch
The dock can contain up to 10 apps
Simple switch to a different watch face with a swipe
Control Center can be toggled with a swipe-up
New Watch faces
Minnie Mouse face
Activity faces
Numerals faces
Complications support for Photo, Photo Album, Timelapse, and Motion faces
New Complications: Workout, Music, and Messages, etc.
Face Gallery in Apple Watch app on iPhone
3rd-party Complications support
Share and compare activity rings
Activity progress notifications for a person you have shared your activity progress with
Smart replies for the above notifications
New “Sharing” tab on the Activity app on iPhone
Quick start
Customizable metrics view
Gestures support for pausing, resuming, or marking segments
Support for “Other” workouts not listed in built-in workout types
Auto-pause in running workouts for inactivity
Siri support
Route maps with a speed indicator (Outdoor workouts only)
For Wheelchairs
Activity rings support for people using a wheelchair
Pushes now contribute to the move-ring
Stand ring and “Time to Stand” notification substituted with Roll ring and “Time to Roll” notification
Outdoor Run or Walk pace workouts
Breathe app
New app for breathing sessions
Visualization and haptics indicate when to inhale or exhale
Adjustments for session length and amount of breaths per minute
Summary with heart rate
“Time to Breathe” notifications
Weekly Summary
Full-screen effects for celebrations
Tap to quick reply
Animations for handwritten messages
Send built-in or 3rd party stickers
Ability to view secret messages
Replies now available in Messages and Mail notifications
New and redesigned emojis
Write directly on Apple Watch and it will automatically convert to text
Scroll through predictions with Digital Crown
Available in English, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese
Emergency SOS
You can now call emergency services by pressing and holding the side button
Your SOS contacts will be notified of your location
You can also display your Medical ID stored on your Watch
Emergency numbers are automatically adjusted per your location
New app to control accessories through HomeKit
You can now control all your accessories directly from your wrist
IP camera support: Watch live video with controls and notifications directly on your Watch
New Reminders app
New Find My Friends app
Apple Pay support in 3rd-party apps
New controls in the Calendar app: You can now delete events or switch calendars
FaceTime audio calls support
Search for Settings on the Apple Watch app on the iPhone
New remote camera controls: Flash, Live Photos, HDR, Zoom, Burst, and facing
New Siri languages: Spanish (Chile), Cantonese, English (Ireland), English (South Africa)
watchOS 3.1Bubbles and fullscreen effects on Messages can now be replayed
Reduce Motion of Messages effects
Fix: “Timer complete” notification being delivered twice
Fix: Apple Watch Series 2 not fully charged
Fix: Disappeared Activity rings on watch faces
Fix: Force Touch options not appearing in 3rd-party apps
watchOS 3.1.3Fix: Bricking Apple Watches after updating to watchOS 3.1.1
Includes fixes from watchOS 3.1.1, including…
Fix: Contact names not appearing in notifications and the Messages app
Fix: Unable to respond to notifications
Fix: Stocks Complication not updating on watch faces
Fix: Activity rings not displaying on Activity watch faces
Fix: Dials of Analog watch faces not displaying after changing the temperature unit in the Weather app
Fix: Maps app still launching after navigation has ended
Fix: Month view of Calendars app showing incorrect dates
watchOS 3.2Siri now works with 3rd-party apps with features including:
Start a workout
Send messages
Make payments
Book rides

Theater Mode
New Scribble languages: French, Spanish, Italian
Sync progress for music playlists is now displayed in the Apple Watch app on the iPhone
watchOS 3.2.2Bug fixes
watchOS 3.2.3Bug fixes
Final version to support iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C

Do you like this article?

Let’s go social and follow us on X, Facebook, Instagram, or Threads, to stay updated.

Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.