Inside watchOS 3: Apple Watch adds new iOS-style swipe-up Control Center

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 2016
With watchOS 3, Glances are no more. Swiping up from watch faces now brings up a Control Center with quick access to commonly used settings, borrowing a design convention from Apple's iOS.



The new Control Center for watchOS 3 can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom edge of the Apple Watch display. Previously, this edge gesture was used to access app Glances, but those have been removed in the new watchOS.

Control Center on Apple Watch will be immediately familiar to anyone who has used it on iOS. It offers quick access to airplane mode, Do Not Disturb, and silent mode.

In addition, Control Center in watchOS 3 also includes information and quick links that were previously a part of the Glances view. This includes a battery percentage reading, which can be tapped to bring up a link for the battery saving "Power Reserve" mode.



Control Center for watchOS also includes a button for pinging the connected iPhone. With a quick tap, a user's iPhone will play an audible alert to find the handset.

If your Apple Watch has a passcode lock enabled, you can also use the new Control Center to quickly lock the device.

Finally, Control Center for watchOS 3 also includes a quick link for stored AirPlay speakers and headphones. From here, users can quickly connect to wireless accessories for audio playback.

As with its predecessor Glances, as well as Notification Center, Control Center can only be accessed from the watch face view on Apple Watch. Swiping up from the bottom of the Apple Watch display while in applications or on the home screen does not bring up the menu.

watchOS 3 is a free update for all Apple Watch owners that will arrive this fall. It's currently available in beta for for developers to test.

For more, see AppleInsider's ongoing "Inside watchOS 3" series, parts of which are linked below:

Inside watchOS 3: Apple Watch gets more familiar with dedicated dock button

Inside watchOS 3: Apple Watch gets improved glance-ability with new complications, watch faces

Inside watchOS 3: Send text messages from Apple Watch by drawing one letter at a time

Inside watchOS 3: New 'Breathe' app for Apple Watch reminds you to relax, focus

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    irelandireland Posts: 17,521member
    If I was a watch wearer and more aptly an AW owner I'd be over the moon with watchOS 3. It's inarguably the greatest year over year OS improvement to any Apple device. The speed improvement and thoughtful common sense UX across the board is incredible. More than ever it for me secures just how little sense a circular display makes for a smart multifunction wrist device.
    edited June 2016 repressthisSoliTurboPGT
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Sadly it appears they didn't follow the new iOS10 control center convention of 3 different panels: 1 for commonly used functions, 1 for music control, and 1 for home control. It's a step in the right direction, but still will be out of sync with the latest iOS.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    kenh26kenh26 Posts: 14member
    do you guys actually own an Apple Watch? Most of this is not new. You always swiped up the screen to access these functions and the only new feature is the ability to lock your iPhone. All the other features were already there and accessed in exactly the same way - this is hardly new 
    jkichline
  • Reply 4 of 10
    kenh26kenh26 Posts: 14member
    Sadly it appears they didn't follow the new iOS10 control center convention of 3 different panels: 1 for commonly used functions, 1 for music control, and 1 for home control. It's a step in the right direction, but still will be out of sync with the latest iOS.
    I agree the same swipe up an then swipe across to access other commonly used features would have been much more of an improvement and the consistency with iOS would have been very welcome. Keeping both watchOS and iOS in sync makes the combined experience that much more fluid
  • Reply 5 of 10
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    kenh26 said:
    do you guys actually own an Apple Watch? Most of this is not new. You always swiped up the screen to access these functions and the only new feature is the ability to lock your iPhone. All the other features were already there and accessed in exactly the same way - this is hardly new 
    Previously, swiping up brought up Glances. One of the Glances (if you had it enabled) was quick settings, some of which correspond with this new Control Center (airplane, DND, mute and find phone).

    As the story notes, with iOS 10, Glances are now gone, and the only thing you can access while swiping up is the new Control Center. While similar to the previous settings Glance, it actually offers more functionality, combining the battery glance and adding a new lock shortcut, plus AirPlay controls. And there's the added benefit of not needing to flip back to the settings Glance anymore.

    And, to answer your question, yes, I own an Apple Watch.
    lollivermacgui
  • Reply 6 of 10
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    Sadly it appears they didn't follow the new iOS10 control center convention of 3 different panels: 1 for commonly used functions, 1 for music control, and 1 for home control. It's a step in the right direction, but still will be out of sync with the latest iOS.
    Agreed. Quick music and HomeKit controls would be nice.

    I understand why Control Center isn't accessible beyond the watch face screen (that would negate the swipe-up gesture on all apps, which is tough to do with such limited real estate). However, it would be nice to have quick access to music controls when exercising and the watch is displaying current time/pace/heart rate/whatever. Having to jump between that and the music app is a bit of a pain. Maybe a third-party fitness app could address this.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    focherfocher Posts: 637member
    Phil Schiller had some goods tips on the Daring Fireball WWDC interview about how he is using multiple watch faces and complications to create purpose-specific watch faces. For example, an "exercise" watch face with all the workout and health related items configured. Watch faces can now be changed with a simple swipe left and right, making this a great UI change too. Everything they've changed is a significantly improved way to quickly get to specific functionality.
    ireland
  • Reply 8 of 10
    I understand why Control Center isn't accessible beyond the watch face screen (that would negate the swipe-up gesture on all apps, which is tough to do with such limited real estate). However, it would be nice to have quick access to music controls when exercising and the watch is displaying current time/pace/heart rate/whatever. Having to jump between that and the music app is a bit of a pain. Maybe a third-party fitness app could address this.

    The problem actually is that unfortunately Apple do not always have too talented people working on user interface inventions in recent years.

    “You are swiping it wrong, guys.” It was very intuitive to swipe up to make glances appear until now and swipe through all glances, one of which was Control Center.

    Control Center is not as much used as the Dock which offers now a decent way to switch between different apps.

    Why the hell, did they block this intuitive path of swiping up and to continue swiping with the rather limited and for me more limited functionality of the Control Center?

    The better access for Control Center would be this stupid button next to the crown. I just do not use it as often as I would need the Dock.

    Swiping up for the Dock to show up would be intuitive and one could easily swipe to the app in the Dock you are about to switch to.

    But no, our genious Cupertino based Apple developers decided to mix swipe and button access which is counterintuitive — and rubbish in my opinion.

    And yes, I will file a bug report about it. Apart from that, they are about to establish a Lego Duplo®-like aesthetic by chosing bolder fonts and colors like in the weather app.

    The color scheme for the Dock will hopefully get more fine-tuned in the future as well.

    Of course, this is just the first rough idea what we are going to get with watchOS 3.+ — but Apple urgently need more constructive-critical bug reporting from iOS developers.

    The good thing about Apple is that they are really listening and are coming back to suggestions from their registered iOS developers. To my mind, this is the real reason for Apple's huge success in this demanding field.

    They are very friendly with their developers. Once you have attended i(Phone/)OS Tech Talks you will know what I mean. It is really worth joining this developer community — and a lot of fun.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    How to check current heart rate?
  • Reply 10 of 10
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    How to check current heart rate?
    Heart rate has been moved to its own app. You can access this from the home screen, or add it to the new dock.
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