watchOS 2.2 launches alongside iOS 9.3 later this year.
The Apple Watch is getting savvy, thanks to a new software update that makes Apple Maps able to search for nearby places to eat, shop, and have fun. Apple’s watchOS 2.2, which is still in beta, ditches the need to use Force Touch in order to access the search capability.
The current watchOS version requires users to press the watch’s display to access search, contacts, and directions. The upcoming watchOS, however, speeds discovery by placing the search feature on the front interface, alongside a “My Location” button below it.
Even better, quick navigation buttons to a user’s home and work location have been added to the front UI, similar to Google Maps for the Apple Watch. Perhaps the most notable feature of the update is Nearby Search, which Apple introduced on Apple Maps alongside iOS 9.
Accessing Nearby Search opens a nifty list of categories, ranging from food, drinks, shopping, travel, and more. Tapping these sections will lead you to a catalog of businesses, with their corresponding addresses, ratings, contact information, and directions.
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It seems that Apple is partnering with Yelp to provide the data for this year, reports 9to5Mac. Additionally, watchOS 2.2 now allows iPhones to pair multiple Apple Watches at the same time, making it easier for users to share content.
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Apple plans to launch watchOS 2.2 alongside iOS 9.3 later this year.