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How to update your Apple Watch to Watch OS 2

Apple just released Watch OS 2, adding new features and functionality to the Apple Watch. Here's how to update yours.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you own an Apple Watch, you're going to want to update to Watch OS 2 now that it's available. The update is said to speed up third-party apps, and cut back (somewhat) on your watch's reliance on the iPhone. For example, voice commands now work when your watch is connected to Wi-Fi and your iPhone is nowhere to be found.

The update process for your Apple Watch is simple, but somewhat time-consuming. Here's how you can update your watch and make the process as smooth as possible. Be sure to set aside 20 to 30 minutes for the entire process, just to be safe.

A few requirements to keep in mind before you begin the update process are:

  • Your iPhone must be running iOS 9.
  • Your phone needs to remain close to the watch during installation.
  • Your watch battery needs to be at 50 percent charge or above.
  • You need to place your watch on the charger during installation.

If you don't have access to a charging cable, you can still download the update to your phone to speed up installation later.

On your iPhone

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Open the Apple Watch app and tap on General.
  • Select Software Update from the list. It should be the second option.

Once the update is found, tap on Download and Install and follow the prompts.

As previously stated, you can download the update to your phone should you not have access to a cable right away. Then when you do have access, simply go back to this screen and tap the Install button.

After the update is downloaded, place your watch on the charger and let the iPhone and Apple Watch do its magic.

From the time I approved the installation until it was finished was roughly 15 minutes. Most of that time the watch displayed the Apple logo, with a lined progress circle filling the screen. It rebooted a couple of times, with the progress indicator resting each time.