The Apple Watch Series 4 on a wooden table.

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—At its developer conference today, Apple described its new Apple Watch software features in detail. Called watchOS 6, the operating-system update adds new apps, watchfaces, and features that enhance the ways users are already putting their Apple Watches to good use.

Arguably the biggest update coming to the Apple Watch is the new on-watch App Store. In watchOS 6, you’ll be able to browse, purchase, and download apps directly from the App Store on the Watch. That means users don’t need to turn to their iPhones to download and install apps.

Going hand in hand with an on-watch App Store is the new ability for developers to make independent apps for the Apple Watch. Currently, all Apple Watch apps must have an iOS app installed on the Watch’s paired iPhone in order for them to work on the Watch. In watchOS 6, developers will be able to populate the new on-watch App Store with apps that users can download and use immediately, without the need for yet another app on the paired iPhone.

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