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How to download watchOS 2.1 on your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Hermes on a charging pad
Apple Watch Hermes on a charging pad (Image credit: iMore/Rene Ritchie)

Because Apple Watch is paired to the iPhone for internet access and easy device management, watchOS updates are done using the Watch for iPhone app. To install watchOS 2.1, you should first update your iPhone to iOS 9.2. Once that's done, make sure you have your iPhone ready and on Wi-Fi, and your Apple Watch charged to 50% or more and connected to its magnetic charger.

What's in the update?

According to Apple, watchOS 2.1 includes the following new features, bug fixes, and performance enhancements.

  • Adds support for system language in Arabic, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Malay, Portuguese (Portugal), and Vietnamese
  • Adds support for Right-to-Left user interface
  • Adds ability to switch between Latin and Hindi numerals for Arabic
  • Adds a new complication for Islamic and Hebrew Calendars
  • Adds support for Siri and dictation in Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates)
  • Adds support for dictation in English (Malaysia), Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Portuguese (Portugal), and Vietnamese
  • Resolves an issue that could prevent events from updating in the Calendar complication
  • Fixes an issue that prevent the time from displaying in Power Reserve mode
  • Addresses issues that could prevent third party apps from launching
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent third-party app icons from displaying correctly
  • Fixes an issue that could cause instability when changing the system language

For more information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

How to download and install to watchOS 2.1

  1. Update your iPhone to iOS 9.2.
  2. Connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi and launch the iOS 9 Watch app.
  3. Tap on the My Watch tab.
  4. Tap on General.
  5. Tap on Software Update.

  1. Tap on Download and Install.
  2. Enter your iPhone Passcode (if you have one).
  3. Tap Agree to the Terms and Conditions.

  1. Make sure your Apple Watch is charged to at least 50% and connect it to the magnetic charger.
  2. Tap Install on your iPhone and/or your Apple Watch.

The watchOS 2.1 update will download and transfer to your Apple Watch and Apple Watch will reboot to apply the update. You can follow the progress on the Apple Watch screen, and once it's done, you'll be all set.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

5 Comments
  • I just tried in NYC, there isn't a 2.1 watchOS. Sent from the iMore App
  • Same here in Texas. No OS 2.1 update and I'm even on the beta.
  • Downloading in Phoenix but estimating 2 hours
  • Hey Siri is much more reliable now. Sent from the iMore App
  • That is one fugly strap in the pic Sent from the iMore App