watchOS 4.3 launches with new Nightstand mode, music controls and more

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Apple Watch
Apple Watch is on top of the wearable market
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch owners can finally download the first big software update of 2018 for Apple’s wearable. watchOS 4.3 launched to the public this morning, adding a bunch of small new features and performance improvements that make the Apple Watch tick better than ever.

There are lots of things Apple Watch owners want to see in watchOS (third-party watch faces, anyone?) that Apple isn’t delivering. But with every update, the platform gets a little bit better. You won’t find anything groundbreaking in watchOS 4.3, but there are some nice changes.

Nightstand Mode goes portrait

In anticipation of Apple’s AirPower mat, Nightstand Mode now works in portrait orientation as well as landscape. This means you don’t have to miss out on the feature if you have a Watch dock that only supports one orientation.

Apple has restored the ability to use Apple Watch as a remote control for music on your iPhone. It’s super-useful when you’re listening to music on HomePod and your iPhone isn’t close by. You also have the option to send music to your iPhone by selecting the “Speaker” option from the AirPlay list in Control Center.

Oh, and Apple finally letting you browse your entire iPhone music library from the Watch, something that was previously unavailable. The update adds a new charging animation. And the Siri watch face has been updated with an Activity card that shows how close you are to closing your daily rings.