Apple has a lot of big changes planned for watchOS 5, but there’s one little-known feature which won’t be making it to the latest version of the OS. As people testing the watchOS 5 beta have noticed, Time Travel has disappeared from the Apple Watch.
Time Travel made its debut back in watchOS 2. It was a simple feature, allowing you to go back and forth in time by rotating the Digital Crown clockwise or counter-clockwise, hence the name. For instance, you could use it to see what the weather would be like at various times of the day or what appointments were coming up or completed in Calendar.
Even some of Apple’s watch faces could use Time Travel to animate the wallpaper. Solar let you check out the sun’s position over the course of a day by moving the sun. Astronomy rotated the Earth, Moon, or Solar System to keep track of their movements.
Why Time Travel Got Removed
While Time Travel was useful, it was never critical. That may be why developers didn’t really support it in huge numbers. Without that kind of support, it looks like Apple decided it wasn’t worth keeping around. Plus, it seems most users weren’t actually aware of it and typically triggered it by accident.
Developers first caught wind of Time Travel’s removal when they notched that the toggle for it wasn’t present in settings anymore. Eventually, they found that they couldn’t trigger it at all. All traces of it haven’t disappeared though. The Solar and Astronomy watch faces are still animated via the Digital Crown.
watchOS 5 is dropping in September along with iOS 12 and tvOS 12. Major highlights include a new Walkie-Talkie feature which will allow you to chat with any Apple Watch user over Wi-Fi or cellular. The new Apple Watch Series 4 will be arriving as well, enhanced with solid-state buttons and thinner bezels.