This story is part of. All the latest coverage from Apple’s WWDC Annual Developer Conference.
Apple Watch ($ 399 at Apple) learned new tricks . Apple announced its latest software updates in June during its and gave a preview of new features coming to its Apple Watches, then released the new operating system to the public in September. The update includes a new batch of watch faces, new training options, and native sleep tracking – the latest of which was for many years.
These features will only be compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3 ($ 169 at Amazon) or later, however, and some features are exclusive to Series 5. Here’s a list of 10 key new Apple Watch features you’ll want to try.
Native sleep tracking is finally here
The wait is over. Apple Watch users will finally be able to wear their watches to bed and track their sleep without having to download a third-party app. WatchOS 7 also helps users fall asleep on time by providing a way tostart the day with a soothing bedtime routine Once in bed, Apple Watch uses its motion and heart rate sensors to determine when you’ve drifted and turned off all notifications. In the morning, you can look back at your sleep cycle to see if you’ve woken up in the middle of the night and take a peek at your progress over time.
To track sleep, Apple Watch must have at least 30% charge and it will need a charge when waking up. Once the Apple Watch is fully charged, you will receive a notification on your phone that it is ready to go.
Training and “ new ” fitness app
This Zumba class may show that you’ve burned more calories in WatchOS 7. Apple has added dancing, core training, functional strength, and cooldown to its list of workout options on the watch. As such, the watch algorithm is tuned specifically for these exercises and calorie tracking is more accurate.
Cyclists will also benefit from a new navigation feature in Apple Maps that will allow them to choose routes based on time to destination, total distance or number of hills.
The Activity app, which contains the activity rings and your day summary, has been renamed WatchOS 7. It will be called the Fitness app on Apple Watch and iPhone. Although the app remains very similar on the watch, it has been slightly redesigned on the iPhone. It has a more comprehensive summary page and a more intuitive way to find your stats at a glance.
WatchOS 7 keeps you honest about handwashing
You know we have some interesting times when handwashing gets almost as much airtime as sleep tracking in the keynote. The Apple Watch will use motion sensors and the microphone to determine when you’re washing your hands and make sure you’re doing it correctly. Once it’s determined that you’re at the sink, it will start a 20-second countdown, which is the optimal duration based on CDC guidelines. It can even remind you to do so as soon as you enter your home.
Other health characteristics
WatchOS 7 takes the Noise app a step further by extending noise alerts to headphone levels. Apple Watch already monitors ambient noise and alerts users when it reaches levels that may affect hearing loss. But now it will do the same when listening to audio through your headphones from your iPhone, iPod, or Apple Watch. You will receive an alert if you have exceeded the volume or listening time recommended by the World Health Organization.
There is also a new health metric that can help users get a feel for their mobility and cardiovascular fitness. Advanced age or injuries can affect a person’s balance and overall ability to move safely and efficiently. The Apple Watch uses its motion sensors (as well as the iPhone’s motion sensors) to get a picture of what it looks like over time, similar to a “6 minute walk test” you would have. normally in a laboratory. If this data is shared with a doctor, it could help detect mobility issues before they affect your health.
Share and discover new watch faces
Apple still does not allow, but there will be more ways to by customizing existing models or adding multiple complications from the same application. Watch wearers can also share watch faces with each other via text, email or social media, or check out other looks curated by specific companies.
The Apple Watch also has a new Chronograph Pro option, featuring an analog-style tachometer that measures speed and distance, as well as an extra-large text option and new photo filters. And you will be able to add new complications for camera, remote control, sleep andapplications.
Car key function turns your watch into a keychain
With the updates, your Apple Watch can become a keychain for your car. You will not be able to give the car key permissions like on iPhone, but you will be able to accept them if they are shared with you through the Wallet app. The car key feature will only be available on the Apple Watch Series 5 or beyond (assuming we get ain the fall), and will only be compatible with for the moment.
Other iOS features
- Apple Watch has online responses for the Message app
- Siri can read your texts when connected to headphones
- The Apple Watch will get a translator app that allows users to translate entire conversations.