Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is set to begin on Monday, and it sounds like the company has big plans for watchOS 6 and the Apple Watch Series 5. Apple is expected to reveal a wide array of new apps and features which should make it more competitive.
Although the Apple Watch Series 5 isn’t expected to be revealed until the fall, the new features being added to watchOS 6 will offer quite a few hints about what to expect. Based on what’s coming in the next version of the operating system, it sounds like the Apple Watch Series 5 could be the most independent watch so far, although some of these features will also likely be available on current models.
Independent App Store coming to watchOS 6
Citing sources familiar with Apple’s plans, Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the company is planning to add the App Store directly to the Apple Watch Series 5, which would help sever the watch’s dependence on the iPhone. To access the App Store on an Apple Watch, users must currently use the Apple Watch app on iOS. Apple also reportedly plans to roll out a number of new health apps, a Books app for audiobooks, and a calculator.
Bloomberg reported this week that WWDC will reveal Apple’s continued push to separate the Apple Watch from the iPhone. watchOS 6 is expected to be a major part of this effort because if the software is more independent, then the watch will be too. The company took a major step toward independence for the Apple Watch by adding cellular support two years ago, but the device still largely remains dependent on the iPhone. However, watchOS 6 could change that.
A number of current iPhone features are also expected to be added to watchOS 6, like the iPhone’s Voice Memos app, which will enable users to record memos on their wrist.
New health apps
The company is also reportedly planning to add even more health-related features in watchOS 6. One is said to be called “Cycles,” and it will be used to track women’s menstrual cycles. The other is reportedly called “Dose,” and it’s designed to help users keep track of their medications and set reminders to take them. Other reported improvements include a new Sleep mode to be used with Apple devices and better hearing aid support. watchOS is also expected to bring Memoji and Animoji support and, as always, a number of new watch faces.
With all the new features coming to watchOS, fans are undoubtedly excited about the Apple Watch Series 5 as well. However, Apple will need to find a way to differentiate this year’s model from those of previous years, and one way it could really do this is by making the Apple Watch Series 5 even more independent somehow. We will just have to wait for the big reveal in the fall to learn more.