WWDC is now underway, and one of Apple’s first orders of business was unveiling WatchOS 4. Today is expected to be a very busy one at WWDC, however, as some attendees at the conference were told to expect the keynote to last at least two hours. WatchOS 4 is bringing some exciting new features to the Apple Watch.
WatchOS 4 brings dynamic watch faces
Perhaps the biggest update WatchOS 4 will bring to the Apple Watch is dynamic watch faces. That basically just means that the watch faces have their own complications and can change depending on what day it is or what time of day it is. Apple is also adding a new Siri watch face, that will bring a timeline offering various information that’s customized by the user. WatchOS 4 will use machine learning to determine what types of information the user wants or needs and then feed it to their Apple Watch through the Siri watch face.
WatchOS 4 is also bringing some new aesthetics in the form of a kaleidoscope watch face, which offers some interesting visuals. Apple is also working with Walt Disney again to create faces for characters from the Toy Story franchise, which join the character faces of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
WatchOS 4 updates Workout, Music apps
Apple has also added features and updates to the Workout and Activity apps. WatchOS 4 adds some new monthly challenges to the Activity app. They’re personalized for each user. The Workout app has a new user interface which also contains some new challenges and animations. WatchOS 4 also adds some new workouts such as high intensity interval training and includes some updates to the workouts for swimming.
Users can add new workouts while they’re currently in a workout, and the Apple Watch can also integrate with equipment at the gym via near field communication. The functionality will enable the wearable device to see what the user is doing and grab their stats, vitals and other info from the equipment. It will work with equipment by popular manufacturers such as StairMaster, Life Fitness, Cybex and others.
WatchOS 4 also brings an updated Music app aimed at improving the experience of using AirPods. Users can sync multiple playlists. Apple also refreshed the lock of the Dock by making the interface scroll vertically and added a flashlight function to Control Center as a safety feature for users who are exercising at night outdoors. WatchOS 4 also enables the Apple Watch to pair with smart devices such as glucose monitors and smart sports equipment like tennis rackets by pairing via Bluetooth. This functionality is particularly interesting given that Apple CEO Tim Cook was recently seen testing a blood sugar tracker attached to his Apple Watch.
Apple has made the developer preview of WatchOS 4 available today, and it will roll out to the masses sometime in the fall.