Apple just announced a new update to its Apple Watch operating system at the recently held WWDC 2017 last 5th of June. A preview of the watchOS 4 was shown to a crowd of 5,300 – the conference’s largest group ever. The OS is now in its beta testing phase and will roll out in the fall of 2017. Here are the top features you can expect in the new update.
7 New Apple Watch Features You Should Know
1. New watch faces
Apple revealed three new watch faces. The first one is the Kaleidoscope face which produces trippy visuals and unique, interesting patterns you can transform by rotating the Digital Crown. Next are the Toy Story themed watch faces with popular characters from the beloved movie such as Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie that animates in time with the clock or when moving your wrist.
— Tweeted Times Tech (@TopTechStory) July 5, 2017
Last, but not the least, Apple introduced the new Siri watch face. Via machine learning, the Siri face will display the information most relevant to your current needs. It will dynamically update its users with personal information such as reminders, new app updates, sunrise/sunset, etc.
2. Activity notification
— Colin Wehrle (@ColinWehrle) July 5, 2017
The Apple Watch will now act as your personal trainer with its improved activity notifications. It will create challenges custom-tailored to you and send encouragements to help finish your activity rings faster. An Evening Push will also let you know what goals you still need to meet and suggest ways on how you can accomplish them by the end of the day.
3. Workout updates
Activity’s companion app is also getting a boost. The enhanced workout app will be better at tracking your sessions accurately using its new intelligent algorithm. Another new important update to the Workout app is the Gym Equipment Sync.
— SofiaHalliday (@SofiaHalliday) July 5, 2017
This feature will pair up your Apple watch device to a compatible gym equipment to sync important metrics such as heart rate and calories. Apple also found it necessary to add a Do Not Disturb feature that will automatically turn on when you start a workout session and turn off after.
4. Music app
Finally, you can now swipe left from the workout menu to easily switch to the Music App. The newly redesigned will automatically synchronize your Apple Music playlists so you’ll have all the motivational songs you need to power through every workout.
While music is not exactly Apple Watch’s strongest suit, the new and improved features might help reinforce its role as a partner to the device’s health and fitness apps (because training and music usually come together!). The AirPods are also nicely integrated with the watch.
5. New dock interface
The newly redesigned dock will have a vertical interface for scrolling through recent and favorite apps using the Digital Crown. If you scroll to the bottom of the dock, you will find the new ‘All Apps’ option which will basically give you the full list of apps in grid view. Apple realized that not everyone likes the grid design so they also incorporated it with a list view option.
6. Flashlight feature
— Kurt A. 🌈🖖🏼 (@KrtNthny) July 5, 2017
In the Control Center, you will find the new Flashlight icon. A bright white screen will be on display once activated. It also has options to produce red-light and strobe. This function albeit simple and basic is an important improvement for the watch. The Flashlight tool is an extra security feature especially when doing outdoor, night workouts and can also double up as an emergency flasher.
7. Native Core Bluetooth
Another welcome feature to the watchOS 4 is the support for native Core Bluetooth. This feature will allow the device to link with smaller wireless products such as glucose monitors and sports accessories. The new APIs will be available to developers so expect to see more compatible accessories in the future.
Having second thoughts on upgrading? This should help you out.
— Nicolette Zeigler (@nbtzmedia) June 27, 2017
If you missed the 2017 WDCC Keynote conference, watch it in this video below:
While the new watchOS 4 didn’t make any revolutionary changes from the previous build, the micro improvements were necessary for the future of the smartwatch. Basic features such as Flashlight and Core Bluetooth make the device more functional. Of course, the Apple Watch is still advertised as a device primarily useful for the health-and-workout-obsessed people but it would be exciting to see how the company will develop it into an everyday necessity for the average Joe.
Which feature are you most excited about in the upcoming watchOS 4? Let us know in the comments section below!
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