The Apple Watch is even more focused on your health.
If you haven’t heard, Apple is now a health company.
The Apple Watch is evolving into an even more health-focused powerhouse, and the latest version of the watchOS reflects that.
The best-selling wearable on the market (well, estimated, since Tim Cook will never tell us exactly how many units the company has actually sold) is done with edging into the health and fitness space. In the latest version of watchOS, it’s diving in head first.
This isn’t quite the glucose monitoring Watch Tim Cook is reportedly test driving around Apple HQ (more on that in a sec), but it could make the Apple Watch more useful, especially in the gym.
Kevin Lynch took the WWDC stage to drop the details about the new OS.
First up: new watch faces.
The most exciting of the new faces is one proactively powered by Siri. The face automatically displays all the info that’s most pertinent to you using machine learning, so it can adjust to your usage patterns and settings to provide the most applicable info depending on the time of day. It’ll also provide a curated experience for you with other apps, by doing things like pushing news stories you’d be likely to read to the top of the queue.
The Kaleidoscope face is pretty cool looking, but there’s not much else going on there. It looks trippy, though.
There’s also some next-gen Disney Watch faces to continue the legacy of Mickey and Minnie. Now, you’ll get Toy Story faces, showing off Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear with animated vignettes. Unfortunately, no love for Mr. Potato Head.
The faces are nice, but the biggest focus for watchOS 4 goes down in the gym. The Activity app has a set of new notifications to help you get moving, with some super smart personalized achievement progress and monthly challenges, based on individual history.
There’s also a new quickstart UI for workout features, and auto sets for swimming and new controls for HIIT workouts, which can be extra useful to track those intervals. You can also cycle through multiple workout types in a single session.
We’ll see gym equipment integration and two-way data exchange in real time through NFC readers, which will be supported by gym giants like Schwinn, Matrix, Stair Master and others starting this fall.
The Music app will be redesigned with exercise in mind as well, with automatic syncing with Apple Music and controls on the Watch while you listen with AirPods. You can also pick a playlist that automatically starts with your workout, giving you some extra on-wrist control.
There will also be more support for background apps, with native core Bluetooth support which could help with Dexcom’s glucose monitoring.
A Developers preview of watchOS 4 is available today, with the upgrade coming to Apple Watches everywhere later this fall.