At WWDC 2018, Apple has previewed watchOS 5 – a significant update to it's most popular watch, that promises to help users stay healthy and connected. Apple Watch claims to be a new companion for fitness, communication and quick access to information with new features including Activity Sharing competitions, auto-workout detection, advanced running features, Walkie-Talkie, Apple Podcasts and third-party apps on the Siri watch face.
watchOS 5 now enables users to invite another Apple Watch wearer to compete in a seven-day Activity competition, earning points for closing Activity Rings, while receiving coaching notifications to help stay engaged and win the week.
Auto-Workout Detection and new Workouts
watchOS brings new auto-workout detection that provides an alert to start the correct workout and gives retroactive credit. This feature also offers a reminder to end workout sessions after a period of inactivity if the user forgets. On the other hand, Yoga and Hiking join 12 other dedicated workout types, accurately tracking active calories burned and exercise minutes earned.
New Running Features
Targeting running enthusiasts watchOS 5 brings a new cadence (steps per minute) metric for indoor and outdoor runs and walks, as well as a new pace alarm for outdoor runs that alerts users when they are behind or ahead of their designated target pace. A new metric — rolling mile pace — is introduced as an additional option for runners to see their pace for the immediately preceding mile in addition to their average pace or current pace.
watchOS 5 introduces Walkie-Talkie for Apple Watch, as the name suggests it acts as a walkie-talkie – a feature that offers quick voice communication with any Apple Watch user with voice and tapping on the wrist. This new watch-to-watch connection claims to be fast, personal and can be activated between any compatible Apple Watch users around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular.
Users can now listen to their favourite podcasts on the go with Apple Podcasts on Apple Watch and stream any podcast in the catalogue by using Siri. Episodes will automatically sync to Apple Watch, and as they’re listened to on other devices, the app will automatically refresh with the latest episode. A new feature for developers allows music, audiobooks and meditation sessions from apps such as Pandora, Audible and 10% Happier to be synced to Apple Watch for playback offline without the user’s iPhone nearby.
Using machine learning, the updated Siri watch face now offers more predictive and proactive shortcuts throughout the day based on routines, locations and information such as heart rate after a workout, commute time with Maps at the appropriate time of day or sports scores for a favourite team. The Siri watch face will also show actionable content from favourite third-party apps such as Nike+ Run Club, Glow Baby and Mobike.
Notifications from third-party apps can now have interactive controls and be used without needing to open the app.
Student ID Cards
With watchOS 5, Apple Watch promises to replace Student ID cards. The OS brings a new feature through which students can add their ID cards to the Wallet on the Apple Watch. Once added, students with a raise of the wrist, can gain access to places including the library, dorms and events, and pay for snacks, laundry and dinners around campus.
Apple also released a new watch face to celebrate Pride, which Apple Watch users can download from the Face Gallery in the Apple Watch app. The Pride Edition Woven Nylon band is updated with a new rainbow stripe with a donation being made to the following LGBTQ advocacy organisations: Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, ILGA, PFLAG, The National Center for Transgender Equality and The Trevor Project. Apple also introduced new summer band colours in Marine Green, Peach and Sky Blue.
watchOS 5 will be available this fall as a free update for Apple Watch Series 1 and later and requires iPhone 5s or later on iOS 12. watchOS 5 will not be available on the original Apple Watch. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions....