Apple is expected to roll out watchOS 7, the next big software update to the Apple Watch, real soon. (In fact, they might roll it out as soon as tomorrow when the Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to be officially announced.) It’s going to bring new features to existing Apple Watch models, including the Series 3, Series 4, Series 5 and the Series 6(?).
If you have an older Apple Watch model, either a Series 2 or Series 1, it won’t be compatible with watchOS 7. But if you’re envious, this might be the perfect excuse to actually upgrade to a newer Apple Watch.
An all-new Sleep app.
Sleep tracking has probably the most-requested feature for the Apple Watch and now it’s here. It work basically the same as the third-party sleep tracking apps that have already been available for the Apple Watch, showing you your sleep data for each night, as well as compare it to other nights. The data it collects will integrate with Apple’s Heath app.
Naturally, using sleep tracking is going to drain the battery of your Apple Watch much quicker (which is the biggest reason why Apple hadn’t added it before watchOS 7). To combat this, your Apple Watch will notify you if its battery is below 30 percent and its getting close to your normal bedtime; this will remind put it on the charger so it doesn’t die while you’re sleeping.
More watch faces, more customization.
Just like how iOS 14 is bringing some radically new customization features to the iPhone, in the form of widgets and the ability to hide Home screen pages, watchOS 7 will bring similar features to the Apple Watch. For the first time on the Apple Watch, watchOS 7 is going to allow you to customize your watch faces — at least a little bit.
There will be a new Photos watch face where you make one of your photos as your default watch face, as well as a Chronograph Pro watch face that has an integrated tachymeter and also gives you the ability to add more complications. WatchOS 7 is going to allow you to quickly access to your most-used Apple Watch apps right from the watch face, too.
Finally, watchOS 7 is going to make it easy for you to share your watch faces with friends and family. Apple claims that you’ll be able to share watch faces via iMessage, email and posting a link online. You’ll also be able to find and download new creative watch faces on the App Store.
A (sort-of) new Fitness app.
Apple is doing a bit of house keeping and, with iOS 14 and watchOS 7, it is officially renaming the Activity app — from here on out, it’s going to be known as the Fitness app. The new Fitness app will still be the place to go to keep track of your health, fitness and overall wellness, but Apple is giving it a fresh redesign and interface.
Maybe most significantly, the Fitness app is going to add a total of four new workouts. There will be workout options for “Functional Strength Training” and “Core Training,” as well as “Cooldown” workout for right after you finish with your actual workout. Lastly, there will be a “Dance” option to track your dance class workout.
An improved cycling companion.
The Apple Watch has been able to track your cycling workouts for some time, but watchOS 7 is making the smartwatch an even better companion for cyclists. It’s adding cycling routes and directions to the Maps app on the Apple Watch. Cyclists will be able to search a route and get a reliable cycling route, as well as information like distance and elevation, or if there are bike lanes to use. There’s also the option to add stops along the way, with Maps gaining the ability to add helpful and intuitive detours, in case you want to break up your ride by stopping for coffee or at a friend’s house.
The improved cycling routes and directions feature on the Maps app will be available in “select cities” once watchOS 7 rolls out.
Hand washing advice.
Your Apple Watch will now be able to detect when you’re washing your heads, and it’ll let you know if you’re doing so properly. It’ll be able to detect if you’re washing your hands listening for the sound of a sink or running water. Once it hears it, the Apple Watch will start a timer for 20 second just so you know that you’ve done it for long enough. If you don’t want your Apple Watch telling you to wash your hands (understandably), then you’ll be able to turn off the feature.
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