During WWDC, Apple announced watchOS 5 for Apple Watch, a future software update which will bring new features. In what is described as a significant update, it will make Apple Watch a stronger companion for fitness, communication, and accessing information.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer went on to say “With the launch of watchOS 5, we’re excited to introduce new activity and communications features that will take the Watch to a whole new level.”
There are 8 notable new features watchOS 5 will bring to the Apple Watch. As a summary these include:
Apple Watch can track and record important information during 12 different types of workouts you do. watchOS 5 will add Yoga and Hiking to the list.
Forget to set or end a workout? Apple Watch will soon be able to alert you to start a correct workout or notify you if you’ve forgotten to end one. A feature which I think will be super useful!
As you complete your fitness and exercise goals, your Activity Rings can be shared with your friends. Apple is taking it one step further with watchOS 5 by allowing seven-day competitions between users.
This will allow you to invite another Apple Watch wearer to complete a weekly activity challenge. Along the way, you can earn points, receive coaching notifications, and win the week.
Those who love running will be able to take advantage of new high-performance features for running enthusiasts.
These features include a new cadence (steps per minute) metric for both indoor and outdoor runs and walks. There is also a new pace alarm to remind outdoor runners when they are behind or ahead of their designated target pace. Rolling kilometre pace, a new metric will also arrive which allows runners to see their pace for the immediately preceding kilometer in addition to their average or current pace.
Finally, Apple Watch can be used as a walkie-talkie, providing a new way to communicate. It works as easy as talking and a tap of the wrist, allowing you to get in touch with friends and family. This feature will work with any compatible Apple Watch user around the world over either Wi-fi or Cellular.
Apple Podcasts – listen to your favourite podcasts on the go
Siri Updates – The Siri watch face on Apple Watch now offers more predictive and proactive shortcuts throughout the day based on your routines, locations, and information. All made possible with Machine Learning.
Enhanced Notifications – Certain notifications can now be interactive without having to open the app itself.
Release Date and Eligible Models
The watchOS5 update will be available as a free update around the world in Spring in Australia. But for the first time, the original Apple Watch (Series 0) users will miss out on the update. This is because watchOS 5 will require Apple Watch Series 1 and later, an iPhone 5s or later with iOS 12.
You can learn more about the update, or purchase an Apple Watch from Apple’s website.