Apple has given an insight into new health and fitness capabilities and features coming to Apple Watch models. Arriving in a future free software update called watchOS 6, Apple Watch will gain Cycle Tracking, environmental noise management, App Store, new Watch faces, and more.
Empowering Apple Watch wearers to better manage their health and fitness is a key aspect to the update. And builds on top of the already many health and fitness-related features of Apple Watch.
New Health and Fitness
Three new health and fitness capabilities will arrive to Apple Watch which include:
Cycle Tracking: Giving Women the ability to log important information related to their menstrual cycle, And get a notification predicting their next period and fertile window.
Environmental Noise: A new Noise app is capable of automatically registering the environmental noise surrounding you. If the decibel level reaches above 90 then Apple Watch will alert you via a notification. This is because, according to the World Health Organisation, exposure to this level after 4 hours per week can lead to hearing loss which will no doubt impact the quality of life.
Activity Trends: A new Trends tab within the Activity app on the iPhone will display a long-term view of activity behaviour and personalised progress. An up or down trend will display for key metrics such as active kilojoules, exercise minutes, walking pace, and more. A ‘Worth A Look’ section will provide coaching on how you can improve in certain areas.
Health and Fitness data collected by a wearer’s Apple Watch is personal. Therefore, all information is encrypted and stored locally on device – be your own personal iPhone or Apple Watch. And will be stored encrypted in iCloud only if you choose to do so. Audio and sounds are not recorded or sent to Apple, only the decibel level is being registered by the watch.
The App Store will be arriving on the Apple Watch for the first time. Providing the ability to download and install third-party apps directly from Apple Watch.
Apple has also given developers the ability to make Apple Watch-only Apps without the requirement that they must also run on the iPhone. And the ability to implement new streaming capabilities into their apps. For example, streaming of music, radio, and podcasts. All of this will result in a lot more Apps and therefore, features and services for Apple Watch.
New Apps and Watch Faces
Apple has made a number of new Apps and Watch faces for Apple Watch which too will arrive with watchOS 6. These include:
Calculator App including tip calculations and splitting of checks features
Audio Books app for listening to audiobooks purchased from the new Apple Books store.
New customisable dynamic watch faces. These include Modular Compact, Solar, Gradient and Numerals faces.
Availability and Compatible Models
Apple has confirmed watchOS 6 will be a free update to all Apple Watch models with the exception of the first-generation (known as Series 0). Some features and services vary between models because of newer Apple Watch models, such as the Series 4, contains better and/or new hardware including sensors.
The release of watchOS 6 is slated in Australia for sometime during Spring.
Apple Watch models can be purchased from Apple’s online store. All models sold today will come with watchOS 5.