watchOS 4: Top four new features you need to know from WWDC

Michael Simon
7 June, 2017
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The Apple Watch might still feel like a new product, but we’re already on the fourth version of the OS. Apple’s latest features, announced Monday at WWDC in San Jose, are refinements rather than major improvements. Still, they bring some cool new ways to interact with our watches and add a little fun to the screen we see the most. Here are the things we can’t wait to try out:

 

Faces

The main thing we care about when it comes to Apple Watch is changing how the time is displayed. While Apple still hasn’t opened up the API to third-party developers, it has created some fresh faces. First up is a Siri face, which taps into the AI’s proactive smarts to display information relevant to your day, including weather, upcoming events, tickets, news, photo memories, activity tracking and home control.

watchos4 faces

 

A trippy Kaleidoscope face shows a symmetrical pattern that changes throughout the day (insert High Sierra joke here). But the most fun of all have to be the ones based on three classic Toy Story characters, Woody, Jesse and Buzz Lightyear. Instead of using their arms to portray the hour and minute hands, the faces are fully animated and feature fun little vignettes when you activate them. To bedtime and beyond!

Fitness

Our Apple Watch is pretty much the only reason why we ever do anything that even resembles exercise and it’s getting even more fitness features in watchOS 4. In the Activity app you’ll now get daily words of inspiration and a boost at the end of the day to close your rings, as well as monthly challenges and full-screen goal effects. The Workout app lets you quickly tap to start a routine, features high-intensity interval training monitoring, automatically starts with your workout with a playlist and lets you add new multiple sessions on the fly.

If you use high-end gym equipment to burn your calories, two-way data exchange will keep your metrics in sync. Apple has partnered with LifeFitness, Cybex, Matrix, TechnoGym, Schwinn, Star Trac and StairMaster to equip their machines with NFC readers that will seamlessly sync to your watch.

Music

If you use your watch to listen to music, you’re going to love watchOS 4. In addition to a new design that lets you literally flip through your songs and albums, the new app will bring some AI smarts that learns what you listen to the most. You’ll also have access to more of your favourite songs. You’ll be able to store more of them on your watch, and if you’re an Apple Music subscriber, the playlists it creates for you will automatically sync to your wrist.

Flashlight

How many times have you reached for your phone when you needed a flashlight in a tight spot? Now you’ll be able to tap a new flashlight icon in the Control Centre to turn your watch face into a digital torch, letting you see or be seen in dark places. Apple suggested it could act as a bicycle light for nighttime riding, for instance.

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