Apple today has revealed watchOS 7 today at its WWDC 2020 keynote.
watchOS 7 brings watch face sharing, sleep tracking, and automatic handwashing detection, and more. Here is a round up of what is new in watchOS 7.
“We’re energized by the positive impact Apple Watch is having on our customers and are excited to deliver meaningful new tools that support their health, fitness, and wellness,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “watchOS 7 brings sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types together with a whole new way to discover and use watch faces, helping our users stay healthy, active, and connected.”
Watch Faces and Sharing:
watchOS 7 brings new ways to discover and share unique combinations to completely configure the watch face to suit any activity or lifestyle, from the new parent to the surfing aficionado, tennis player, or photographer. Infinitely customizable and personalized faces, inclusive of complications, can be shared through Messages or Mail, and discovered through the App Store or even from links through websites and social media channels.
watchOS 7 also offers updates to faces for more personalization and greater access to favorite apps. Apple says that the beautifully detailed and ultraprecise Chronograph Pro includes a tachymeter to calculate speed based on time traveled over a fixed distance, the Photos face offers color filters, and the bold X-Large face now has an option to add a rich complication.
With watchOS 7, Apple Watch introduces sleep tracking, by providing valuable tools to help users get the desired amount of sleep, get to bed on time, and create a pre-bedtime routine to meet their sleep goals. Apple says that the detection of micro-movements from the watch’s accelerometer, which signals respiration during sleep, Apple Watch intelligently captures when the wearer is sleeping and how much sleep they get each night. In the morning, the wearer will see a visualization of their previous night’s sleep, including periods of wake and sleep. They will also see a chart showing their weekly sleep trend.
Automatic Handwashing Detection
watchOS 7 introduces Automatic Handwashing Detection. In the first-of-its-kind innovation for a wearable, Apple Watch uses motion sensors, microphones, and on-device machine learning to automatically detect handwashing motions and sounds. It then initiates a 20-second countdown timer, and if the user finishes early, they will be prompted to keep washing. Apple Watch can also conveniently remind the user to wash their hands when they return home.
The Health app on iPhone will show the frequency and duration of the user’s handwashing, as well as information on the importance of handwashing, as it relates to overall health. Sounds used to detect handwashing are not automatically recorded or saved by the Health app or Apple Watch.
watchOS 7 brings new workouts to the Workout app. watchOS 7 brings four exciting new workout types supported by powerful heart rate and custom-built motion algorithms: Core Training, Dance, Functional Strength Training, and Cooldown.
Additional watchOS 7 Updates
- For optimal convenience, while biking, cycling directions are available right on the wrist. Directions are large and easy to read, and Maps can direct when to dismount and walk the bike, or take the stairs to save time. The wearer can choose a route that avoids steep hills, gets to the destination the quickest, or takes the most direct path.
- Customers can now use Siri to translate many languages conveniently from the wrist, dictation is handled on device with the power of the Apple Neural Engine for faster and more reliable processing when dictating messages and more, and Apple Watch now supports Announce Messages with Siri. The Shortcuts app is also now available on Apple Watch and can be accessed as a complication.
- Developers can create graphic complications with SwiftUI, and new developer tools such as Xcode Previews make building them even easier.
- New complications for native features include: Camera Remote, Sleep, and Shortcuts.
- New Mobility Metrics available in the Health app include: low-range cardio fitness, walking speed, stair-descent speed, stair-ascent speed, six-minute walk distance, double support time, step length, and asymmetry. These metrics are important for the clinical community to monitor patients’ ability to move safely and easily as they age. Typically only measured in a lab setting, these metrics can be uniquely measured by Apple Watch and iPhone, and used by developers, such as Zimmer Biomet, a musculoskeletal healthcare company, in patient care and in management tools such as mymobility.
The developer beta of watchOS 7 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today. For the first time, Apple is a offering a public beta that will be available to watchOS users next month at beta.apple.com.
watchOS 7 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, or Apple Watch Series 5 paired with iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14 or later