Apple unveiled the latest versions of its operating systems during WWDC 2020 earlier today. At its first online-only developers conference, the company unveiled watchOS 7 for the Apple Watch. The new version of watchOS brings a few missing features such as sleep tracking and it also brings new watch faces, new complications, tracking for more workout types, cycling directions, improved Siri with language translation, and better privacy.
watchOS 7 is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, and the Apple Watch Series 5. The first developer beta version of watchOS 7 has been released, and the final version will be released as a free software update this fall. For the first time, Apple will also release a public beta version of watchOS 7 next month. You can read how to download and install watchOS 7 on the Apple Watch using our tutorial.
Now, let us have a look at the top features of watchOS 7.
watchOS 7: The Best Features
1. New Watch Faces & New Complications
Apple is bringing more customizability to watch faces, and you can add complications from as many apps as they want. The company is offering a way to discover complications and you can even share your custom watch faces with other Apple Watch users through Messages or email. More than one complication from a single app can be added to a watch face. Watch faces can be discovered from links, websites, and even social media channels.
Existing watch faces have been updated as well to offer greater customizability. You can add apps and complications to watch faces to create your own versions. New complications include Camera Remote, Sleep, and Shortcuts. The Chronograph Pro watch face now includes tachymeter to calculate speed based on time and distance traveled. The Photos watch face allows adding filters to selected images, while the X-Large watch face now has an option to add a complication.
2. Sleep Tracking
This is probably the most important feature that Apple introduced with watchOS 7. This feature automatically measures your sleep time through accelerometer and gyro information, and offers insightful data such as sleep quality, sleep goal completion, a period when a user was awake, average sleep time, and average time in bed. It shows sleep record over a period of time such as a week or a month. All the data is encrypted and synced between compatible devices that are tied to the same iCloud account.
You can set their sleep and wake time schedules, and create pre-bedtime routines to meet their sleep goals. The Wind Down feature helps a user prepare for sleep, while routines in the Home app can help turning the lights off so that an Apple Watch user can gently go to sleep. Silent alarms help you in waking up, and shows important information such as battery level. If the Apple Watch battery level is low, watchOS 7 will also remind you to charge the Apple Watch within an hour of bedtime.
3. Fitness App, Workout Types, Mobility Metrics
The Workout app can now measure four new workout types: Cooldown, Core Training, Dance, and Functional Strength Training. It uses data from the Apple Watch’s accelerometer, gyrosensor, and the heart rate monitor to accurately measure these workouts. watchOS 7 will also support four new Dance types: Bollywood, Cardio, Hip-Hop, and Latin.
The redesigned activity app on the Apple Watch and the iPhone is now called Fitness, and it shows all types of activities, activity trends, awards, and workouts in a simple layout. Users can even compare their activity and workout metrics with other Apple Watch users using the new app.
The new Health app inside watchOS 7 shows various mobility metrics such as asymmetry, low-range cardio fitness, six-minute walk distances, stair ascend and descend speeds, and walking speed. These metrics are quite helpful for doctors and health professionals to check up on a patient’s ability to move easily and safely.
4. Cycling Directions
Apple is trying to bring cycling directions to all of its products. It has been integrated into the Apple Maps app for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur. With watchOS 7, you can see cycling directions on the Apple Watch. It shows information such as elevation, traffic, and the presence of bike lanes. You can also choose cycling directions that take you the quickest to the destination, the most direct path, or a route that avoids steep hills.
Cycling directions also displays text in larger fonts so that you can view important information such as turns and directions easily. The feature also shows you when you have to walk the bike and take the stairs in a cycling route.
5. Automatic Hand Wash Detection
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become inherently important to stay clean and wash hands regularly to stay free from germs and viruses. With watchOS 7, Apple has started automatically detecting if you are washing your hands with the help of hand movements, audio from the microphone, and on-device machine learning.
The watch then initiates a 20-second countdown timer. If you stop washing hands earlier than 20 seconds, the Apple Watch reminds you to wash hands for a bit longer to meet the goal. watchOS 7 also reminds you to regularly wash your hands. It also shows you a report that includes the frequency and duration of your handwashing.
watchOS 7 adds more hearing health measurement and information. You can now understand how loudly you’re listening to media through headphones on your Apple Watch, iPhone, or iPod Touch. watchOS 7 also shows how it will affect your ability to hear over time. Based on WHO’s (World Health Organization) recommendations, Apple Watch running watchOS 7 will notify a user if they’ve crossed the same limit of hearing media through headphones.
You can also see how long you’ve been exposed to high decibels each week. watchOS 7 can automatically lower volume levels when it notices high headphone volume levels and even turn off audio through headphones when necessary. All of this data is recorded by the Health app on the Apple Watch and the paired iPhone.
7. Siri For Language Translation, Announcing Messages
Apple is introducing its own language translation feature with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, and watchOS 7. There’s no dedicated app on watchOS 7, but you can quickly use Siri for language conversion. You can use the Apple Watch’s microphone to dictate words and sentences, and ask Siri to convert it to another language (from the set of supported languages). All the dictation is handled on the device through the Apple Neural Engine.
Siri can also be used to announce incoming messages on the Apple Watch running watchOS 7. The Shortcuts app is also available on the Apple Watch starting with watchOS 7, and you can use it as a complication on any of the watch faces.
8. Improved Privacy
Continuing on Apple’s focus on user data privacy, Apple claims that all of your activity, fitness, and health-related data is encrypted on the device or in iCloud. Your data is always in your control with watchOS 7.
Tell Us Your Favorite watchOS 7 Features
While we’ve listed all the important features that have been introduced with watchOS 7, why don’t you tell us which features that you are most excited about?