WatchOS 4: Top four new features

watchOS 4
watchOS 4. Image: Apple

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6 June 2017 | 0

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, there are some cool new ways to interact with your Watch, including a fun addition to the screen you see the most. Here are four things to get excited about:

Faces
While Apple still hasn’t opened up watch faces API to third-party developers, it has created some fresh ones to choose from. 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.

A trippy Kaleidoscope face shows a symmetrical pattern that changes throughout the day. 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.

Fitness
The Apple Watch is 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 Center 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.

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