Apple has released watchOS 4, featuring a “proactive” Siri watch face, personalized Activity coaching and a new music experience. The update also sports an enhanced Workout app and introduces GymKit, a technology platform that will offer customers connected workouts with cardio equipment.
Siri intelligence extends further into Apple Watch with the new Siri watch face. With each raise of the wrist, the information on the display dynamically updates based on the time of day, daily routines and pertinent data from apps such as Activity, Alarms, Breathe, Calendar, Maps, Reminders and Wallet, as well as headlines from the new Apple News app for Apple Watch, according to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
With watchOS 4, the Activity app delivers “intelligent coaching and tailored encouragement” to help close Activity Rings more often and achieve longer success streaks. Every morning, users will receive a personalized notification if they’re close to earning an Achievement, or suggest what they can do to match yesterday’s activity levels.
If needed, toward the end of the day, they’ll be told exactly how long they should walk to close their Activity Rings before the day is over. Users will also receive unique Monthly Challenges designed just for them.
The redesigned Music app automatically syncs your New Music Mix, Favorites Mix and most listened to music. However, you can no longer browse your iPhone’s music library after updating to watchOS 4; you can only view songs stored on the smartwatch itself. Previously, users could use Force Touch or scroll up in the Music app’s main menu to choose a source — such as your iPhone.
The updated Workout app now includes auto-sets for pool swim workouts and new motion and heart rate algorithms for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. With watchOS 4, customers doing back-to-back workouts or training for a triathlon can combine multiple workouts to capture overall calorie and time measurements.
With GymKit, customers using their favorite cardio equipment will soon be able to pair their Apple Watch directly to treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes or stair steppers from global manufacturers such as Life Fitness and Technogym with a tap, says Williams. He says that, in an industry first, data not previously communicated between smartwatch and fitness machine will sync seamlessly — including calories, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline and pace — resulting in the most accurate measurements possible with less device management.
In addition to the Siri watch face, new Toy Story watch faces bring to life favorite Pixar characters including Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear, while the Kaleidoscope watch face turns static images into mesmerizing patterns. New complications include Now Playing and Apple News. Support for Apple Pay Cash and person to person transfers will arrive later this year.