Apple WatchOS 5 goes all out with a focus on fitness this year

Yesterday we did a roundup of Apple’s announcements at the WWDC 2018 conference. We’re going to dive into the WatchOS update a little more now to see what nice shiny things Apple added to the interface.

WatchOS 5

The newest update is the fifth installment in the line of OS upgrades to the Apple Watch firmware. With the new update, Apple becomes a stronger companion along the lines of communication, fitness and information access all without the hassle of a smartphone.

 

Fitness features

Of all the updates, fitness seems to be the key focus for Apple’s new WatchOS 5. Users will now be able to invite and participate against other Apple Watch wearers in a seven-day activity competition. They will compete to finish and close Activity rings and win the week against the competitor.

Auto-Workout Detection provides users with an alert to start the correct workout as required. This feature also alerts users to end inactive workout sessions. Some new workout features have been added including Yoga and Hiking.

WatchOS 5 has improved features targeted at runners, including new step counters for indoor or outdoor sessions. There is also an alarm to let users know when they are behind their workout targets or if they’ve overshot it.

Walkie Talkie features

WatchOS 5 finally introduces the Walkie Talkie feature, which involves just a tap on the wrist followed by voice. It’s a quirky and easy way to get in touch with fellow users. Unfortunately, as of now the feature is not available in the UAE, China and Pakistan.

Other Apple features

Users can listen to their favourite podcasts directly on the watch now, and are automatically synced to the watch, if listened to on other devices.

Using machine learning, Siri on the Apple Watch has been updated to be a better personal assistant. It comes with more predictive and proactive shortcuts throughout the day based on various information. Routines, locations and information such as heart rate after a workout, commute time with Maps at the appropriate time of day or sports scores for a favourite team are all relayed to the user based on need. Third-party apps such as Nike+ Run Club, Glow Baby and Mobike will show actionable content on the Siri interface.

In the US, the Apple WatchOS 5 replaces student ID cards. Students need to just show their watch to gain access to libraries, laboratories, dorm rooms, various events and other accessible areas.

Availability

WatchOS 5 will be available later this year as a free update and requires iPhone 5S or later with iOS 12 to be compatible. As mentioned earlier, some features may not be available in all regions and are subject to availability.