During the WWDC keynote today Apple officially announced watchOS 6. The next operating system for Apple Watch will come with new features including new apps, watch faces and complications, a dedicated App Store, and more.
A variety of watch faces will be arriving with watchOS 6. The new watch faces are the Solar Dial, California, Modular Compact, Gradient, and Numerals watch faces. New Complications are also arriving including noise and wind.
Apple will also be bringing the Audiobook app to Apple Watch, along with the Calculator, and Voice Memos. The new software will also offer Taptic Chimes as a new alert option.
watchOS 6 marks the introduction of a dedicated App Store for Apple Watch apps. Users will be able to search, discover, and download apps directly on the wearable, making the device less reliant on iPhone and likely boosting the awareness and adoption of new watch apps.
Apple also announced new health and fitness features for watchOS including “Trends” to see how your activity compares over time as well as Highlights and Favorites. Another new health feature for both Apple Watch and iPhone is “Cycles” that allows users to track their menstrual cycles.
watchOS 6 advances health and fitness capabilities for Apple Watch
Introducing Cycle Tracking, Noise app, Activity Trends and App Store Right on the Wrist
San Jose, California — Apple today previewed watchOS 6, which empowers Apple Watch users to better manage their health and fitness, and gives access to dynamic new watch faces and the App Store directly on Apple Watch.
“Apple Watch has become an indispensable part of our customers’ everyday lives, from helping users stay connected to the people and information they care about, to inspiring them to live a better and more active day,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “watchOS 6 extends our commitment to helping users better manage their health and fitness with powerful and personal new tools.”
Health and Fitness
The new Cycle Tracking app gives women the ability to log important information related to their menstrual cycles and see predicted timing for their next period and fertile window using the convenience of Apple Watch.1 The daily log function enables the quick addition of information related to the menstrual cycle, including current period, flow, symptoms, results from ovulation prediction kits and other elements of fertility tracking. The new Cycle Tracking feature is also available in the Health app on iPhone with iOS 13.
Maintenance of hearing health positively impacts the quality of life and studies have shown that hearing loss has been associated with cognitive decline.2 With the optimal position of Apple Watch on the wrist, the Noise app helps users understand the sound levels in environments such as concerts and sporting events that could negatively impact hearing. As the sound levels change, the app’s decibel meter moves in real time. The watch can send a notification if the decibel level reaches 90 decibels, which can begin to impact hearing after four hours per week of exposure at this level, according to the World Health Organization.
Customers are passionate about closing their Activity rings and the new Trends tab in the Activity app on iPhone now gives users a long-term view of their activity behavior to help them understand their progress. At a glance, the tab shows whether the trends are up or down for key metrics such as active calories, exercise minutes, walking pace and others. If the last 90 days of activity shows a downward trend relative to the last 365 days, the Activity app offers coaching to help the user get back on track.
App Store and Apps
For the first time, watchOS 6 brings the App Store directly to Apple Watch. Users can easily install third-party apps, search for apps using Siri, dictation or Scribble and view app product pages designed for the watch screen right from the wrist. Developers can build Apple Watch-only apps, created to work independently on Apple Watch without an iOS app.
Additional watchOS 6 Updates
watchOS 6 introduces dynamic new watch faces and customization options offering more personalization and access to favorite apps, contacts and information. These include: Modular Compact, Solar Dial, California, Gradient and Numerals faces.
New developer tools include an audio API to stream music, radio and podcasts, an API to give extended runtime to session-based tasks, such as physical therapy and meditation, and Core ML now uses the Apple Neural Engine on Apple Watch Series 4, enabling faster processing of on-device inputs.
The popular Voice Memos app is now available on Apple Watch.
Audiobooks purchased on Apple Books are now available to listen to directly from the new Audiobooks app on the watch.
The new Calculator app helps with tip calculations and splitting checks right from the wrist.
Siri search queries can display webpage results in full on Apple Watch.
Apple GymKit compatibility extends to manufacturers Octane Fitness, TRUE Fitness and Woodway, connecting Apple Watch to more cardio equipment in clubs around the world.