Outside of the AirPods, the Apple Watch has arguably been the most innovative device in recent memory. It has gotten to the point that the Watch has become the best smartwatch on the market, and has pushed Android users to iOS just because of it.
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Apple took quite a bit of time to focus on new Apple Watch features during the WWDC 2020 Keynote. This was for a good reason, as there are a plethora of new features that are coming to your Apple Watch.
New Watch Faces
Getting the little stuff out of the way, Apple introduced a new Chronograph Pro watch face. This gives you access to four different complications, along with a Tachymeter and clock. There’s also a new Photos watch face with special filters and a new “X-Large” bold watch face that just displays the time.
Use more than one complication
In previous versions of watchOS, there was only one type of complication that could be used. That’s no longer the case with watchOS 7, as developers can now create more than one complication per app.
During the Keynote, the company shared an example of the Glow Baby app. This can give you multiple complications across your watch face, including bottle-feeding, nap times, and more. The sky is the limit for Watch Complications, and developers should have a field day.
Watch Face Sharing
Another year, another version of watchOS without third-party watch faces. It’s unclear why Apple continues to avoid making this possible, but the company now offers a different solution.
For the first time, you will be able to share your watch faces with others. If you happen upon an awesome new watch face while browsing the web, you can tap the Add Apple Watch Face button on your iPhone and it will be downloaded to your Watch.
But if there’s an app that is tied to that watch face, you will be prompted to download it. Then, you can have the exact same watch face that you found. Eventually, Apple is planning on having a dedicated landing page on your iPhone with customized watch faces that you can download and use.
Sleep better with your Watch
The App Store is great for finding apps to help you sleep better at night. But the truth is that these apps are still somewhat limited as they aren’t coming from Apple directly. With watchOS 7, your Apple Watch will now be able to track your sleep and will show the data on both your Watch and your iPhone.
When setting this up, you will be asked to enter your Sleep Goal and a Sleep Schedule. Then, a “Wind Down” screen will appear when it’s time to unwind for the day and get ready for bed. Once activated, your Apple Watch and iPhone automatically turn on Do Not Disturb and darkens the screen.
The next morning, you are woken up by either a silent haptic alarm or gentle sounds. The Watch will give you a breakdown of the day, including remaining battery life and an overview of how you slept.
For those who have a tendency to not charge your watch enough to last through the night will be notified if your battery is too low. The reminder will appear so that you can charge your Watch before heading to bed.
All of the data is synced across iCloud, and you can go back and adjust the data if need be. Just fire up the redesigned Health app and see how you slept.
The all-new Fitness app
In addition to slightly re-designing the Health app, Apple also took this release to rebrand the Activity app. Now, you will be able to access all of your Workouts, Awards, and Activity Trends from the new Fitness app.
Fitness gives you a better dashboard to view and access your workout activities. When it comes to viewing your data, what better way to do so than in a more streamlined app? Apple’s Fitness app does just that.
Shortcuts on your wrist
Another common request was for Apple to bring Siri Shortcuts to your Watch. Sure, you could activate them with Siri, but with watchOS 7, you can now add Shortcut complications right to your Watch.
This new feature is still being explored by everyone (including developers). But early indications are that you can have Shortcuts run automatically without needing to be interacted with or opening the Shortcuts app on your iPhone. Being able to run a shortcut automatically when you’re heading to the movies is going to be a real game-changer. Let alone whatever the Shortcuts guru’s like Federico Viticci end up finding.
Will watchOS 7 come to my Watch?
As is the case with every new software release, you’ll likely want to know and make sure that watchOS 7 will work with your Apple Watch. However, unlike the iPad and iPhone, the Apple Watch is seeing a few iterations removed from compatibility.
- Series 3
- Series 4
- Series 5
- Future editions
Furthermore, Apple has confirmed that not all of these features will be available even for those Apple Watches powered by watchOS 7. At this time, we aren’t sure exactly what versions of the Apple Watch will be affected, but it’s likely going to be the Series 3, and maybe the Series 4.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.