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watchOS 7 features, release date and compatibility

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Apple revealed the next version of its Apple Watch operating system, watchOS 7, during its Worldwide Developer Conference in June and it’s loading the software with big changes.

Here’s everything you need to know about the features coming to Apple Watch with watchOS 7, as well as when it will be available.

Sleep Tracking

watchOS 7 is finally getting a new Sleep Tracking feature along with a new Bedtime feature. The latter will help you in winding down before you go to sleep. This includes enabling Do Not Disturb on your iPhone and showing relevant shorts on your iPhone’s lock screen. When in Sleep mode, your Apple Watch display will automatically turn off. The alarm on the wearable will be haptic based and it won’t play any sound to ensure you don’t disturb your partner.

Handwashing

No more having to hum the “happy birthday” song to yourself twice, as the Apple Watch is getting a new hand washing coaching feature in watchOS 7, complete with a 20-second countdown and haptic feedback.

New Workouts

The Workouts app is getting a new Dance workout feature that will track some of the most popular dance movements out there. The app is now also better at tracking Core workouts and there’s a new Cooldown workout as well. The Activity app on the iPhone is getting renamed to Fitness and it will now show new data metrics related to your workout in a new UI.

Wind Down mode

A new Wind Down mode is also coming to Apple Watch with watchOS 7, working with your iPhone to help you wind down for bed – as the name suggests. You can do things like snooze notifications, open meditation apps, or turn on a music playlist. You can even activate smart home presets.

Siri

WatchOS 7 will give you access to many of the new Siri updates that are coming with iOS 14. The new on-device dictation should improve voice-to-text messaging and results to search queries. You can use the new translation features to hold conversations in other languages directly from your wrist and the Apple Watch will also support Announce Messages with Siri when watchOS 7 arrives.

Watch faces

With watchOS 7, developers will be able to offer more customisable complications for their apps, as well as more than one complication per app. For example, Glow Baby could offer complications including bottle-feeding, breastfeeding, pumping statistics and nap times, allowing parents to select the complication that best suits what they need. Meanwhile Dawn Patrol could offer complications for tide, wind speed and water temperature, allowing surfers to select what they want.

Users will also be able to share their uniquely configured watch faces in watchOS 7. So, if a friend has a watch face layout you want, they can share it with you via a URL or message. One new watch face Apple previewed at WWDC 2020 is the Chronograph Pro, which includes a tachymeter to calculate speed based on time traveled over a fixed distance.

Hearing protection

The WHO recommends that humans only listen to sounds above 80 decibels for 40 hours a week, which, coincidentally, is easy to do if you’re an avid headphone user. With watchOS 7, your Apple Watch will let you know once you’ve reached that limit in a given week, and it’ll give you options to protect your hearing.

watchOS 7 release date

The watchOS 7 developer beta is already live for developers to test. Apple said the first watchOS 7 public beta will launch in July.

In terms of an official release date, Apple will likely be ready to deploy watchOS 7 sometime around autumn 2020 – when the Watch Series 6 is also due.

Related Post: iOS 14 features, release date and compatibility

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