Apple is set to release watchOS 4, the latest Apple Watch update, this fall. The software update will bring multiple features to the device, including improvements with Apple Pay and ways to boost your workouts.
The company revealed watchOS 4 at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June alongside iOS 11, for iPhones and iPads, and macOS High Sierra, for computers.
There are several watchOS 4 features to be excited about.
Apple announced iOS 11 will support person-to-person payments, and it’s doing the same with watchOS 4. Users will be able to send and receive money using their Apple Watch. With watchOS 4, device owners can ask Siri to send funds to friends and family. Users can also request and receive money on their Apple Watch in Messages.
Apple introduced the Apple Cash Card for iOS 11 and watchOS 4 at WWDC. With the Apple Cash Card, users can add funds to the card, use it to send money to others, transfer funds to their bank account or pay at stores and in apps.
The payment-to-payment feature will be useful for Apple Watch owners, and means they won’t have to download an app like Venmo on their iPhone to send and receive money.
Syncing Gym Data
Apple announced at WWDC it was opening the NFC chip in devices to developers for iOS 11, which suggests the technology won’t only be used for Apple Pay. With the NFC chip, users could get more information on products when going to a store, like price history, ingredients and recipes.
With watchOS 4, the NFC chip will sync how many calories you burned on a treadmill at the gym to your Apple Watch with just a tap. The two-way data exchange with gym equipment means you won’t have to calculate how many calories you burned throughout the day. The feature will be compatible with gym equipment from Life Fitness, MS Artrix, Schwinn, Cybex, Technogym, Stair Master and Star Trac, all you have to do is get your Apple Watch next to an NFC reader on the machines.
WatchOS 4 will try to better assist users with a Siri watch face that displays important information, like upcoming calendar events and flights. The update also comes with an improved News app, which displays headlines curated to the user’s interests. With watchOS 4, device owners can tap on a headline to read a summary of the article or save it to read on an iPhone afterwards.
Do Not Disturb
For iOS 11, Apple released a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature, which blocks calls and messages while a user is driving. The Cupertino company is doing something similar with watchOS 4. The software update will come with a Do Not Disturb feature that will halt interruptions, such as emails and texts, during workouts.
Quick Start and Quick Switch
The Apple Watch update will come with numerous health and workout features, including a Quick Start mode. The feature allows users to jump into a workout session with just a tap. WatchOS 4 also comes with a Quick Switch feature, which lets people change the types of workouts they’re doing in a session. It’ll also be easier for users to add workouts with the new update, by swiping to the left and tapping on the plus icon.
WatchOS 4 will work better for swimmers with its updated Pool Swim workout with auto-sense. The Apple Watch will be able to automatically track set paces and rests, as well as distances for each stroke type. With watchOS 4, the device will also have the ability to collect surfboard data by counting calories.
The new update will allow the Apple Watch to act as coach by displaying progress dates and achievement alerts. The device will send users evening reminders to improve daily workouts, like suggesting a 10-minute walk at night. WatchOS 4 will also provide users with personalized monthly challenges, based on what the person has achieved in the previous month.
The update will also help with those who want to keep track of their sugar with glucose monitoring and will come with a better Music app.