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WatchOS 7: All the new tricks you can do with your Apple Watch

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Angela Lang / CNET This story is part of WWDC 2020. All the latest coverage from Apple’s WWDC Annual Developers Conference.

The Apple Watch ($ 399 at Apple) has learned some new tricks with WatchOS 7. Apple announced the latest software updates at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, taking a peek at the new features on the Apple Watch and releasing a new operating system. Open to the public in September. This update includes a new batch of watch faces, new workout options, and native sleep tracking. These last ones have been highly anticipated for many years.

These features are only compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 ($ 169 on Amazon) and later, but some features are for Series 5 only. Here’s a breakdown of the 10 major Apple Watch features you’ll want to try. ..

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Native sleep tracking finally arrives

The wait is over. Apple Watch users will finally be able to put their watch on their bed and track their sleep without having to download a third-party app. WatchOS 7 also helps users sleep on time by providing a way to relax from day to day with a calm bedtime routine. After bedtime, Apple Watch uses motion and heart rate sensors to determine when it drifts and block all notifications. In the morning, you can look back at your sleep cycle to see if you woke up in the middle of the night and see how it progressed over time.

To track your sleep, your Apple Watch needs to be charged at least 30% and recharged when you wake up. When your Apple Watch is fully charged, your phone will notify you that it’s ready.

Workout and “new” fitness app

Cycling directions are now displayed on the map.

Apple

That Zumba class may indicate that you’ve burned more calories in WatchOS 7. Apple has added dance, core training, functional strength, and cooldowns to its list of training options for Watch. As a result, Watch’s algorithms are specially tuned for these exercises, and calorie tracking is more accurate.

Cyclists will also be able to take advantage of Apple Maps’ new navigation capabilities to choose routes based on time to destination, total distance, or number of hills.

The activity app, which stores activity rings and daily summaries, has been rebranded in WatchOS 7. It’s called a fitness app on both Apple Watch and iPhone. The app is very similar on the Watch, but has been slightly redesigned on the iPhone. There is a more comprehensive summary page and a more intuitive way to find statistics at a glance.

Screenshots by Sarah Tew / CNET WatchOS 7 keep you honest about hand washing

You know that we are living an interesting era in which hand washing receives about as much airtime as sleep tracking for keynotes. Apple Watch uses a motion sensor and microphone to keep track of when you’re washing your hands and make sure you’re doing it right. If it is determined to be in the sink, a 20 second countdown will begin. This is the optimal period based on the CDC guidelines. It can even remind you to do it as soon as you step into your home.

Other health features

WatchOS 7 takes the noise app one step further by extending noise alerts to the headphone level. Apple Watch is already monitoring ambient noise and warns users when it reaches a level that can affect hearing loss. But now it works the same when listening to audio through headphones from either an iPhone, iPod, or Apple Watch. If you exceed the recommended volume or listening time specified by the World Health Organization, you will be alerted.

There are also new health indicators that help users understand their mobility and cardiovascular function. Elderly people and injuries can affect people’s balance and overall ability to move safely and effectively. Apple Watch uses motion sensors (and iPhone motion sensors) to get an idea of ​​what it will look like over time, similar to the usual “6-minute walk test” in the lab. Sharing this data with your doctor will help you detect mobility problems before they affect your health.

Share and discover new watch faces

Apple hasn’t allowed third-party watch faces yet, but there are other ways to personalize your Apple Watch by customizing existing templates or adding multiple complications from the same app. Watch wearers can also share watch faces with each other via text, email and social media, and discover other looks curated by a particular company.

Apple Watch also has a new Chronograph Pro option with an analog-style tachymeter that measures speed and distance, as well as an oversized text option and a new photo filter. It will also allow you to add new complications to Apple’s camera, remote, sleep, and shortcut apps.

Car key function turns the clock into a key fob

With the update, Apple Watch can become a key fob for your car. You can’t grant car key permissions like the iPhone, but if it’s shared via the wallet app, you can accept them. The car key feature is only available on Apple Watch Series 5 and above (assuming you get Series 6 in the fall) and is currently only compatible with some BMW models.

Apple Watch Replyes Inline to Messages App Other iOS Features Apple Watch can read back text when Siri connects to earphones Apple Watch gets a translation app that allows users to translate the entire conversation.

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