Apple held its annual WWDC conference on Monday, sharing a host of new updates and features for its ecosystem, and one of those is the introduction of watchOS 5, a preview of the updated software for its popular Apple Watch.
Key additions include Activity Sharing competitions, auto-workout detection, advanced running features, Walkie-Talkie, Apple Podcasts and third-party apps on the Siri watch face.
For Activity Sharing competitions, users will be able to invite another Apple Watch wearer to compete in a seven-day activity competition with watchOS 5. For running enthusiasts, the update includes a steps per minute metric for indoor and outdoor runs and walks, as well as a new pace alarm for outdoor runs that alerts users when they are behind or ahead of their designated target pace.
With Walkie-Talkie, users will be introduced to an entirely new way to communicate with voice and just with a tap of the wrist. The new watch-to-watch connection is fast and can be activated between any compatible Apple Watch users around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular.
watchOS 5 also allows users to listen to their favorite podcasts on the go with Apple Podcasts on Apple Watch and stream any podcast in the catalog by using Siri. Episodes will be automatically synced, and as they’re listened to on other devices, the app will automatically refresh with the latest episode.
The updated updated Siri watch face on Apple Watch now offers predictive and proactive shortcuts throughout the day based on routines, locations and information such as heart rate after a workout, commute time with Maps, or sports scores for a favorite team. Additionally, the Siri watch face will also show actionable content and enhanced notifications from favorite third-party apps like Nike+ Run Club and more.
Another standout feature is listed for students, replacing student ID cards. With a raise of the wrist, students can now gain access to places including the library, dorms and events, and pay for food and more around campus by adding simply their ID cards to Wallet on Apple Watch.
Furthermore, Apple also released a new watch face to celebrate LGBTQ Pride month, which users can now download from the Face Gallery in the Apple Watch app. Also, a Pride Edition woven nylon band has also dropped, and available now on Apple’s online store.
watchOS 5 will be available as a free update this fall for Apple Watch Series 1 and later, and requires an iPhone 5s or later on iOS 12. For more details, head on over to Apple.