After the introduction of iOS 14, the operating system with widgets as the main features, and iPadOS 14, Apple has introduced watchOS 7, the new version of its operating system for the Apple Watch. There are many new features to come, according to Apple, such as sleep monitoring, new sports modes, or improvements in the level of shortcuts.
In addition to these new features, there are also important changes for the iPhone, especially about the Activity application, which has even changed its name and, to some extent, its concept. New menus, a more compact interface, and the possibility of sharing spheres more easily.
New sports modes and the expected sleep monitoring
One of the most eagerly awaited features of watchOS for years was a native sleep measurement application. Apple has been slow but, according to what it has shown, the integration with this function looks good, even changing some aspects of the iPhone’s interface.
The watch will be able to make the corresponding sleep measurements, indicating the total time we have slept, start/end, and different graphs that will show the progression over the days. At the interface level, the screen will be turned off at night, more specifically when we set the time to go to bed. On the iPhone the interface will become more modern, giving us shortcuts to alarms, sounds, and other basic functions related to sleep.
According to Apple, “The Apple Watch uses the micromovements of the clock’s accelerometer, which varies according to breathing during sleep, to detect that the user is asleep and record the hours he or she sleeps each night. In the morning, the user can access data from the previous night, with information on the time spent awake and asleep. He will also be able to see an outline of the week’s trends.”
The Apple Watch uses the micromovements of the clock’s accelerometer to measure sleep, so you need to wear it. If the battery is low, it will alert users to charge it before going to sleep so that the measurement can be made.
Another great new feature of the watchOS 7 has to do with the various sports modes. Apple has added new training modes, including dance, abs training, and functional training, among others. These will be added to the already extensive list at the interface level of the Apple Watch, to monitor the workouts.
WatchOS 7 will automatically detect when we are washing our hands. The main objective is to show an interface that will count the seconds we are doing the process so that we do it in the right way (at least at the time level). Using the countdown and physical and sound feedback, it will count the washing time, which will stop when the clock detects that we are not washing our hands. A new feature that comes for health reasons and that is integrated into this new version of the system.
With watchOS 7, dozens of new dials will arrive, based on the different categories already in existence. As always, the dials will be customizable, so we will be able to use these designs as a basis for the dials we create ourselves. Another new feature is that now more complications can be added per app. That is, we will be able to have two shortcuts to different functions of an application. Likewise, we’ll be able to share our spheres with our contacts, something that couldn’t be done until now.
A great novelty at the level of faces is that we can download them from the Internet and add them directly to the clock. This opens the door to customization, as we were previously limited to the dials offered by Apple from its application.
The Activity application of the iPhone and the Apple Watch has also been improved at the interface level and is now called ‘Fitness’. The categories will be grouped in a single ‘Summary’ section, where both the activity of the day and the different workouts we have been doing will be shown, as well as all the information related to sports monitoring.
What is important concerning sports monitoring is that we have new mobility metrics available in the Health application, such as ‘low-range cardiovascular exercise’, ‘walking speed’, ‘descent speed’, ‘stair climbing speed’, ‘six-minute walking distance‘, and more.
Another new feature of watchOS 7 concerns bicycle routes. We will now receive directions from Apple maps while we are en route. This will show us the information regarding the time we have been on the route, kilometers traveled, and so on. In addition to these directions, the watch will give us directions on the routes themselves that we can follow.
The watchOS 7 Developer Beta is now available to members of the Apple Developer Program on their official website. The public beta for all watchOS users will be launched next month, with the final version expected in the fall. The devices that will receive this version will be the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, or Apple Watch Series 5 linked to an iPhone 6s or with iOS 14 or later.