Apple WWDC: watchOS 6 Features

By Noah Long ● June 4, 2019
  • What are the watchOS 6 features? This article answers that question.

At the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple previewed watchOS 6 — which gives Apple Watch users more ways to manage their health and fitness. And it gives access to dynamic new watch faces and the App Store directly on the Apple Watch. watchOS 6 will be launching later this fall.

Health And Fitness Features

ADVERTISEMENT

There is a new Cycle Tracking app that gives women the ability to log important information related to their menstrual cycles and see predicted timing for their next period and fertile window using the Apple Watch. And the daily log function enables the quick addition of information related to the menstrual cycle such as current period, flow, symptoms, results from ovulation prediction kits, and other fertility tracking elements

Cycle Tracking app

Hearing health positively impacts the quality of life and studies show that hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline. The Apple Watch features a Noise app that helps users understand the sound levels in environments like concerts and sporting events, which could negatively impact hearing. As the sound levels change, the app’s decibel meter moves in real-time. The Apple Watch will be able to send a notification if the decibel level reaches 90 decibels, which can impact hearing after four hours per week of exposure at this level, according to the World Health Organization.

ADVERTISEMENT

Customers have been passionate about closing their Activity rings and the new Trends tab in the Activity app on the iPhone now gives users a long-term view of their activity behavior to help them understand progress. And at a glance, the tab shows whether the trends are up or down key metrics like active calories, exercise minutes, walking pace, and several others. For example, if the last 90 days of activity shows a downward trend relative to the last 365 days, the Activity app provides coaching to help the user get back on track.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Apple Watch has become an indispensable part of our customers’ everyday lives, from helping users stay connected to the people and information they care about, to inspiring them to live a better and more active day,” said Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams. “watchOS 6 extends our commitment to helping users better manage their health and fitness with powerful and personal new tools.”

App Store

watchOS 6 is bringing the App Store directly to the Apple Watch. This way users can easily install third-party apps, search for apps using Siri, dictation or Scribble, and view app product pages designed for the watch screen right from the wrist. Plus developers can build Apple Watch-only apps which are created to work independently on Apple Watch without an iOS app.

More watchOS 6 Updates

watchOS 6 includes new watch faces and customization options offering more personalization and access to favorite apps, contacts, and information. This includes Modular Compact, Solar Dial, California, Gradient, and Numerals faces.

– There are new developer tools which include an audio API to stream music, radio and podcasts, an API to give extended runtime to session-based tasks like physical therapy and meditation. And Core ML now uses the Apple Neural Engine on Apple Watch Series 4, enabling faster processing of on-device inputs.

– The Voice Memos app is available on Apple Watch through watchOS 6

– Audiobooks that are purchased on Apple Books are now available to listen to directly from the Audiobooks app on watchOS 6

– The new Calculator app on the watchOS 6 is able to help with tip calculations and split checks right from the wrist.

– Siri search queries are able to display website results in full on Apple Watch

– Apple GymKit compatibility also extends to manufacturers like Octane Fitness, TRUE Fitness, and Woodway, which connects Apple Watch to more cardio equipment in clubs around the world.

Privacy

The Apple Watch features are designed for protecting user privacy. And none of the audio or sounds in the environment are saved by the Noise app or sent to Apple only the decibel level is sampled. The information from the Apple Watch health features, including the Cycle Tracking app, is going to visible within the redesigned Health app on iOS 13. All of the data is encrypted on-device and if iCloud back up is selected by the user, data is encrypted in iCloud.

Summer Watch Bands

Apple is launching new Summer Watch Bands. The new colors of the Sport Band and Sport Loop in Canary Yellow, Dragon Fruit and Cornflower are available now along with a new Pride Edition Sport Loop with a donation being made to the following LGBTQ advocacy organizations: Encircle, Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, ILGA, PFLAG, the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Trevor Project.