Apple reveals watchOS 4: Siri-powered updates, fitness syncing, and music playlists

06 Juin, 2017, 11:58 | Author: Come Portier

Our Apple Watch is pretty much the only reason why we ever do anything that even resembles exercise, and it's getting even more fitness features in watchOS 4.

Apple's Kevin Lynch came on stage this morning at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference to introduce the next version of Apple's smartwatch software, watchOS 4.

Thinking of buying an Apple Watch? Can a Siri watch face be better?

WatchOS 4: What is WatchOS?

When the software arrives, here's how to update watchOS. At least this first one isn't. It reminds us of the proactive app and contact suggestions in iOS. Or can it work based entirely on the information available on-device?

Apple also revealed two other groups of watch faces. So for instance, if the Siri watch face detects that you are going to a movie tonight through your conversations, it will automatically bring your tickets to the forefront from the app you used to book them. It sounds like an extension of what's available with Mickey Mouse. Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear (from Toy Story) are all coming to the Apple Watch. Micky and Minnie were animated, but in a fairly limited way - jiggling back and forth in time with the clock, basically.

Apple has refreshed the user interface slightly as well.

Apple also announced MusicKit for developers, which will allow developers to easily integrate Apple Music with their apps. As elsewhere, Apple is gradually increasing the influence of personalisation and machine learning. Notifications in Activity are now more personalised. In the Activity app you'll now get daily words of inspiration and a boost at the end of the day to close your rings, as well as monthly challenges and full-screen goal effects.

"Apple Watch is created to help you live a healthier life", CEO Tim Cook said, "and people are absolutely loving the fitness capabilities, the health capabilities, the quick access to information, and even the ability to swim with it".

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We're really pleased to see Apple implement two-way data exchange with gym equipment. Brands like LifeFitness, Matrix, TechnoGym, Star Trac, Cybex, Schwinn, and StairMaster, which sell 80 percent of the country's fitness equipment, will start to roll out Apple Watch-integrated equipment this fall.

WatchOS 4 also brings new auto-sets for swimming, as well as new features for high intensity interval training workouts. We will keep you posted. Now you'll be able to tap a new flashlight icon in the Control Center to turn your watch face into a digital torch, letting you see or be seen in dark places.

In addition to AirPlay 2, Apple has announced some improvements to the Music app.

Another fun feature is a way to configure your watch to start playing your desired workout playlist automatically whenever you begin your workout.

The Apple Watch now supports multiple playlists.

There's also a new MusicKit API.

There's a new blinking light activated via Control Centre - useful for safety on night runs. You may see one when you're about to hit an achievement, for instance. We'll update this article when we know more.

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