At its online-only WWDC event today, Apple took the wraps off its new wearable OS, watchOS 7.
It brings sleep tracking to Apple smartwatches, with charts about weekly sleep trends and all that.
Wind Down mode lets you make a customized pre-bedtime routine across your Apple Watch and iPhone, with specific scenes in the Home app, playback of soothing soundscapes, or using your favorite meditation app.
In Sleep Mode, Apple Watch automatically activates the Do Not Disturb and darkens the screen overnight. To help you wake up, there’s a silent haptic alarm or gentle sounds to pick from, and the wake-up screen shows the current battery level. Speaking of which, based on your sleep patterns, if the watch thinks its battery is too low ahead of your bedtime, it will nudge you to charge it before you go to sleep.
Because hand washing is so 2020, the Apple Watch gets automatic hand washing detection with watchOS 7. Once it detects you’re doing it, it will initiate a 20-second timer, and if you finish early you’ll be prompted to keep going. The Apple Watch can also remind you to wash your hands once you arrive home. What’s more, the Health app will start tracking your hand washing too – both frequency and duration.
On the fitness side, you get four new workout types: core training, dance, functional strength training, and cooldown. The Activity app for iPhone is now called Fitness, and it was redesigned with a streamlined view of data, including your daily activity, workouts, awards, and activity trends in one tab, while activity sharing and competitions live in another tab.
watchOS 7 lets you share watch faces, as it also offers unique combinations of “infinitely customizable and personalized faces”. Developers can offer more than one complication per app on a single watch face.
Based on the World Health Organization’s recommendations, the Apple Watch running watchOS 7 will notify you when you reached 100% of the safe weekly listening to media amount on your headphones across your iPhone, iPod touch, or Apple Watch, at the point where going over that amount will start to impact your hearing over time. The WHO guidelines state that you can be exposed to 80 decibels for about 40 hours a week without such an adverse impact. The Health app will show how long you’ve been exposed to high decibel levels each week.
Additionally, cycling directions are available on your wrist, Siri can translate languages for you on your Apple Watch, and there are a bunch of new mobility metrics available in the Health app, among which low-range cardio fitness, walking speed, stair-descent speed, and many others.
The first developer beta of watchOS 7 will be out later today. For the first time, there will be a public beta, which will go out next month. watchOS 7 will work on Apple Watches from Series 3 onward.