With watchOS 3, Apple reinvented the Apple Watch. They got rid of the things that didn’t work, and focused on the two things that did – notifications and fitness tracking. While watchOS 3 was the start of the new focused strategy for the Apple Watch, watchOS 4 is its evolution.
watchOS 4 brings design improvements to almost all the new features we saw in watchOS 3, making them much better to use. Everything from the Dock, the workout app to the Control Center gets a meaningful update. Oh and of course, there are new watch faces.
Here are the 10 best new features in watchOS 4.
Must read: 100 Awesome iOS 11 Features and Changes
1. Siri Assistant Watch Face
There’s a new intelligent Siri watch face. On the top, you’ll find the animating Siri orb which is a shortcut for Siri. Below is a list of cards, arranged intelligently based on the data Apple Watch and Siri has. So things like your next appointment, travel times and more will show up here.
2. Kaleidoscope and Toy Story Watch Faces
Continuing the tradition of Disney watch faces, this time it’s Toy Story characters – Buzz Lightyear, Jesse and Woody. And when you wake your watch, you’ll see a little animation as well.
The crazier of the bunch is the new kaleidoscope watch face. As the name suggests, it brings colourful kaleidoscope effects to the analog watch face. Spin the Digital Crown to check out the animation.
There are two types – Facet and Radial. You can even use your own photos to create the effect. And every time you wake the screen to see the time, the watch face animates slightly.
3. New Dock
The Dock has been redesigned to fit into watchOS 4’s cards metaphor. Apps are now listed vertically, and you can scroll through them by swiping up or down or by using the Digital Crown.
By default, the apps are sorted by how recently they were used. But you can switch to Favorites view from the Watch app. This will bring back the layout you had in watchOS 3 and you can add and reorder dock apps from here.
4. New List View for App Launcher
You now have the liberty to change Apple Watch’s confusing Honeycomb app launcher. Force touching the app launcher brings the option to switch to List view. If you only have a handful of apps, the list view might be a better way to launch apps – that is, if you launch apps at all.
5. Redesigned Workouts App
Workouts app gets a big redesign and it fixes a lot of annoyances. First, the workouts list is now the new stacked cards view. When you tap on a workout, it starts instantly. No more selecting a goal business!
During a workout, you can swipe left to control the currently playing media – another super useful feature. The Workout screen is also redesigned – with chunkier text.
You can now do multiple workouts if you choose to. There’s also a new option for High Intensity training workout. Apple Watch can also now directly connect to NFC enabled gym equipment.
6. Personalized Activity Notifications
Activity notifications are a lot more personal and more contextual. They’ll now do the job of getting you to close your rings, every single day. So you’ll get notifications to tell you how much you need to walk to close your Move ring. When you meet your goals, there’s now a new fiery full screen animation. The new Activity app will also set monthly challenges for you, based on your previous month’s performance.
7. Auto Sync for Playlists in Music App
Apple Watch’s Music app can now automatically sync your most played playlists directly to the Watch. This means you can leave your iPhone behind, just taking your AirPods and Watch and you’ll still have access to all your favorite music, without having to do any manual labor! You can also go into the Watch app and select albums, artists and playlists you want to sync.
8. Core Bluetooth Access for Apps
watchOS 4 brings support for Core Bluetooth for apps. This means that accessories can now directly talk to Apple Watch when they’re in close range (instead of going through the iPhone). This means if you have a glucose monitoring device, Apple Watch will show the live stats, without delay.
9. Flashlight in Control Center
There’s new Flashlight feature in Control Center with three modes. The first one turns your screen into a flashlight. And as you turn the Watch away from you, it gets brighter.
This might seem like a trivial thing but I’ve found the feature to be really helpful. Instead of fumbling to reach the phone, I could just swipe and tap on the Watch to get there.
If you sleep wearing your Apple Watch, this will help you when you have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
When you swipe on the Flashlight view, you’ll get to a flashing mode that’s useful if you’re out running in the night. The last pane has a dark red light that you can use for reading in the night.
10. Person to Person Apple Pay
Just like iOS 11, person to person Apple Pay comes to the Apple Watch as well, via the Messages app. You’ll be able to pay and recieve money using your Apple Watch. The money you get will be stored in your Apple Pay Cash card that you can then use for online payments, buying apps and for transferring it back to your bank account.
Do You Like Your Apple Watch?
Do you wear the Apple Watch regularly? What all do you use it for? Share with us in the comments below.