watchOS 4 is an evolutionarily update that builds up on the new revolutionary features in watchOS 3. While there are new headlining features like new watch faces, redesigns for the Dock and Workouts app, a lot of changes are small and hidden.
Here’s our list of all the hidden features in watchOS 4 that we’ve discovered so far.
1. All Apps Button in Dock
When you scroll to the bottom of the Dock page, you’ll now see a shortcut for opening the App Launcher.
2. List view in App Launcher
When you Force Touch on the App Launcher, you can now switch to the List View.
3. Create Watch Face from Photos App
When viewing a photo in the Photos app on the iPhone, tap on the Share button and select Create Watch Face. You can then use the current photo for creating a photos face or a Kaleidoscope face.
4. Switch Sorting View in Dock
From the Watch app, go to the Dock section to switch from Recents view (which is the default) to the Favorites view.
5. Customize Favorites View in Dock
After switching to the Favorites view, you’ll notice that your watchOS 3 Dock arrangement is back. Tap on the Edit button to add apps to the Dock, remove them and to reorder them.
6. New Pairing UI
When you’re pairing a new Apple Watch, you’ll now get an AirPods style pairing UI.
7. Apple Watch Tips During Pairing Process
During the pairing process, you’ll be able to read up on Apple Watch’s features.
8. Passcode Screen Design Update
Passcode screen now has bolder text and bigger buttons.
9. New Animations for Passcode Screen
When you tap on Passcode buttons, they now expand to show the touch feedback.
10. Bolder and Bigger Notification Text
The notification text is slightly bolder and slightly bigger, making it easier to read. Now, when you get two notifications for the same app, you’ll be able to read both of them without going to the Notification Center.
11. Install Button for Available Apps
Scroll to the bottom of the Watch app and you’ll find a list of Available apps that can be installed on the Watch, with a handy Install button for each of the apps on the list.
12. Keypad in Phone App
There’s a new Keypad option in the Phone app so you can dial numbers without adding them to your contacts first.
13. New in Call UI
When you’re in a call, you’ll get a shortcut for the Keypad. This will help you when you’re on a call with a customer service line.
14. Maps App Design Changes
Maps app also gets the redesigned cards view for the recent locations list.
15. Repeat Button When Timer Ends
When a timer ends, you’ll now see a new button to quickly restart the same timer again.
16. Music App Update
Music app now automatically syncs your frequently played playlists from the iPhone. And when you open the Music app, you’ll see full-screen previews of each album that you can scroll through. Tap on an album to view the tracks and to start playback.
17. Add Albums and Artists to Apple Watch
If you go to the Music section in the Watch app, you can also individually add artists and albums to the Music app on the Apple Watch.
18. Camera App Takes Videos and Portrait Shots
The Camera app has been updated. It can now shoot videos on your iPhone and take Portrait Mode shots as well.
19. New News App
There’s a new News app which shows the top stories and excerpts of news stories from the News app.
20. News App Complication
There’s a complication for reading the headlines from the watch face.
21. Flashlight in Control Center
When you swipe up to the Control Center, you’ll see a new Flashlight button. This turns your entire screen white, emulating a flashlight. Turn the Watch away from you and it gets brighter.
22. Outdoor Workout Night Light
Swipe to the second pane in Flashlight view to view the blinking flashlight that will be helpful when you’re out running in the night.
23. Red Flashlight
There’s a third, red flashlight as well, which should help you read at night without hurting your eyes.
24. Location Icon in Control Center
When there’s an app using your location on the iPhone, you’ll see a new location icon in the Control Center.
25. Animated Now Playing Complication
Now Playing complication in watch face now animates when there is some media playing.
26. Updated Now Playing Interface
Now Playing interface now shows the source of the media in the top – iPhone or Apple Watch.
27. Workouts App List View Update
Workouts list view gets the same stacked card interface as the Dock.
28. Workouts Start Instantly
When you tap on a workout, it now starts instantly. No need to set a goal.
29. New Menu for Workout Goals
If you choose to set a goal, tap on the menu button for each card and select the goal based on time, calories burned and so on.
30. Music Controls in Workout App
Swipe left on the workout screen and you’ll be able to control your media playback from right there.
31. Animation for Workout Types
When you start a workout, you’ll see the animation based on the activity, in the top-right corner.
32. Workout Tracking UI Update
The text in the workout screen is now chunkier, making it easier to read.
33. Start New Workout Quickly
You can start a new workout quickly by getting to the options screen and tapping the New button.
34. More Swim Tracking Features
The Pool Swim workout can now track your sets as well as your rest times.
35. Auto Do Not Disturb
When a workout starts, the app will automatically start the Do Not Disturb mode (if it’s already setup).
36. Monthly Activity Challenges
Activity app will create customized monthly challenges for you, based on your previous month’s performance.
37. Heart Rate App Update
The Heart rate app now shows a 24-hour history of your heart rate tracking.
38. Gym Equipment Support
For gym equipment that has NFC, you can just touch your Apple Watch to them to sync them. The heart rate data would then come from the Apple Watch, everything else from the workout equipment.
39. VO2 max data logging
VO2 max data is now logged directly to the Health app.
40. New Animations For Activity Notifications
When you reach a milestone or get a new achievement, you’ll get a cool new full-screen animation before the Activity app notification shows up.
Your Favorite New watchOS 4 Features?
What are some of your favorite features in watchOS 4? Share with us in the comments below.