Apple Releases watchOS 5 with Support for New Workouts, Grouped Notification, Walkie-Talkie, and More

watchOS 5 Siri Face

Alongside iOS 12, Apple also released the first public release of watchOS 5 with plenty of new features and under-the-hood changes.

watchOS 5 is compatible with all Apple Watch versions starting from Series 1. It only drops support for Series 0 which was already showing signs of aging with its performance issues.

Before you are able to install the watchOS 5 update on your Apple Watch, you will first need to upgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 12. watchOS 5 is not compatible with iOS 11 and you will not get the update prompt in the Apple Watch app unless your iPhone is running iOS 12.

Below is a look at some of the major new features of watchOS 5:

Walkie-Talkie

This is a whole new app just for the Apple Watch. And it brings walkie-talkie like asynchronous communication to your wrist. It’s simple, add your friends and family member to the app, select a contact and then just press and hold on the screen to talk. Your audio will be recorded and sent to the person. They can tap on their Watch to listen to it. And this can go on and on, forever.

Automatic Workout Detections

watchOS-5-auto-Workout-Detection

watchOS 5 now supports automatic workout detection. Mind you, this is not exactly like Fitbit where the app can log the workouts automatically as well. With the Apple Watch, it can detect when you start a workout. The watch will send you a notification that it has detected that you’ve started working out and will suggest you start a workout (with a type that it has detected). Even if you start a couple of minutes late, you’ll still get credit for the minutes you missed out.

Workout detection doesn’t work for every workout but it does support popular workouts like walking, running and so on.

Support for New Workouts and More Data

watchOS 5 adds support for new workouts like hiking and yoga. It is now also able to show pace alerts and show rolling miles information for runners.

Improved Siri Watch Face

The Siri watch face in watchOS 5 is getting smarter and integrating contextual actions. If you’ve just left work, you’ll get a suggestion of playing our Drive Home playlist. As you use your Apple Watch and iPhone more, the more Siri will learn.

No Need for Hey Siri

Siri now works without the Hey Siri keyword. Just raise your wrist and start talking. Siri will pick up on it.

Grouped Notifications

watchOS 5 Grouped Notifications

iOS 12’s grouped notifications are coming to watchOS as well. You’ll find notifications smartly grouped based on apps, threads, and contexts. When you tap on a group, it will expand to show all the individual notifications.

Make sure to read all about all the new watchOS 5 features here.


Let us know by dropping a comment below as to how the watchOS 5 update process went for you. Also, let us know what are some of the immediate changes in watchOS 5 that you are liking the most.

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