watchOS 5 for Apple Watch now available with fitness upgrades and Walkie-Talkie apps, much more

Apple today released watchOS 5, the newest version of the operating system designed to run on the Apple Watch Series 1 and later.

watchOS 5 brings Apple’s Podcasts app to the watch for the first time, improves the Siri watch face and brings new element and Breathe watch faces, a new Walkie-Talkie app for watch-to-watch communication, and much more.

When you upgrade to watchOS 5, you’ll get the following new features:

Activity

  • Challenge any of your Activity sharing friends to a one-on-one, seven-day competition
  • Earn points by filling your Activity rings, one point for every percent added to the rings each day
  • View active competitions in the sharing tab of the Activity app
  • Receive intelligent and personalized notifications throughout the competitions
  • Earn awards at the end of the competition, and view in the redesigned Awards tab in the Activity app on iPhone

Workout

  • Automatic workout detection sends alerts to start the Workout app for many workouts, giving you retroactive credit for exercise already started, and end alerts reminding you to end your workout
  • Yoga and Hiking workout types for accurate tracking of relevant metrics
  • Set target pace during outdoor run workouts and receive alerts if you fall behind or move ahead of that target pace
  • Track cadence, or steps per minute, as you run and see average cadence in running Workout summaries
  • Rolling mile (or km) metric for running workouts measures pace for the immediately preceding mile (or km)

Apple Podcasts

  • Sync subscribed shows on Apple Podcasts to Apple Watch for local playback with Bluetooth headphones
  • New episodes are automatically refreshed as they are added to subscribed shows
  • Stream any available episode or show on Apple Podcasts with Siri when connected to Wi-Fi or cellular
  • New Podcasts complication for watch faces

Walkie-Talkie

  • Invite friends with Apple Watch to communicate with Walkie-Talkie
  • Press to talk and release to listen
  • Supports one-to-one interactions between Apple Watch users
  • Special sounds and haptics distinguish Walkie-Talkie from other notifications on Apple Watch
  • Set your availability for Walkie-Talkie
  • Walkie-Talkie works through Wi-Fi or cellular on Apple Watch or with paired iPhone

Watch Faces

  • Breathe face with three animation styles to choose from: Classic, Calm, and Focus
  • Three new motion faces—Fire & Water, Vapor, and Liquid Metal—that animate when you raise your wrist or tap the display
  • Display curated moments from your photo library using the Memories option on the Photos watch face
  • New complications for Podcasts and Walkie-Talkie

Siri

  • Updated Siri watch face intelligently surfaces predictive and proactive Shortcuts based on routines and inputs like location and time of day
  • Integration with Maps on the Siri watch face shows turn-by-turn directions and estimated arrival times to your next calendar event location
  • Heart Rate measurements surfaced on the Siri watch face including resting rate, walking average, and recovery rate
  • Live sports scores and upcoming games for your favorite teams in the TV app appear on the Siri watch face
  • Support for third-party app shortcuts on the Siri watch face
  • Access to Siri with Raise to Speak, by raising your wrist to your mouth and speaking your request into the watch (Series 3 and later)
  • Support for customized voice commands for Siri Shortcuts that are created and managed on iPhone

Notifications

  • Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
  • Ability to modify notifications preferences for an app by swiping left on an app notification in Notification Center
  • New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Center without interrupting you
  • Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location or calendar event

Heart Rate

  • Option to be notified if your heart rate falls below a specified threshold while you appeared to be inactive for a 10-minute period
  • Heart Rate measurements including resting rate, walking average, and recovery rate shown on the Siri watch face

Other features and improvements

  • View website content optimized for Apple Watch when receiving links in Mail or Messages
  • Add cities to Weather app on Apple Watch
  • See new metrics like UV Index, wind speed, and air quality index in supported regions in Weather app
  • Add new stocks to track in the Stocks app on Apple Watch
  • Customize arrangement of Control Center icons
  • Choose Wi-Fi networks in Settings app and enter password if prompted
  • Answer FaceTime video calls as audio on Apple Watch
  • Option to install software updates overnight
  • Add cities to World Clock app on Apple Watch
  • Use redesigned categories to scroll through and choose emoji in Mail and Messages
  • Adds support for system language in Hindi
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