Apple WatchOS 4: 5 new updates that will shake up the smartwatch scene

Apple has just wrapped up its WWDC 2017 keynote in San Jose, California, and as usual the web is in a whirlwind of information about its updates. But it seems the Cupertino-based brand has really delivered this year, as its key executives and now tech superstars Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller and Tim Cook took to the stage to announce updates that promise to change our lives.

Besides a couple of hardware innovations such as the Homepod speaker and the iMac Pro, Apple’s software updates are equally noteworthy, especially for — according to Tim Cook — the world’s “number one selling smartwatch globally”.

True to Cook’s word, the Apple WatchOS 4 will see many useful updates that will redefine the role smartwatches have in our daily lives. The game’s no longer about who has the more accurate heart rate detector, or more water-resistant — it’s down to the nitty gritty details of making life more convenient, and Apple has that sorted out in its latest update.

Here, we bring you 5 updates you need to know (and will come to love) about the Apple WatchOS 4 before it comes to you this fall.

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Siri gets own watch face

Besides being more intelligent now, everyone’s favourite bot is also getting its own face, and will provide updates on the information you need most based on time and context. Clearly, Siri has become a focus of Apple’s and the enhancement means you’ll be able to see your first appointment of the day first thing in the morning, and a reminder of your dinner reservation later in the evening. A Siri logo will also be displayed next to the time for easy access throughout the day. Now, who needs a personal assistant these days?

Plus new watch faces

Joining Mickey and Minnie’s troop are more of Disney/Pixar’s universally-loved characters: Woody, Jessie and Buzz from Toy Story. Launched alongside a kaleidoscope option that creates trippy visuals based on photos in your library, these animated watch faces will bring back the childhood you never knew you lost.

Workout and fitness enhancements

Apple has recognised that the key use of its best-selling smartwatch is for fitness, and so has added notable updates that will switch up your routine a bit — such as new activity suggestions and coaching options that won’t give you much time to sit around. It’s also gotten major equipment manufacturers to come on board a two-way syncing program, and you’ll soon be able to get better data on your workout even at your local gym.

New music experience

Music was never a main feature of the Apple Watch, but with more users utilising its air pods and watch without the iPhone — especially for workouts — Apple has developed an app that automatically syncs songs and playlists (tied to Apple Music) that you might like to listen to even while offline.

Peer-to-peer payments

Using the Apple Pay function within Messages or via Siri, Apple Watch users will be able to make and receive person-to-person payments securely with friends and family. The money will be credited to their new Apple Pay Cash account and can be later used to either make purchases with Apple Pay in stores or in apps, or transfer to their bank account.

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