Apple’s preview of watchOS 5 demonstrated a significant update to the world’s most popular watch. And as most wearers focus on fitness and communication, Apple Watch® will become an even stronger companion to the healthy and connected with a host of new features.

On the fitness side, Apple Watch can now automatically start many workout types when it detects you are exercising, and automatically end a workout when it senses you’ve stopped. It even provides retroactive credit for what you did before the workout was detected. Apple has added new Yoga and Hiking workouts, each with their own metrics, and the running and walking workouts now measure cadence in steps per minute. Apple Watch now offers 14 distinct and dedicated workout types.

For those exclusively running outside, the Workout app can display the rolling mile pace (the space for the last mile) and can sound an alarm if you are going slower or faster than your targeted pace. And for those who perform better through social motivation, watchOS 5 now provides Activity Competitions — the ability for the user to invite other Apple Watch wearers to compete in a seven-day match. All the while, competitors are earning points, closing Activity Rings and even receiving coach notifications to help stay engaged.

On the communications side, the marquee feature of watchOS 5 is the new Walkie-Talkie app. It’s an entirely new way to communicate with voice and just a tap of the wrist. Once you and a friend have set it up, you can tap a big yellow button to chat and reply, just as though you were using old-school walkie-talkies. This new watch-to-watch connection is fun, it’s easy, it’s fast, it’s personal and can be activated between any compatible Apple Watch user around the block or around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular. Think of Walkie-Talkie as a FaceTime® call with limited functionality …

Apple is also bringing the Podcasts app to watchOS 5, so you’ll be able to listen to podcasts from your wrist, assuming you have AirPods® or a Bluetooth headset. Plus, watchOS 5 makes it possible for other audio apps to store audio on the watch, so it should get easier to listen to audiobooks and the like even when you don’t have your iPhone with you. Users will be able to stream any podcast in the catalog simply by using Siri®.

Plus, the updated Siri watch face on Apple Watch is an even better personal assistant. It now offers more predictive and proactive shortcuts throughout the day based on routines, locations and information such as heart rate after a workout, commute time with Maps at the appropriate time of day or sports scores for a favorite team. And speaking of Siri, or should we say speaking less to Siri, you can now simply raise your wrist and make your request without having to say “Hey, Siri”.

With every watchOS update, Apple Watch has become more functional and more relevant as a digital tool. For more information, contact CranstonIT today at 888-813-5558 or support@cranstonit.com.