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Apple Watch is getting more updates than the ones announced at WWDC keynote

Four new workout types, audio notifications and more features the watchOS 7 is going to get to the Apple Watch.

By: JHINUK SEN
Updated on: Jun 23 2020, 22:09 IST
There are a couple of more features coming to the Apple Watch through the new software update that weren’t a part of the keynote address. (HT Tech)

Apple announced a lot of software updates for the Apple Watch at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2020) via watchOS 7. These include the new watch faces that are larger and data rich, the ability to add and swap watch faces, sleep tracking and more.

We’ve told you all about these already. However, there are a couple of more features coming to the Apple Watch through the new software update that weren’t a part of the keynote address.

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First, watchOS 7 is going to add four new workout types to the Activity app. One of these is dance tracking, which was mentioned during the keynote. The other three include core training, functional strength training and cool down.

The Activity app itself will be renamed to Fitness, and will be tracking the dance workout through something Apple calls “sensor fusion”. The accelerometer and the gyroscope on the Apple Watch work in tandem with the heart rate sensor to factor and log a dance workout.

Not all dances will qualify as a workout, of course, Apple’s algorithms factor in dance types like Bollywood, cardio dance, hip-hop, Latin and a few more that are intense enough to count. We don’t yet know which dances won’t be recognized.

The Apple Watch is also going to get new Mobility Metrics in the Health app that include low-range cardio fitness, walking speed, stair-descent speed, stair-ascent speed, six-minute walk distance, double support time, step length, and asymmetry. These metrics are meant for clinical purposes and they track a patient’s ability to move easily and safely as they age.

Ideally, Mobility Metrics are meant for the lab, the Apple Watch and the iPhone are going to be able to track them for you with watchOS 7.

The second thing that watchOS 7 is going to add to the Apple Watch is an audio notification. Following the introduction of the Noise app on watchOS 6, which measures ambient sound levels, watchOS 7 is going to send you notifications if the volume on your headphones are too high.

Further, Apple Watch users can now understand how loudly they are listening to media through their headphones since these levels may impact hearing over time. You can set volume limits for yourself per week and once you have crossed 100% of your safe weekly limit, you will get a notification from the Watch.

This amount is based on World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations that say a person can be exposed to 80 decibels for about 40 hours per week without impact to their hearing abilities. Users can also see how long they have been exposed to high decibel levels each week in the Health app on the iPhone and can control the maximum level for headphone volume.

Now, we have told you about the sleep tracking feature coming to the Apple Watch and how wearing the watch to sleep will help the Health app create a better routine for you so you get enough sleep. You can also use the sleep feature without the Apple Watch, but if you want better data then you are encouraged that you use it.

It’s not an impractical ask, but Apple Watch users know that the wearable comes with a maximum limit of 18-hours of battery life. Ideally, you would put your watch on charge overnight once you are home. If you are expected to wear it to sleep, when are you going to charge it?

There is a way. The Apple Watch needs 30% of battery to track your sleep overnight. It keeps the screen off and turns off notifications till your morning alarm rings. So, if your watch has less than 30% battery an hour before you are supposed to go to bed as per your routine, you will get a notification to put the Watch on charge.

Once you wake up in the morning, you can put the Watch on charge as you prepare for the day.

Most importantly, all the features that are a part of the watchOS 7 are not going to come to all Apple Watches. Sleep tracking is going to come to Apple Watch Series 3 and above only.

The hand washing feature is coming to Apple Watches Series 4 and above only.

The developer beta of watchOS 7 is already available through the Apple Developer Program at developer.apple.com. For the first time, a public beta will be available for watchOS users next month at beta.apple.com. The operating system will be officially available later this year and is compatible for Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, or Apple Watch Series 5 paired with iPhone 6s or later, running iOS 14 or later.

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First Published Date: 23 Jun, 22:09 IST

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