Apple Update For WatchOS 11 Includes Powerful Features and Insights

Ainsley McKay By Ainsley McKay - June 13th, 2024
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The WWDC 2024 revealed new features coming to the Apple Watch with the next major software release. WatchOS 11 is expected to be released in public beta sometime this month, with the final release to come sometime this Spring (in the Southern Hemisphere). This update will be available on Apple Watch Series 6 and newer. It includes a host of powerful new health features and insights that will give the Apple Watch a nice boost in capabilities. Here are some of the features to expect!

Training Load

The new Training Load feature introduces an insightful new way to measure how the intensity and duration of workouts may impact the user’s body over time. By comparing workouts over the last 7 days compared to the last 28 days, it helps users understand the strain on their body from the workouts. This can help users make better decisions about the training schedule, particularly when training for an event, whether it’s a 5k, triathlon and marathon.

watchOS 11 Update - Training Load
Users can view training load for most recent 7 days classified as well below, below, steady, above or well above.
watchOS 11 Update - Training Load
Establishes a 28-day training load, a weighed average taking into account both effort ratings and duration.

New Vitals App

The new Vitals app will allow users to view a snapshot of their health, comprising key health metrics such as heart rate, respiratory rate, wrist temperature, sleep duration, and blood oxygen, and gain better context of it. Users have the option to be notified when two or more metrics are outside of their normal range, and receive insights about how these changes may be linked to other aspects of their life (such as elevation changes, illnesses, and so on).

watchOS 11 Update - Vitals App
Quickly overview key healh metrics and receive notifications if two or more are out of their typical range.
watchOS 11 Update - Vitals App
To inform out-of-range classifications, Vitals uses an algorithm developed using real-world research.

Activity Rings + Fitness App Customisation

Activity Rings encourage users to sit less and move more - and with watchOS 11, they are more customisable. If users are sick, injured, planning a rest day, or simply need a day off, they now have the ability to pause their rings for a day, week, month or more, without affecting award streaks! Activity ring goals can also be customised for different days of the week. Additionally, the Fitness app offers users the ability to customise the Summary tab to see exactly what they want to see, including new metrics for workouts.

watchOS 11 Update - Activity Rings
Users can pause Activity rings for a day, week, month or more.
watchOS 11 Update - Activity Rings
Users can customise their Activity ring goals by the day of the week.

Improved Pregnancy Support

The new watchOS 11 offers additional support for pregnant users when pregnancy has been logged in the Cycle Tracking app (on the Apple Watch). The app will show gestational age and allow users to log pregnancy-related symptoms. Users will also be prompted to review things like their high heart notification threshold, since this tends to increase during pregnancy.

watchOS 11 Update - Pregnancy Support
When a pregnancy is logged, the Cycle Tracking app will show gestational age.
watchOS 11 Update - Pregnancy Support
It will also allow users to log pregnancy-related symptoms.

Smarter Smart Stack

The Smart Stack lets users quickly access important information, widgets and apps from the watch face, and it’s now even smarter. The Smart Stack can suggest widgets based on time, date, location, and daily routines, bringing convenience to users across various scenarios. New interactive widgets allow users to interact with an app directly from the smart app, and new widgets such as Shazam, Photos, and more are now available.

watchOS 11 Update - Smarter Smart Stack
Helps users quickly access important information from any watch face.
watchOS 11 Update - Smarter Smart Stack
The Smart Stack is even more intelligent with watchOS 11.

Photos Watch Face Update

The Photos watch face will analyse thousands of photos using machine learning and make recommendations based on aesthetics, composition, and even facial expressions. A custom algorithm will then find the best composition by optimising for the subjects position within the frame. This can be further personalised with time sizes, layouts, font choices, and more. Dynamic mode provides the option of a new image every time users raise their wrist.

watchOS 11 Update - Photos Watch Face
The Photos face analyses thousands of photos and uses an algorithm to find the best composition.
watchOS 11 Update - Photos Watch Face
Users can also use dynamic mode and see a new image every time they raise their wrist.

Check In for Safety

Check in now available on Apple Watch, helping users feel more safe and connected. Whether heading out for an early morning or late-night run, users can access check-in within the workout app so a friend or family member can keep an eye out for their workout to end.

watchOS 11 Update - Check In
Check In is now available on Apple Watch, including during workouts.
watchOS 11 Update - Check In
Ideal safety feature for early morning runs or late-night gym sessions.

Easy Communication

The Translate app is coming to Apple Watch, allowing users to access translation for 20 supported languages directly on their wrist. Used alongside the smarter Smart Stack, Apple Watch can automatically suggest the Translate app widget when users are traveling to a location with a different language.

watchOS 11 Update - Translation
Smart Stack can automatically suggest Translate app widget when a location with a new language is detected.
watchOS 11 Update - Language Translation
Users can access translation for one of 20 supports languages directly on their wrist.

Other Updates Include...

  • Apple Maps allows users to create their own walking or running routes within the Maps app on iPhone and save the route, so they can later navigate it with just their Apple Watch.
  • Custom Workouts allows users to customise interval-based workouts with support for sets of work and recovery, along with haptic signals when it’s time to move on to the next interval. A ‘Up Next’ workout view will show across any custom workouts, providing a snapshot of the upcoming interval.
  • Workout app offers more workout types that can track distance using enhancements in GPS positioning, including a range of sports such as Soccer, Lacrosse, Snowboarding, Golf, and more. Users can also see their route maps for more workout types.
  • Enhanced ticketing provides better information to users on tickets in Apple Wallet, such as when the venue opens and when the show starts. A Live Activity will start at the event so users can see important information at the top of the Smart Stack.
  • Tap to Cash will enable users to send and receive Apple Cash simply by holding their Apple Watch near another Apple Watch or iPhone.

While the updates aren’t particularly revolutionary, they certainly add some helpful insights and a boost of convenience to the Apple Watch experience. The watchOS 11 update will be available on models from Series 6 onwards.

Written By

Ainsley McKay

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