Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Everybody’s excited about newly-announced functionality for the iPhone and the Mac. Thankfully, the Apple Watch got a decent amount of lovin’ at WWDC 2024. The watchOS 11 update arrives this fall with a mess of new features, including one that Activity Ring-addicted athletes are sure to love.

In the past, we’ve criticized the Apple Watch for failing to prioritize recovery after exercise. The inability to pause Activity Rings was the most glaring example of this problem. Now, with watchOS 11, Apple Watch will let you program rest days into your routine without punishing you.

Additionally, Apple Watch is adding the ability to customize daily Ring goals. You might set up a special goal for each day of the week, for example, or set easier goals after sustaining an injury. And a new Training Load insight will help athletes understand any strain that they may be placing on their bodies.

Here are the Apple Watch models that are eligible for watchOS 11:

  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch Series 9
  • Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen)
  • Apple Watch Ultra (1st and 2nd Gen)

watchOS 11 also introduces a new Vitals app. It’s essentially a one-stop-shop for all your health and fitness metrics. Vitals should help you make day-to-day decisions when approaching workouts and will cue you into any unusual metrics that crop up, such as an abnormally high heart rate.

Cycle Tracking on the Apple Watch finally includes pregnancy tracking, which allows users to log symptoms and view gestational age. Interestingly, a pregnant user will be asked to review heart rate notification thresholds (as heart rate usually increases during pregnancy), and Walking Steadiness alerts will be provided to the user during the third trimester. An option to receive mental health reminders (which continue postpartum) is also offered.

The Translate app arrives on Apple Watch in watchOS 11, which seems bit overdue, and double-tap gestures can now be used to scroll through any watchOS app. For those who are unaware, this does not mean “double tap the screen.” Instead, you tap your pointer finger and thumb together on whatever hand the Apple Watch is attached to.

Other improvements in watchOS 11 are mostly superficial. Smart Stack widgets are more intelligent and now include apps like Shazam and Photos. Users can customize their digital watch face the same way that they customize their iPhone lock screen, with photo filters, a selection of fonts, and so on. Also, photo watch faces now support Dynamic animations when you raise your wrist.

The watchOS 11 update arrives this fall. A developer beta is available starting today, and a public beta opens in July.

Source: Apple

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By John P.

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