Apple's watchOS improvements focus on fitness and Siri


Rounding out the new watchOS 4 features announced today is a new dock that'll allow you to vertically scroll through recent apps, an updated Music app that'll automatically pull in new Apple Music playlists, and a handful of new dev tools. WatchOS 4 overhauls a series of everyday apps such as Music, Workout and brings a couple of new watch faces including one that is powered by Siri suggestions.

For instance, a new Siri watch face aims to predict information you'll need throughout your day. Previously you had the choice of either Minnie or Mickey mouse.

Apple Watch, tied for No. 1 in IDC's wearable device tracker for the first quarter, is getting more functionality via Watch OS 4. You'll be able to simply tap your Apple Watch on an NFC reader in your gym equipment, and your Watch will automatically launch the workout app. Each major upgrade to WatchOS typically adds new software features to the Apple Watch experience. Or you could wait for the official release some time during fall.

Apple will release a new bluetooth API for Apple Watch, its heath and fitness-tracking smartwatch.

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The updated Workout app now includes auto-sets for pool swim workouts and new motion and heart rate algorithms for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts.

The music app was also revamped with the aim of delivering more data and music at a glance. It can now automatically play music through the AirPods based on your preference. The face dynamically updates with information and also supports third party apps. The company is making it a bit more personal for each user with a couple small additions.

"When you use gym equipment it has data the Apple Watch doesn't have, and the Watch has data the gym equipment doesn't have, so you end up with numbers like calories and distance that don't quite match", Apple VP of Technology Kevin Lynch said. The new watchOS 4 will be available for developers in preview form starting Monday while the upgrade will be coming to everyone this fall. Person to person payments and Apple Pay Cash will be available in the United States on iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, iPad Pro®, iPad® 5th generation, iPad Air® 2, iPad mini™ 3 and later and Apple Watch. It's not the fabled non-invasive monitoring feature Apple reportedly has a whole team working on, but it's a move in that direction. Some features may not be available in all regions.

We're past 10:00 AM in San Jose, California, which means that WWDC 2017 has officially begun.