Apple: watchOS 4 enhances fitness, intelligence features

Apple has previewed watchOS 4 at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, with enhancements to the device’s fitness and intelligence features. The latest update features a proactive Siri watch face that displays the information users need most throughout the day, personalised activity coaching and an entirely new music experience.

Kevin Lynch, VP of technology, discusses watchOS updates

In addition, Apple has enhanced its Workout app as well as introducing GymKit, a technology platform that will offer customers connected workouts with cardio equipment.

“Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life and is now more intelligent than ever with watchOS 4,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We’ve created a truly individualised experience with the smartest activity and workout apps, and the Siri watch face that shows you the information you need when you need it and we’re seamlessly bringing users their favorite music right on the wrist.”

With each raise of the wrist, the information on the watch display dynamically updates based on the time of day, daily routines and pertinent data from apps such as Activity, Alarms, Breathe, Calendar, Maps, Reminders and Wallet, as well as headlines from the new Apple News app.

With watchOS 4, the Activity app delivers intelligent coaching and tailored encouragement to help close Activity Rings more often and achieve longer success streaks. Every morning, users will receive a personalised notification if they’re close to earning an achievement, or suggest what they can do to match yesterday’s activity levels.

With GymKit, customers using their favorite cardio equipment will soon be able to pair their Apple Watch directly to treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes or stair steppers from global manufacturers such as Life Fitness and Technogym with a simple tap. In an industry first, data not previously communicated between smartwatch and fitness machine will sync “seamlessly,” according to Apple — including calories, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline and pace — resulting in the most accurate measurements possible with less device management.

Users can now also make and receive person to person payments quickly, easily and securely with friends and family with Apple Pay using their watch, within Messages or using Siri. When users get paid, they receive the money in their new Apple Pay Cash account and can use it instantly to send to someone, make purchases using Apple Pay in stores and apps, or transfer it to their bank account.

watchOS 4 will be available this autumn as a free update to Apple Watch paired with iPhone 5s and later on iOS 11.

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