Apple watchOS 4 is out: Latest features include new Watch faces, heart rate functions, new modes and more

The watchOS 4 was first announced at the WWDC in June this year. It packs in a lot of new features which tend to add a lot of value to the overall Watch experience. We take a look at some of these features.

Apple iOS 11 has been rolled out globally and is available for download. The Indian rollout started at 10.30 pm on 19 September. Phones from iPhone 5s to the current gen iPhones and tablets from iPad mini 2 to the 2nd gen iPad Pro are eligible for the iOS 11 download. But iOS 11 isn't the only thing that received an upgrade. The watchOS 4 has also been rolled out for all the Apple Watch users out there.

Who is watchOS 4 for and how to download?

Apple watchOS 4 is out: Latest features include new Watch faces, heart rate functions, new modes and more

Apple Watch Series 3

The watchOS 4 will be available on all the Apple Watches that have been released so far. But the catch is that you will need to have updated your iPhone with iOS 11. Only then will you be able to download the watchOS 4 update through the My Watch app.

Once you have an iOS 11 updated iPhone, head over to My Watch > General > Software Update. It's a 550 MB download file. Just ensure that you have your Watch charging cable with you, as the Watch will need to be connected when the installation happens.

The new features on watchOS 4

The watchOS 4 was first announced at WWDC in June this year. It packs in a lot of new features which tend to add a lot of value to the overall Watch experience. We take a look at some of these features.

New watch faces
One of the first things that you will come across are the new Watch faces that Apple has bundled in the watchOS 4. Accompanying Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be Pixar's Toy Story watch faces with Buzz, Woody and Jessie. Apart from this there are two other watch faces, Kaleidoscope and Siri.

The Kaleidoscope watch face offers a psychedelic watch face which you can choose from the preset wallpapers or you can add your own custom photo which will get a Kaleidoscope effect. This is quite interesting.

New Apple Watch faces on the watchOS 4

New Apple Watch faces on the watchOS 4

The Siri watch face is the most interesting among the lot as it adds two complications on the top left and top right. If you have Siri as one of the complications, you can speak to your watch with the 'Hey Siri' command and ask questions, to which you will get answers displayed. In case Siri is not sure of some questions, it will either throw up options which you need to select or it will tell you that it needs more information. This feature bypasses the need to take out your phone every time you need to fire up Siri.

Heart Rate alerts

Heart Rate app has got some new features

Heart Rate app has got some new features

The Heart Rate features were discussed a lot on stage during the iPhone X launch event. The Heart Rate app has undergone some changes as well. For starters, your Watch can now notify you if your heart rate may have spiked despite you not being indulged in any activity. In the Watch app, you can set notifications to let you for specific heart rate thresholds. You can also see your resting heart rate and recovery heart rate.

List View for apps

I personally never really liked the Grid view much, and the new List View update is just for people like me. You just hard press on the app menu, and you will see two options — Grid View (the default) and List View. When you activate List View, you will see the Watch apps placed one below the other in an alphabetic order. You cannot rearrange the apps as of now. Maybe a future update will let you do that, or at least have the most commonly used Watch apps up top.

Apple Music updates

With watchOS 4, you will some features with the Music app on your Watch. Those planning on getting the Watch Series 3 with cellular support will be able to listen to their music while on the run — without the need to have their phone with them. Opening the Watch app on your iPhone and heading to the Music option will let you add multiple playlists. If you are an Apple Music subscriber, then you will have the option to automatically sync your customised playlists with the Watch as they are updated.

Apple Music has added some extra features with regards to playlists

Apple Music has added some extra features with regards to playlists

A 'Favourites Mix' will make sure you have the songs you have been listening to the most in the week. Then there is a 'New Music Mix' playlist. You also get to choose a playlist which you want to auto-start as soon as you begin your Workout

Dock view

Dock feature let

Dock feature lets you see the recently opened apps in a vertically stacked manner

You can look at the recently open apps on your Watch or toggle through your favourite apps by pressing the button below the Digital Crown once. It shows up the Watch app previews in a vertically stacked manner, and you can use the Digital Crown to scroll through them. On your Watch app, you can select the button to activate either the recent apps or your list of favourite apps.

Running Auto Pause feature

This will be familiar to all the runners out there using the Apple Watch as a tracker. You are running at a steady pace and suddenly you come to a point where you have to cross a road, but the signal is yet to turn green in your favour. You wait as the Workout app is still running, measuring parameters which you would not want measured.

Workout App now lets you pause running workout

Workout App now lets you activate Running auto-pause mode

The Running Auto Pause mode in the Workout section does exactly what it says. When the Watch realises you have paused briefly, it will stop the workout mode, and resume it once you start moving. This feature has been present on the Nike+ running app and a lot of others, but it is finally good to see it on the Apple Watch.

Flashlight
When you swipe up from the bottom on your Watch, you will see a new icon — Flashlight. Tapping it essentially turns your display into bright white or bright red or flashing bright white.

Tech2 is now on WhatsApp. For all the buzz on the latest tech and science, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Tech2.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.





Top Stories


also see

science