Apple has released the final version of watchOS 7 to the general public across the globe. The new version of the OS is now available to download for all the compatible Apple Watches. Find out which Apple Watches are eligible for watchOS 7 and how to download the new version of the OS on your Apple Watch in this article.
Apple had revealed watchOS 7 at the WWDC event that was held in June this year. After showcasing the new version of watchOS, the Cupertino-based tech giant had released five beta builds of the new firmware to developers and beta testers. And today, the brand has finally released the final version of watchOS 7 to the public.
watchOS 7 brings a plethora of new features to the table, which offer improved usability, wider customizations, better health tracking, improved privacy, and some great features for the disabled people. Here are a few new features of watchOS 7 to name.
New Watch Faces and Wider Watch Face Customizations
Apple is bringing more customizability to watch faces, and you can add complications from as many apps as they want. The company is offering a way to discover complications and you can even share your custom watch faces with other Apple Watch users through Messages or email. More than one complication from a single app can be added to a watch face. Watch faces can be discovered from links, websites, and even social media channels.
Existing watch faces have been updated as well to offer greater customizability. You can add apps and complications to watch faces to create your own versions. New complications include Camera Remote, Sleep, and Shortcuts. The Chronograph Pro watch face now includes a tachymeter to calculate speed based on time and distance traveled. The Photos watch face allows adding filters to selected images, while the X-Large watch face now has an option to add a complication.
This is probably the most important feature that Apple introduced with watchOS 7. This feature automatically measures your sleep time through accelerometer and gyro information and offers insightful data such as sleep quality, sleep goal completion, a period when a user was awake, average sleep time, and average time in bed. It shows sleep record over a period of time such as a week or a month. All the data is encrypted and synced between compatible devices that are tied to the same iCloud account.
You can set their sleep and wake time schedules, and create pre-bedtime routines to meet their sleep goals. The Wind Down feature helps a user prepare for sleep, while routines in the Home app can help turning the lights off so that an Apple Watch user can gently go to sleep. Silent alarms help you in waking up, and shows important information such as battery level. If the Apple Watch battery level is low, watchOS 7 will also remind you to charge the Apple Watch within an hour of bedtime.
Fitness App, Workout Types, Mobility Metrics
The Workout app can now measure four new workout types: Cooldown, Core Training, Dance, and Functional Strength Training. It uses data from the Apple Watch’s accelerometer, gyrosensor, and the heart rate monitor to accurately measure these workouts. watchOS 7 will also support four new Dance types: Bollywood, Cardio, Hip-Hop, and Latin.
The redesigned activity app on the Apple Watch and the iPhone is now called Fitness, and it shows all types of activities, activity trends, awards, and workouts in a simple layout. Users can even compare their activity and workout metrics with other Apple Watch users using the new app.
The new Health app inside watchOS 7 shows various mobility metrics such as asymmetry, low-range cardio fitness, six-minute walk distances, stair ascend and descend speeds, and walking speed. These metrics are quite helpful for doctors and health professionals to check up on a patient’s ability to move easily and safely.
Automatic Hand Wash Detection
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become inherently important to stay clean and wash hands regularly to stay free from germs and viruses. With watchOS 7, Apple has started automatically detecting if you are washing your hands with the help of hand movements, audio from the microphone, and on-device machine learning.
The watch then initiates a 20-second countdown timer. If you stop washing hands earlier than 20 seconds, the Apple Watch reminds you to wash hands for a bit longer to meet the goal. watchOS 7 also reminds you to regularly wash your hands. It also shows you a report that includes the frequency and duration of your handwashing.
Siri For Language Translation, Announcing Messages
Apple is introducing its own language translation feature with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, and watchOS 7. There’s no dedicated app on watchOS 7, but you can quickly use Siri for language conversion. You can use the Apple Watch’s microphone to dictate words and sentences and ask Siri to convert it to another language (from the set of supported languages). All the dictation is handled on the device through the Apple Neural Engine.
Siri can also be used to announce incoming messages on the Apple Watch running watchOS 7. The Shortcuts app is also available on the Apple Watch starting with watchOS 7, and you can use it as a complication on any of the watch faces.
Continuing on Apple’s focus on user data privacy, Apple claims that all of your activity, fitness, and health-related data is encrypted on the device or in iCloud. Your data is always in your control with watchOS 7.
watchOS 7 Compatibility
watchOS 7 is available for these Apple Watches:
- Apple Watch Series 3
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
Download watchOS 7
Your Apple Watch should automatically notify you regarding the availability of watchOS 7 and prompt you to update to the new version of the OS. However, it usually takes some time for the Apple Watch to detect the availability of the new OS and notify you about it. And if you don’t want to wait, you can check for the software update manually, either from your phone or the watch itself.
If you want to check for the update using your phone, keep your Apple Watch on the charger, go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, navigate to My Watch > General > Software Update, and you’ll be able to see watchOS 7 available to download. Tap on the ‘Download’ button and the new version of the OS will be downloaded and installed on your Apple Watch automatically.
If you want to check for the update from the Apple Watch itself, make sure that your Apple Watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, navigate to General > Software, and you’ll be able to see watchOS 7 available to download. Tap on the ‘Download’ button and watchOS 7 should be downloaded and installed on your smartwatch automatically.
watchOS 7 Release Notes
The full watchOS 7 release notes from Apple is as follows:
watchOS 7 makes Apple Watch more powerful and more personal than ever before—with new ways to discover and share watch faces, sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types. Stay connected to your loved ones by pairing an Apple Watch for a family member to your iPhone with Family Setup. And watchOS 7 includes the Memoji app, cycling directions in Maps, and Siri language translation.
– New Stripes face that lets you select the number of stripes you want, choose colors, and rotate the angle to create a watch face that reflects your style (Series 4 and later)
– New Typograph face with numerals in classic, modern, and rounded type styles and displayed in Arabic, Arabic Indic, Devanagari, or Roman (Series 4 and later)
– New Artist face created in collaboration with Geoff McFetridge that animates and morphs into a new creation with the time or when you tap the display
– New Memoji watch face features all the Memoji you have created and all of the Memoji characters (Series 4 and later)
– New GMT face that tracks a second time zone displaying a 12-hour inner dial with local time, and a 24-hour outer dial (Series 4 and later)
– New Chronograph Pro face that records time on scales of 60, 30, 6, or 3 seconds, or measures speed based on time traveled over a fixed distance with the new tachymeter (Series 4 and later)
– New Count Up face lets you easily track elapsed time by tapping the bezel (Series 4 and later)
– Share watch faces with Messages and Mail, or post a link online
– Discover and download curated watch faces from your favorite apps in the App Store or from websites and social media
– Support for rich complications on the X-Large face
– New color filters available to customize the Photos face
– New World Clock, Moon Phase, Altimeter, Camera Remote and Sleep complications
– New Sleep app to help you meet your sleep duration goal with sleep tracking, custom sleep schedules, and a view of sleep trends over time
– Uses data from the accelerometer to detect when you are awake and when you are asleep
– Sleep mode minimizes distractions by turning on Do Not Disturb and turning off Raise to Wake and the display
– Wake up with alarm sounds and haptics on your watch
– Option to receive reminders to charge your watch before your scheduled bedtime and reminders when your watch is fully charged
– Automatic handwashing detection using motion sensors and microphone
– Once hand washing is detected, 20 second countdown starts
– Receive encouragement to keep washing for the recommended 20 seconds when watch detects you’ve stopped early
– Option to be reminded to wash your hands when arriving home
– Review how many times and how long you washed your hands in the Health app on iPhone
– Available on Apple Watch Series 4 and later
– Use your iPhone to pair and manage a watch for your family members, with their own phone number and Apple ID
– Screen Time and Downtime support for managing contacts, setting communication limits, and scheduling time away from the screen
– Schooltime mode turns on Do Not Disturb, limits interaction, and replaces watch face with distinctive yellow clock
– Set a custom Schooltime schedule and view times when watch exits mode
– Users 13 and under can track Move minutes instead of active calories, and can track walking, running, and cycling workouts with more accurate metrics
– Set up one-time, recurring, or time-based location notifications for family members
– Send money to family members and review transactions of users under 18 with Apple Cash Family (US only)
– Family members have the option to share their activity and health data, and will be notified when you create automatic location notifications
– Requires Family Sharing and can be used with up to five family members
– Available on cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 and later
– New Memoji app to create new Memoji or customize existing Memoji
– New hairstyles, more age options, and three new Memoji stickers
– Use your Memoji creations in the Memoji watch face
– Send Memoji stickers in Messages
– Turn by turn directions with larger font sizes that are easier to read
– Cycling directions provide routes along bike lanes, bike paths, and bike-friendly roads, taking into consideration elevation or how busy a street is
– Search for and add places optimized for cyclists to your route, like a bike shop
– Support for cycling directions is available in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Shanghai, and Beijing
– On-device dictation for faster and more reliable request handling and further protecting privacy (Series 4 and later, US English only)
– Translate phrases right on your wrist, with support for over 50 language pairs
– Adds support for Announce Messages
Other features and improvements:
– Change goals for exercise minutes and stand or roll hours in the Activity app
– New custom algorithms in the Workout app for Dance, Functional Strength Training, Core Training, and Cooldowns for accurate tracking of relevant metrics
– Redesigned and renamed Fitness app on iPhone with streamlined summary and sharing tabs
– Manage health and safety features of Apple Watch in the Health app on iPhone with new Health Checklist
– New Mobility metrics measured by Apple Watch available in the Health app, including low-range VO2 max, stair ascent speed, stair descent speed, and six-minute walk estimate
– ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later now available in Colombia, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates
– Irregular heart rhythm notifications now available in Colombia, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates
– Support for additional interactions on Apple Watch Series 5 without having to wake the display including access to Control Center and Notification Center, the ability to change watch faces, and more
– Create group threads in Messages
– Inline replies let you reply to a specific message and see all related messages in their own view
– New Shortcuts app to access and run shortcuts you have previously created
– Add shortcuts to your watch face as a complication
– Share your audiobooks with Family Sharing
– Search now available in the Music app
– Redesigned Wallet app
– Digital car key support in Wallet (Series 5)
– View downloaded media in Music, Audiobooks, and Podcasts apps
– Current location available for World Clock and Weather apps