Apple Watch is getting a number of small – but really handy – updates. First up, you’ll be able to add multiple instances of the same Watch Complication to your Watch Face. So, if you use the same app for reminders and calendar appointments, like the phenomenal Fantastical 2 for example, you’ll be able to make it appear twice on the same Watch Face to get more information at a glance.
And if you can’t be faffed to spend hours perfecting the ideal Watch Face with the perfect text colour, background image, Complications and more – you’ll now be able to add a Watch Face from an online article, a recommendation from the App Store, or an iMessage from a friend or family member. And if you have put in the hard hours to perfect your Apple Watch and want to share your creation, you’ll be able to beam it to iMessage contacts by long-pressing on the Apple Watch touchscreen and tapping the share icon.
But the biggest change to the Apple Watch is the arrival of Sleep Tracking.
With watchOS 7, setting a preferred bedtime will kickstart a new feature called Wind Down which sets notifications to Do Not Disturb mode so you don’t need to worry about a phone call disturbing your slumber, the ping of an unwanted app notification or email. Of course, as always with Do Not Disturb – you can allow calls from select contacts to ignore the mode and if a contact tries to reach you multiple times in quick succession, Apple will switch the sound back on.
When your head hits the pillow, Apple Watch will now keep tabs on the quality of your sleep.
During the night, watchOS 7 will detect micro-movements from the accelerometer built into the smartwatch, which signals respiration during sleep, to intelligently work out when the wearer is sleeping and how much sleep they get each night. This data will be reported in the Health app. Like the existing Calories Burned, Steps, Heart Rate categories already gathered by the Apple Watch and stored in Health, there will now be a dedicated Sleep tab that tracks trends over time and lets you deep-dive into the previous night’s slumber.
Apple Watch will use its on-device machine learning to analyse your sleep patterns and offer some useful advice about how to maximise your next snooze.
In the morning, when it’s time to wake-up, watchOS 7 will allow your Apple Watch to play a number of new alarm sounds. Or, if you’d prefer, Apple will let you use the Taptic Engine inside the wearable to buzz you awake – so your early-morning alarm won’t wake a sleeping partner next to you. Thoughtful, eh?
In a very timely new addition, watchOS 7 includes a built-in hand-washing mode that reminds wearers to scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds. Following the software update, your Apple Watch will use the motion sensors, microphone, as well as a healthy dollop of on-device machine learning to automatically detect handwashing motions and sounds.