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Article: WatchOS 11 is Coming!

WatchOS 11 is Coming! - Buckle and Band
Apple

WatchOS 11 is Coming!

During its WWDC 2024 keynote, Apple announced the highly anticipated watchOS 11, packed with new and improved features. Let’s delve into the exciting updates watchOS 11 brings, building on the solid foundation of watchOS 10 with even more intelligent functionality.

New and Improved Features

One of the standout features is the Training Load score. This new metric is designed to help athletes monitor their training intensity over time. By analysing various metrics such as resting and average heart rates, altitude, workout duration, age, and weight, Apple’s algorithm generates a dynamic Training Load score. This score helps athletes using the best Apple Watches for activity tracking to gauge their training levels and ensure they are neither overtraining nor under-training. Additionally, new metrics like “weekly running distance” provide further insights to help users stay on track with their fitness goals or recognise when it’s time to rest.

Apple Watch and iPhone screen displaying workout information and Training Load


Another significant addition is the Vitals app, this app aims to help users understand how their body responds to and recovers from stress. Developed using data from Apple’s Heart & Movement study, the Vitals app monitors heart rate, respiratory rate, sleep, and other metrics, comparing them to your average ranges. If any metrics are flagged as unusual, the Apple Watch will alert you. The Health app will then prompt you to review aspects of your lifestyle, including sleep patterns, exercise routines, and alcohol consumption, to help improve overall well-being.

Pink Apple Watch displaying the new overnight vitals analytics


The Activity Rings have also been enhanced in watchOS 11. Users can now adjust their activity goals by day of the week and pause for a rest day, allowing them to maintain their award streaks. This flexibility is particularly useful for those with varying workout routines. Furthermore, users can set workouts to alert a friend upon safe completion, such as notifying someone after a late-night run.

The widget stack has received a major upgrade with the introduction of Live Activities. Widgets are now more interactive and dynamic. For instance, you can see when your Uber is scheduled to arrive directly on the home screen without opening the app. The Check-In feature, previously available only on iPhone, allows you to notify friends when you’ve arrived home safely.

Apple Watch displaying an Uber update, letting the user know that the car is outside

Additional Features

The Cycle Tracking feature has been updated to show estimates of gestational age, displaying pregnancy data across charts to review metrics like high heart rate notification thresholds. An improved Photos watch face gives users more control and uses machine learning to automatically crop photos. The update also brings the Translate app to the Apple Watch, allowing users to easily look up and translate sentences and words on the go.

Apple Watches displaying the translate app, translating a sentence into Korean

Expanded Workout App: The Workout app now supports a wider variety of workout types, leveraging improved GPS positioning to track distance. New additions include Soccer, American Football, Australian Football, Outdoor Hockey, Lacrosse, Downhill Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snowboarding, Golf, and Outdoor Rowing. Users can also view route maps for more workout types, enhancing their training insights.

Custom Workouts for Pool Swims: Users can now create Custom Workouts for pool swims, allowing for interval-based workouts with sets of work and recovery. Haptic feedback signals when it’s time to move to the next interval. The new "Up Next" workout view provides details on the current interval and a snapshot of the upcoming one across any Custom Workout.

Apple Watch Ultra displaying workout analytics

Enhanced Apple Maps: Apple Maps now includes hikes for all U.S. national parks, which can be saved to Apple Watch and accessed offline with turn-by-turn guidance, even without an iPhone nearby. Additionally, users can create custom walking routes within the Maps app on iPhone and navigate them later using just their Apple Watch.

Summarised Notifications: Notifications summarised by Apple Intelligence will be forwarded from iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to Apple Watch, keeping users informed and organised seamlessly.

Enhanced Ticketing: Ticketing improvements in Apple Wallet provide users with more information, such as venue opening times and event start times. A Live Activity will begin at the event, displaying seat details and other crucial information at the top of the Smart Stack.

Tap to Cash: This new feature allows users to send and receive Apple Cash by simply holding their Apple Watch near another Apple Watch or iPhone, making transactions quick and effortless.

iPhone and Apple Watch displaying workout goals and the option to alter and change them



Notably, Apple did not specify which Apple Watches would support watchOS 11 during the keynote. However, a post in Apple’s Newsroom confirmed that support for the Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, and the original Apple Watch SE will be discontinued. WatchOS 11 is currently in beta and available for developers starting today. A public beta is set to be released in July, with the general release expected this autumn, likely in September to coincide with the launch of the Apple Watch 10.

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