watchOS 5, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch, was introduced last week alongside iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. The update doesn’t include design changes or new watch faces, but it does introduce some fun new features that make the Apple Watch more useful than ever, like Walkie-Talkie.
We went hands-on with the new watchOS 5 update in our latest YouTube video to give MacRumors readers an idea of what to expect from the software when it launches this fall.
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Walkie-Talkie, the coolest new feature in watchOS 5, will let you use the Apple Watch like, well, a Walkie-Talkie, with opt-in push-to-talk communication. In the first beta of watchOS 5, which is available to developers, the Walkie-Talkie app is unfortunately not functional, listing a “Coming Soon” message when you open it up. We’ll have a separate video when it launches, so make sure to stay tuned for that.
There are other great new features in watchOS 5, though, like a new Podcasts app that lets you listen to podcasts right on your wrist without needing to open up your iPhone.
For those of you who like competition, Apple’s added a new Workout option that lets you challenge your friends to a 7-day fitness competition to see who can earn the most activity points, which is great for motivation.
Yoga and Hiking, two new Workout types, have been added, while runners will be pleased to see rolling mile pace, custom pace alerts, and cadence for better than ever tracking. Automatic Workout detection means your watch will never fail to start or stop recording your workouts, even if you forgot to manually use the Workout app.
The Siri Watch face now supports sports, maps, heart rate, and third-party apps, so you’ll see more useful suggestions, plus notifications are now actionable so you can do more right from your wrist. watchOS 5 also introduces limited support for WebKit, so you can view website menus, see full Mail messages, and click links in the Messages app without needing to pick up your iPhone.
It’s worth noting that watchOS 5 is going to be limited to Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 Apple Watch models. That means that it won’t run on the original Apple Watch.
What are you most excited for in watchOS 5? Let us know in the comments and make sure to check out our watchOS 5 roundup for more details on the new operating system.
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