Apple shows off watchOS 4

Apple took the wraps off watchOS 4 today during its WWDC Keynote, with VP of Technology Kevin Lynch demonstrating several new features in the next major update to Apple’s wearable device. watchOS 4 will add several new Watch Faces, most notably a proactive “Siri Face” that will provide a display of relevant information throughout the day, similar to the “Proactive Assistant” introduced in iOS 9 two years ago. For example, the Siri Face will adapt to a user’s routines and usage patterns, automatically surfacing things like weather, meeting notifications, photo memories, reminders, news, flight information, and more, based on the time of the day and location and how the user typically uses their Apple Watch. Additional new faces includes a “Kaleidoscope” watch face that displays a symmetrical pattern throughout the day, which can be customized using a picture from the user’s photo library, a swell as three new animated faces for popular Toy Story characters Woody, Jessie, and Buzz.

watchOS 4 will also include more personalized workouts and activity notifications, including monthly challenges based on a user’s actual workout history for coaching purposes, new animations for closing rings and earning achievements, and several UI improvements in the workouts app to make it easier to kick off workouts. The Pool Swim workout gains the ability to automatically break up laps between rests at the edge of the pool, and a new “High Intensity Interval Training” workout has been added. Multiple workouts can also now be chained sequentially into a single session. In addition, Apple has partnered with several fitness equipment manufacturers to enable two-way real-time data exchange between the Apple Watch and gym equipment.

The Music app has also been redesigned in watchOS 4 with support for storing multiple playlists on the Watch itself, as well as automatically saving music from the paired iPhone to the Apple Watch based on a user’s listening habits. Users can now pick a playlist that automatically starts when beginning a workout, and swipe left in the Workouts app to control music while working out. watchOS 4 is available today to registered developers, and is expected to be released in the fall.


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.