Recently Apple announced watchOS 4, the new version of its smartwatch platform will be launched in fall with a wide variety of features. WatchOS 4 is all set to change Apple Watch app development. Right from smart coach and workout partner to a proactive all-day assistant, Apple claims with watchOS 4, “Apple Watch is dialed in to you like never before.”

Here’s a quick view of the new Apple Watch features introduced in the next version of the watch operating system.

Mesmerizing New Watchface

One of the most exciting things to come out of watchOS 4 is the ability to set static images into mesmerizing patterns that change and move throughout the day. Besides a kaleidoscope watchface, Apple Watch gets a new character with Woody, Jesse, and Buzz from the Toy Story movie franchise which will join the already existing options of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

The Siri watchface uses machine learning to provide the most useful information to you at a given point. This information can include diverse topics right from flight boarding passes to smart home control.

The Siri watch face displays most relevant information such as reminders and photo memories, dynamically updated whenever user will raise wrist!

Activity & Workout

Activity and Workout are amongst the most popular apps on the watch. And Apple is continuing to tweak and refine these apps. As elsewhere, Apple is gradually increasing personalisation and machine learning.

Stay motivated with personalized challenges delivered to you based on what you have accomplished a month before with the easy tracking of progress in the Activity App.

Quick switching option let’s you change gears between two different workouts and get a detailed summary at the end of workout.

There is also the functionality to sync Apple Watch with compatible gym equipment to track important metrics like heart rate, speed and calories.

Now track calorie burn even during the toughest cardio workouts for custom heart rate and motion monitoring.

New Activity Features

Daily Inspiration: Personalized Activity progress such as your achievements of accomplishing goals.

Evening Push: At the end of the day, Apple Watch will let you know what goals you still need to be accomplished. The watch will go a step further by suggesting ways of accomplishing these goals.

Monthly Challenge: Personalized monthly challenges based on your past month’s activity.

Celebrations: New animations show smaller celebrations for everyday successes, and larger ones for bigger goals achieved.

New Workout Features

Quick Start: Start any workout with just a tap of finger and the workout will start with a three-second countdown.

High-Intensity Interval Training: Modification of the heart rate and motion algorithms for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to effectively monitor calories burnt.

Enhanced Swim Tracking: Pool Swim workout will track sets and rests and record the pace for each set and the distance for each type of stroke.

Gym Equipment Sync: Pair Apple Watch with compatible gym equipment such as Life Fitness, TechnoGym, Star Trac, Schwinn, Matrix, Stair Master, and Cybex which will be available this fall.

Do Not Disturb: During any workout, watchOS provides the option of Do not Disturb, so the next time you won’t be interrupted with call or email.

Enhanced Music Management

Music management reaches new heights in watchOS 4; the Watch will automatically import Apple Music playlists and can support multiple playlists. Apple has also redesigned the dock with a vertical interface for scrolling through recent apps.

Person-to-Person Payments

Upgrades to Apple Pay on the Apple Watch lets users make and receive person-to-person payments with their friends and family through Messages or using Siri. When you receive a payment, that money will be placed into new Apple Pay Cash account. This will let you send it to others or make payments with Apple Pay, or transfer it directly to your bank account.

Systemwide improvements in watchOS 4

A single process runs app’s UI elements and code. This reduces latency and dramatically improves the speed of your app, making it more responsive eliminating the need of drastically changing code. UI improvements create a better user experience. You can give apps permission for location usage right on Apple Watch and autorotate feature lets users easily show content on Apple Watch to others. This features is highly beneficial for wearable app development related to payments and language translation among others.

Bluetooth Support

With Core Bluetooth on Apple Watch, you can connect directly with the Bluetooth in Apple Watch and bypass the phone. This results in updating information whenever users raise their wrists. This feature is useful for a variety of apps, including glucose monitors, surfing apps connected to surfboards with embedded sensors, and sports apps connected to tennis rackets. Information is sent directly to Apple Watch so users can immediately make adjustments.

New Background Modes

Several apps can now run in the background and provide turn-by-turn navigation apps every time users raise their wrist to see the next step in the directions. Apps for navigation, public transit, and tour guides send haptics so the user knows how to receive information in timely manner by raising wrists.

Your audio recording apps can offer continuous voice memos, and you can create a custom UI when recording for real-time feedback.

Fitness and Motion

Fitness and workout apps will reach the next level with watchos 4. Workout apps will function in background during an actual workout. Users will be able to see vitals such as real-time heart rate data, the gyroscope, route map data, the all-day accelerometer for a high-end fitness experience.

Graphics and Media

Leverage rich graphics and media tools in apps by providing support for speaker audio, in-line video, SpriteKit, SceneKit, Game Center, and CloudKit for data storage across devices.


watchOS 4 is set to launch this fall and available in beta form for developers to test in the interim. The best part of watchOS 4 apps is that they load faster and are more responsive with the ability to do more tasks because Apple is opening up more APIs to developers.

written by for Apple, Apps section(s).