These watchOS 5 features make the Apple Watch even better

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 20
Apple's watchOS 5 release is here, and packing a bunch of awesome new features. Let's run through some of those exciting new features and talk about why they make the Apple Watch experience better than ever before.





First, some bad news to owners of the original Apple Watch, sometimes called the Series 0 -- you can't use watchOS 5 on your devices. The operating system is only supported on the Series 1 and newer models, including the anticipated Apple Watch Series 4.

Podcasts and Audio

If you own a pair of AirPods, the listening experience will be even better in the Podcasts app, especially since you can adjust your AirPods volume with the crown.




The best thing about Podcasts is that your favorite shows are constantly being updated with new episodes, and you can even stream them over LTE if your Apple Watch supports it. You can easily skip back and forward and change the playback speed, just like you can on your iPhone.

Podcasts also comes with its own complication, so you can get into the app straight from your watch face.

There's also a new feature for developers that allows music and audiobooks from apps like Pandora and Audible to be synced to your Apple Watch for offline playback, without needing your iPhone nearby.

Siri can even be used to search for any show on Podcasts, which leads us to the next awesome watchOS 5 feature.

Raise to Speak and Siri

Say goodbye to saying "Hey Siri," because now you can just raise your wrist and tell Siri to start a 30 minute outdoor run without the vocal prompt.

This is handy for anyone who doesn't want to obviously show themselves to be talking to their digital assistant in public, and for those who want to get into the feature they want as quickly as possible.




The Siri watch face now learns what you do throughout your day, proactively suggesting relevant content and shortcuts at the right time and place throughout the day, and it works with your favorite third-party apps as well.

You can even get live scores for your favorite sports team, right on your Siri Watch face.

Fitness

What if you're the kind of person that constantly forgets to start your workout? WatchOS 5 has you covered, with the new automatic workout detection feature that senses when you're moving and alert you to start the workout.

It'll even give you credit for any exercise you performed before actually starting the workout on the Apple Watch.




For the more competitive, the new Activity Competitions feature allows you to invite friends to a 7-day workout competition. After your friend accepts your invitation, both users will gain points depending on the percentage of their rings they close each day.

You can see the competition progress at any time, and receive alerts when you're falling behind. When the contest finishes, you'll even get an award.

Apple has also added a couple more workout modes like Yoga and Hiking, which is pretty cool because I enjoy hiking, and the Apple Watch Series 3's barometric altimeter shows you how high you've climbed.

Rounding out the workout additions, Pace Alerts advise when you are behind or ahead of a target pace, while the new rolling mile pace metric will show runners their current pace and average pace per mile.

Walkie-Talkie

I don't know about you, but sometimes I'm way too busy to call or text someone, especially with the fuss of calling and waiting for them to answer. That's where the new Walkie-Talkie feature comes in.




Simply press the button, say a quick message, and release when you're done. The message is instantly played out through the target Apple Watch.

To get started, open the app, choose a contact and send them an invitation. Once they accept, you're ready to start sending and receiving audio messages, and it even works with LTE.

You can also keep your conversation private by using AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones. We tested this out, and found it worked incredibly well, even in beta.

Other Siri Improvements

With watchOS 5, you can now respond to notifications without having to open up the relevant app. This makes it a lot easier to do quick tasks, like checking in to your flight.

Siri got quite the overhaul in watchOS 5, and you can learn more about that AppleInsider's standalone piece.

One of the biggest features in iOS 12 is grouped notifications, and that same feature is in watchOS 5. Instead of seeing a massive list of message notifications, they are grouped into one notification, which you can clear or open to view in more detail.




Apple has also added WebKit to watchOS 5, so if you receive a message containing a website link, you can now see a preview of that website right on your Apple Watch. You can even do some limited web browsing if you send yourself a link to a site or your preferred search engine.

With WatchOS 5, it's a lot easier to use the Do Not Disturb mode. You can now schedule it to turn on for a certain amount of time, or until you leave your location, which is perfect for business meetings.
watto_cobrapatchythepirate
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Wallet open and waiting.
    JaiOh81GeorgeBMacminicoffeewatto_cobradocno42
  • Reply 2 of 40
    19831983 Posts: 1,115member
    Am I missing something here? Isn’t the series 0 and Series 1 the same thing? But watchOS 5 will only work with the latter?
    edited September 1
  • Reply 3 of 40
    1983 said:
    Am I missing something here? Isn’t the series 0 and Series 1 the same thing? But watchOS 5 will only work with the latter?
    No, the body of the watch is identical but they changed out the processor etc for the series 1. The series 1 is more similar to the series 2 with the processor minus the GPS and swim proof features.
    Soliwilliamlondonchristopher126watto_cobra2old4funnetmagenetmage
  • Reply 4 of 40
    19831983 Posts: 1,115member
    jdmac29 said:
    1983 said:
    Am I missing something here? Isn’t the series 0 and Series 1 the same thing? But watchOS 5 will only work with the latter?
    No, the body of the watch is identical but they changed out the processor etc for the series 1. The series 1 is more similar to the series 2 with the processor minus the GPS and swim proof features.
    Yes, I remember now, thanks.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 40
    Does the LTE model have a bigger battery?  I have no intention of using LTE but would appreciate better mileage. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Apple needs to further optimize watchOS, it is still slow and clunky to do many things, and they need to ramp up the CPU power of the unit to do better.  The UI is also clunky to control and often is a turn-off to even using it.  It needs to further become MUCH more independent from the Phone to really show its usefulness.  This is my impression of Series 3 w/cellular after a ~ year of use.  Even w/watchOS 5 beta, it's not better-enough.  
    edited September 1 ivanhwilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 40
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,353member
    The Apple Watch and watchOS are amazing. It used to be the first thing I'd put on in the morning and the last thing I'd take off at night, but now it's something I wear day and night (to record my sleep habits). Charging while showering twice a day is more than enough time to keep it charged.

    My Watch is such an important piece of tech that I've now gone two years without updating my iPhone (only the second time I've ever done that) and I think it's possible that I'll go a 3rd year. If the rumours about Series 4 are true I'll likely upgrade from my Series 3, but if not my Series 3 runs great with watchOS 5.
    edited September 1 StrangeDaysbshankthrangwatto_cobrachristopher126albegarc
  • Reply 8 of 40
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,353member
    toysandme said:
    Does the LTE model have a bigger battery?  I have no intention of using LTE but would appreciate better mileage. 
    No. The battery size has increased with each new model, but they didn't make the Series 3 Watch with cellular larger to accommodate a larger battery. It's never been an issue for me and I've been actively keeping my iPhone at home or away from my person so I can rely solely on my Series 3 Watch with cellular.
    watto_cobratoysandmepatchythepirate
  • Reply 9 of 40
    jdmac29 said:
    1983 said:
    Am I missing something here? Isn’t the series 0 and Series 1 the same thing? But watchOS 5 will only work with the latter?
    No, the body of the watch is identical but they changed out the processor etc for the series 1. The series 1 is more similar to the series 2 with the processor minus the GPS and swim proof features.
    They aren’t quite identical. When the Series 1 & 2 came out they were slightly thicker than the original. 
    watto_cobranetmage
  • Reply 10 of 40
    1983 said:
    Am I missing something here? Isn’t the series 0 and Series 1 the same thing? But watchOS 5 will only work with the latter?
    No, they are not the same.   Technically there is no Series 0.  That is simply the original Apple Watch.  Series 1 is actually the 2nd generation that was released a year later.   There are significant upgrades in the Series 1 -- particularly in the heart rate sensor (the original is not able to do HRV) and in the processor which eliminated much of the slight lag people often experienced with the original.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Excellent review!  Very complete and informative.

    But why did it start off saying he will order the AW Gen 4 immediately?
    Unless he has a Gen 0 he'll get everything he mentioned with OS5.

    Now to bitch:   While OS5 has some very sweet updates, it is still lacking 3 that I've been looking for:
    -- Enhancements for serious runners such as better tracking of intervals.  When I run 400 meter repeats or hill repeats, I want to know how fast I did each one.
    -- Better heart rate reporting (which is actually OS12).  We need something better than these tiny little graphs in the health app.   They are worthless.   And, they make the Health App kind of a black hole that accepts input but doesn't report information very well.
    -- Better reporting of splits:  it tells you the pace for each split but not the heart rate or vertical climb that can dramatically impact it.
    vadimyuryevlibertyforallmiafin421
  • Reply 12 of 40
    ivanhivanh Posts: 223member
    Ambient temperature sensor please. CASIO has it 40 years ago.
    williamlondontoysandme
  • Reply 13 of 40
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,353member
    ivanh said:
    Ambient temperature sensor please. CASIO has it 40 years ago.
    I don’t think anyone would object to having that feature, but you’re reasoning isn’t sound.
    bshanklibertyforallbestkeptsecretwatto_cobranetmage
  • Reply 14 of 40
    Soli said:
    The Apple Watch and watchOS are amazing. It used to be the first thing I'd put on in the morning and the last thing I'd take off at night, but now it's something I wear day and night (to record my sleep habits). Charging while showering twice a day is more than enough time to keep it charged.

    My Watch is such an important piece of tech that I've now gone two years without updating my iPhone (only the second time I've ever done that) and I think it's possible that I'll go a 3rd year. If the rumours about Series 4 are true I'll likely upgrade from my Series 3, but if not my Series 3 runs great with watchOS 5.
    I have to try this method when my S0 dies. Right now I’m using it to track my sleep. 

    On the article, agree with the first 4. Can’t wait for the update. Life is good! :smiley: 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 40


    -- Enhancements for serious runners such as better tracking of intervals.  When I run 400 meter repeats or hill repeats, I want to know how fast I did each one.
    Just double tap the screen to mark interval. 
    bshankwatto_cobranetmage
  • Reply 16 of 40
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 680member
    ivanh said:
    Ambient temperature sensor please. CASIO has it 40 years ago.
    Having an accurate ambient temperature sensor in a waterproof device would be difficult, especially one that has an aluminum case. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 40
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,353member
    MplsP said:
    ivanh said:
    Ambient temperature sensor please. CASIO has it 40 years ago.
    Having an accurate ambient temperature sensor in a waterproof device would be difficult, especially one that has an aluminum case. 
    And let's consider when thermostats and other sensors were first added to handheld and wearable devices. A network of satellites and worldwide communication didn't exist for these devices. While it might be nice to occasionally know the indoor temperature of my living room by looking at my watch or be able to get the temperature if I'm hiking Denali without any cellular reception the former isn't really a big deal (and I do have a thermostat that I can check remotely from my couch) and the latter either isn't a big deal or I"d wear a different type of watch that isn't designed to be connected to the internet.


    PS: I did use my Series 0 Watch to hike through some mountains for several days. Not having any cellular on my iPhone I turned my iPhone off and put my Watch into Airplane Mode to conserve as much battery power as possible. I was able to get 3 days on a single charge that way (although this included turning it off at night). Unfortunately, with no altimeter in that model and possibly an inability let it know that you're hiking rough terrain as well as carrying a heavy pack I was completing grueling 8–10 hour hikes per day without completing my 30 minute exercise ring, IIRC.
    edited September 1 bshankGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 40
    This is handy for anyone who doesn't want to obviously show themselves to be talking to their digital assistant in public.”

    From my experience, you have to raise the watch quite close to your face for this feature to work. That dashes the hope of not being obvious.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    I had the series 1 and didn’t wear it all that often. It was a nice watch but really wasn’t all that useful. I bought the series 3 with cellular and it’s a whole new game. I love the watch and everything about it. The watch works flawlessly without my iPhone anywhere near. I text using Siri and the phone calls are clear as well. I’m anxious to see the new series 4 but I’ll wait and see if it will be worthwhile to upgrade again so soon.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 40
    bshankbshank Posts: 140member
    1983 said:
    Am I missing something here? Isn’t the series 0 and Series 1 the same thing? But watchOS 5 will only work with the latter?
    It can be confusing. Series 1 is not the same as the Watch (1st Gen). Series 1 is not the first Watch
    Soliwatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.