Here are all of the biggest changes coming to Apple Watch with watchOS 6

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 7
Apple has announced a new version of watchOS which packs a handful of new watch faces, and features. So, let's go over what those new features are, and see what watchOS 6 has to offer.

New California Watch Face on watchOS 6
New California Watch Face on watchOS 6

All-new watch faces

With watchOS 6, Apple announced a handful of new watch faces, new complications, and changes to existing watch faces. We already gave you a detailed look at all the new watch faces so we won't rehash them here.




There's an all new Noise app

One of the new features that Apple announced at WWDC 2019 is a new Noise app which can help you check sound levels nearby and notify you when certain sounds might affect your hearing. It does this is by using the Apple Watch's built-in mic and processing the audio locally on your phone -- never saving any of it. You can also add a complication for Noise to quickly see whether the noise levels might be too loud, or if it's normal.

Noise App for watchOS 6
Noise App for watchOS 6

Voice Memos and Calculator

Apple also added Voice Memos and a Calculator app so you can record quick voice memos without the need to pull out your phone, and the calculator app can help figure out tips, and how to properly split the bills so that you and your friends don't have to argue about how much everyone should chip in on dinner.

Calculator on watchOS 6
Calculator on watchOS 6


Audiobooks is also coming to Apple Watch so any audiobooks you've purchased through Apple Books will now be available through that app, and there's also new developer tools that includes an audio API to stream music, radio and podcasts. Pandora is already on board with others likely in tow.

Voice Memos for Apple Watch
Voice Memos for Apple Watch

A dedicated App Store just for Apple Watch

And speaking of apps, Apple also added the App Store to the Apple Watch so that users can easily install third-party apps, search for apps using Siri, and view app product pages directly on the watch. Developers can also build Apple Watch-only apps, created to work independently on Apple Watch without an iOS app which is helpful in letting the Apple Watch stand on its own.

Dedicated App Store for Apple Watch
Dedicated App Store for Apple Watch


There's now a new taptic time feature where the watch will tap a short pattern at the top of the hour to let you know that a new hour, or you can set it to tap you every half hour. You could alternatively opt for a Taptic chime which will audibly alert you.

Being healthy is a priority

Health and fitness is obviously a big deal for Apple Watch users, so Apple added a new Trends tab in the Activity app on iPhone which now gives users a long-term view of their activity behavior to help them understand their progress.

There's also now a menstrual cycle tracking app -- obviously called Cycle -- which gives women the ability to log important information related to their menstrual cycles and see predicted timing for their next cycle and fertility window using the convenience of their Apple Watch. The new Cycle Tracking feature is also available in the Health app on iPhone with iOS 13.

Cycle Tracking on Apple Watch
Cycle Tracking on Apple Watch


All of your activity data still syncs to your iPhone, and with watchOS 6 and iOS 13 you can see more information. In the Activity app on iPhone, it will now show you your Activity trends. These compare your recent activity levels with your overall average to see if you've been doing better or worse in several categories. This is designed to help motivate you to push yourself further and keep improving your health as well as give you a big picture of your progress.

New Activity Trends for iPhone
New Activity Trends for iPhone


With Shazam, Siri on Apple Watch is now able to identify songs for you just by you asking and will provide you the title, artist, and album art. Animoji and Memoji stickers you create on iPhone will now show up on Apple Watch to bring even more fun to your messages.

WatchOS6 also enables Core ML which now uses the Apple Neural Engine on Apple Watch Series 4, enabling faster processing of on-device inputs. This means that beyond an initial speed-up, after it learns some user habits, everything can run smoother than before.

Apple will be released watchOS 6 this fall alongside iOS 13, iPadOS, macOS 10.15 Catalina, and tvOS 13. Like watchOS 5, it will run on every Apple Watch with the exception of the original.

Check out our other features regarding Apple's new updates.
anantksundaram

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,503member
    One of the disappointments I have with Siri is when I ask her to "name that tune" she can ID a song that is playing. But not when she is connected to CarPlay and I have the radio on. Maybe that will be remedied in the Shazam stuff.

    I'd really like transit systems to know just how dangerously noisy their buses are. I'm sitting at a bus stop, and up comes a bus...and it lets fly with its airbrakes. It is actually painful. I've actually used a different app to measure it. I've seen over 115dB. Ouch. Sure wish we could collect this info, and give it to the transit agencies and even the bus makers. Sound suppression systems are probably easy to make and inexpensive to deploy. AppDevs ready go
    chasmracerhomie3fotoformat
  • Reply 2 of 13
    arthurbaarthurba Posts: 108member
    “Hold on...”

    ”i’ll Tap you when I’m ready”

    AWS4 cellular. Siri works like once in 20.  I don’t even bother anymore - I check it a couple of times after each software update then go back to ignoring it. Pathetic. 

    Proper nouns in dictation also needs work.  It doesn’t seem to use the pronunciation in contacts even when it’s available.  Some way generally to feed back so dictation gets better, like the ability to tap a word and fix it and dictate it a few times so it learns.  
    dedgeckonetmageemig647
  • Reply 3 of 13
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,698member
    I do see the "I'll tap you when I'm ready" message from time to time (maybe once in 50, certainly not the problem you're having), but let me tell you what the problem is and a potential fix.

    The reason for the difficulty is that your iPhone is trying or has connected to a non-working open Wi-Fi connection, and can't reach the internet to process some aspects of your request. The fix is to go into your iPhone settings -> Wi-Fi, and tell it to ask to connect to unknown networks (known networks will still be joined automatically). If there's a notoriously bad "known" network you've joined before that doesn't work (I have this problem in some parts of town with the carrier's hotspots), tell the iPhone to "forget" that network. This will cause your iPhone to rely on LTE data when you're not on a known-good Wi-Fi network, and thus the connection between your iPhone and the Watch will be stronger and thus Siri will work much more reliably. It made a huge difference for me, I hope it does the same for you.

    Regarding pronunciation ... I agree that there could be more done in the area of fixing bad pronunciations, there is a way to correct names, here is the method I use to train it from scratch:

    1. Ask Siri for the phone number of the name you know it will mispronounce.

    2. After it says the name incorrectly aloud, say "that's not how you pronounce it."

    It will then ask you to say the name, listen, and offer you choices of pronunciation. Select the one that is closest, and then it will pronouce it correctly next time.
    edited June 6 cornchipVermelhoronnpscooter63GeorgeBMacanantksundaramStrangeDaysAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,698member
    eightzero said:
    One of the disappointments I have with Siri is when I ask her to "name that tune" she can ID a song that is playing. But not when she is connected to CarPlay and I have the radio on. Maybe that will be remedied in the Shazam stuff.
    Interesting. Until they do fix that, you could use your Apple Watch for this. Say "Hey Siri, open Shazam," and then you'll have to tap the Shazam icon for it to "listen." I just tested this and it works!
    edited June 6 ronnanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    VermelhoVermelho Posts: 10member
    Im on first generation watch, use it every day. About ready to jump for Gen 4 though.  It's laggy, got left behind with sw updates last year, and I'd love to swim with it. 
    Plus I do have a benign heartbeat irregularity that makes sense to monitor.  
    The dials thing has really pissed me off though.  Monetizing brand faces is such a flimsy way to get more and give less.
    Would be so simple in customization to give a photo background to the analog hands. give half a dozen hand alternatives and colors.
    I pretty much exclusively use my own custom formatted background for the limited control digital face. Company logo, even special events I'll whip up in photoshop for giggles.    
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 944member
    Chasm, thanks so much for your insights!
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    dedgeckodedgecko Posts: 118member
    chasm said:
    I do see the "I'll tap you when I'm ready" message from time to time (maybe once in 50, certainly not the problem you're having), but let me tell you what the problem is and a potential fix.

    The reason for the difficulty is that your iPhone is trying or has connected to a non-working open Wi-Fi connection, and can't reach the internet to process some aspects of your request. The fix is to go into your iPhone settings -> Wi-Fi, and tell it to ask to connect to unknown networks (known networks will still be joined automatically). If there's a notoriously bad "known" network you've joined before that doesn't work (I have this problem in some parts of town with the carrier's hotspots), tell the iPhone to "forget" that network. This will cause your iPhone to rely on LTE data when you're not on a known-good Wi-Fi network, and thus the connection between your iPhone and the Watch will be stronger and thus Siri will work much more reliably. It made a huge difference for me, I hope it does the same for you.

    Regarding pronunciation ... I agree that there could be more done in the area of fixing bad pronunciations, there is a way to correct names, here is the method I use to train it from scratch:

    1. Ask Siri for the phone number of the name you know it will mispronounce.

    2. After it says the name incorrectly aloud, say "that's not how you pronounce it."

    It will then ask you to say the name, listen, and offer you choices of pronunciation. Select the one that is closest, and then it will pronouce it correctly next time.
    I have the issue on my home Wi-Fi and out in the world. Siri is mostly useless, and the lack of feedback to correct it is why it’s the most used AI service in the world. Users unsuccessful attempt multiple times... then give up in frustrating and manually make the query. Since Apple doesn’t count them as one query en mass (privacy and all), and there’s no feedback to indicate the queries are anything but queries, they mis-record the metric as a positive.

    The cost of lies...
    netmage
  • Reply 8 of 13
    arthurbaarthurba Posts: 108member
    chasm said:
    I do see the "I'll tap you when I'm ready" message from time to time (maybe once in 50, certainly not the problem you're having), but let me tell you what the problem is and a potential fix.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    But, err, no, it doesn't help.  Trust me, I've researched all the known solutions to this - they don't work.  

    1)
    The phone and watch are both joined to known good wifi networks.  Safari works fine.  Hey Siri "hold on...".  The phone works flawlessly, the watch, not so much.  

    Note: I never carry the phone and watch together, so I mean the phone is on a good wifi network at home and the watch is on a known good wifi network where I am.  Yes I regularly 'forget' bad networks, yes I have 'ask to join unknwn networks' enabled.  Search the apple forums and there are a LOT of posts saying the fixes don't work and Siri always responds with 'hold on...'.  The solution is for Apple to start logging when this message comes up, and logging when siri successfully takes a message - and if the ratio gets too low, say 1 in 10, then it needs to pop up a message saying "you've just scored a free replacement watch, lifetime applecare, a free mac pro and $1million dollars.  please come to the apple store so we can give it all to you" then investigate the cause and fix it.  Yes, I'm applying economic theory of cost - the problem doesn't get fixed because there is no cost to Apple, my solution gives Apple a great big fat cost, which they can reduce by fixing the problem.  Easy.  Not going to happen, and I'll keep the watch because I don't really need Siri (not that I'd know if it's any use, because, duh,  'hey Siri!' 'Hold on...').

    2)
    And regarding "hey siri, ... that's not how you pronounce it."  Yep, that sets the pronouciation field in the contact record.  Already done that, already said I did 


    netmageanantksundaramchasm
  • Reply 9 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,269member
    I'm disapointed that, once again, Apple passed on strengthening the Activity and Health app reporting.

    The Watch captures all the data needed during a run:   Heart rate, pace, climb, distance etc.  But then they get loaded into Apple Health where all the data is still there and available.  But, the Health App can only report them back using tiny little, mostly meaningless graphs on the iPhone.

    So, I am forced to use third party apps that, in many ways duplicate Apple's Health App (at least for exercise) in order to get meaningful reporting back on my runs.

    This is not a technical issue:  the data is there.   It just has to be reported in a meaningful way.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 10 of 13
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,413member
    Great summary! Thanks. 

    The Watch is truly a game-changer — as much as the iPad was, if not more. It has become an essential accoutrement to my daily life, in a completely non-intrusive way.

    But on a slow-burn, so people are not paying that much attention. It’s a sleeper product for Apple in so many ways...
    StrangeDaysAppleExposeddocno42watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Audiobooks: Hurry up already! :smiley: 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,677unconfirmed, member
    chasm said:
    eightzero said:
    One of the disappointments I have with Siri is when I ask her to "name that tune" she can ID a song that is playing. But not when she is connected to CarPlay and I have the radio on. Maybe that will be remedied in the Shazam stuff.
    Interesting. Until they do fix that, you could use your Apple Watch for this. Say "Hey Siri, open Shazam," and then you'll have to tap the Shazam icon for it to "listen." I just tested this and it works!

    Tedious. I though Apple integrated Shazam into Siri?
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