watchOS 6 Announced: Brand New Watch Faces, Noise App, Independent Apps, App Store, More
Alongside tvOS 13, Apple officially announced watchOS 6 at WWDC today. The update brings a host of new watch faces is arriving with watchOS 6. A user interacts with the watch face the most and it’s good to see that Apple is keeping things fresh for its users. These include Modular Compact, Solar Dial, California, Gradient and Numerals faces. The new watch faces give some existing popular faces a fresh coat of paint and a brand new look to others.
Apple is also bringing more apps to the wearable, including a calculator, audiobooks, and voice memos. The new Calculator app helps with tip calculations and splitting checks right from the wrist. Similarly, Siri search queries can display webpage results in full on Apple Watch. Apps will now be able to run locally on the app, without the need to have a companion app installed on the paired iPhone. There will also be a dedicated App Store for Apple Watch apps. Users will be able to search, discover, and download apps directly on the Apple Watch, making it less dependant on its companion iPhone.
Apple also announced new health and fitness features for watchOS including a new Trends to see how your activity compares over time as well as Highlights and Favorites. The tab shows whether the trends are up or down for key metrics such as active calories, exercise minutes, walking pace and others. If the last 90 days of activity shows a downward trend relative to the last 365 days, the Activity app offers to coach the user get back on track.
A new feature can demonstrate how noisy the surrounding environment is which is go important in reducing the long term effects of exposure to loud noises. The watch can send a notification if the decibel level reaches 90 decibels, which is the WHO approved threshold for noisy environments. None of the audio or sounds in the environment is saved by the Noise app or sent to Apple. The information from Apple Watch health features will be visible within the redesigned Health app on iOS 13. All data is encrypted on-device and if iCloud back up is selected by the user, data is encrypted in iCloud.
Apple is also adding menstrual cycle tracking, which will let women monitor their cycle. This feature will also be available on the iPhone. The daily log function enables the quick addition of information related to the menstrual cycle, including current period, flow, symptoms, results from ovulation prediction kits and other elements of fertility tracking. watchOS 6 is being released to developers this week and will be available for Apple Watch users later this year.