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Apple's watchOS 5 Arrives With New Fitness, Communication Features

September 17, 2018

Right along with iOS 12, Apple has just released watchOS 5 for Apple Watch to the general public. It’s available for all Apple Watch models except the original Series 0 that was released in 2015.

How to Update to watchOS 5

How to Update to watchOS 5

The update can be downloaded now through the companion Watch app on your iPhone by heading to General > Software Update in the My Watch portion of the app.

Your watch needs to have more than 50 percent power and connected to a charger. Like most Apple Watch updates, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete, so be patient.

Here’s a look at some of the new features in the software.

More Fitness Features

More Fitness Features

Many of the new features in the software focus on activity.

For many of the most popular workout types, auto-workout detection will provide an alert when detected and will give credit retroactively. It will also provide a reminder to end a workout session after inactivity.

Speaking of workouts, yoga and hiking have been added to the mix.

While on a run, a new cadence metric will be shown while indoors and outdoors. A pace alarm will alert you if behind a set pace. Rolling pace mile will show runners their pace for the immediately preceding mile along with the average or current pace.

Watch users can challenge others to a seven-day Activity challenge and earn points for closing the three different rings.

Podcasts, Walkie-Talkie and More

Podcasts, Walkie-Talkie and More

Compatible over Wi-Fi or cellular, a new Walkie-Talkie feature will allow watch wearers to quickly and easily connect with another Apple Watch.

Apple’s Podcasts app will allow users to listen to episodes by just using Siri.

The great Siri watch face is getting even better as it can now be used to activate Shortcuts and show information from third-party apps.

Other new features include:

  • To activate Siri, just raise your wrist. There’s no need to say “Hey, Siri.”
  • There are a number of new watch faces to select from including a Breathe face inspired by the watch app and three animated options – Fire and Water, Liquid Metal, and Vapor.
  • Notifications from apps can now also feature interactive controls. They are also grouped together to view more easily.
  • The different icons in Control Center can be moved to your liking. Just hit Edit on the bottom of the screen and move the icons as you’d like.

The Apple Watch Series 4 will officially arrive later this week on Friday, Sept. 21 with a larger screen and more.