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Home / Tips and Tricks / WatchOS 7: Why the New Apple Watch Changes Matter and How You Will Use Them

WatchOS 7: Why the New Apple Watch Changes Matter and How You Will Use Them



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WatchOS 7 adds some useful features.


Angela Lang / CNET

Apple unveiled WatchOS 7 during its WWDC keynote last week, showing some of the new features to come for the next version of the software that will power the Apple Watch . The update is expected to ship this fall and is currently only available as a beta for developers . In particular, we're looking at three new features that will change how you use your Apple Watch forever.

The Apple Watch also gets some small but potentially useful features. For example, a new hand wash feature will start a countdown timer when it detects movement related to someone washing their hands to ensure you get 20 seconds. There is also a new dance workout as part of Apple & # 39; s fitness tracking that counts every calorie as you pause a move.

More importantly, WatchOS 7 will change the way you look at your Apple Watch ($ 399 at Apple) how you interact with it before bed and even how you style the dial by download or share custom faces with a few taps.

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This watch face has multiple complications from the same app, something not possible on WatchOS 6.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

1. WatchOS no longer limits watch complications

What it is : Apple allows third-party developers and Apple Watch owners to place small pieces of information or complications on a watch face. For example, you can have a watch face with your daily calendar, the upcoming weather forecast from Dark Sky, and a shortcut to the Messages app on your favorite watch face. But until now, you've been limited to using just one complication from the same app on each watch face.

Why It's Important : Apple Watch owners and developers wanted a way to put multiple complications from the same app on one watch face. For example, you can see the current temperature complication of Dark Sky plus the weekly forecast on the same face.

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How you use it: Editing your watch faces and adding complications seems to be done the same way as always, but with an improved interface that is easier to navigate. App names and complication examples look like they are easier to view and choose.

You can long press a watch face to enter edit mode, swipe left across the face, tap the complication location you want to edit, and then select from the list.

Alternatively, you can continue editing and creating watch faces from the Watch app on your iPhone ($ 699 from Apple) .

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Sleep-tracking – yes, it is something now.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

2. WatchOS 7 can track your sleep

What it is : A new sleep app on the Apple Watch not only tracks how long and well you sleep, but also helps you unwind when your target goes to bed .

Why It Matters : Fitbit and other competing fitness trackers have built-in sleep tracking for years, but the Apple Watch didn't have an official app. With the addition of sleep tracking, Apple Watch owners have more data to consider their overall health.

How you're going to use it : After updating to WatchOS 7, you need to set up the Sleep app, set your bedtime and set a daily alarm. After the initial setup, your phone will display a Wind Down screen and turn on Do Not Disturb just before you go to bed. At bedtime, your iPhone screen dims and your watch switches to the Sleep dial. Keep your watch on while you sleep and in the morning you can see directly on the watch how well you slept and how long. There's even a battery gauge that reminds you to charge your watch in the morning.

3. Find and Share Custom Watch Faces

What It Is : WatchOS 7 adds the ability for Apple Watch owners and app developers to create and share their own watch faces, including custom complication layouts and designs.

Why It Matters : Instead of spending countless hours browsing watch faces and looking for apps with complications you like, you'll soon have access to tons of new faces with a list with apps you have to install to complete the look.

How You Use It : fellow Apple Watch owners can post their favorite packages online or send them directly to you via iMessage. Developers can place direct links to their watch faces that you can install too.

When you tap a link to add the watch face to the Watch app on your iPhone, you'll see an example of this and you'll see a list of the app complications used to make it complete with direct links to download those apps so that your new face does not have empty complication spots.

Sharing a watch face you create looks like it is currently running in the Watch app or directly from the watch itself.

Apple also announced iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and released a developer example . The update includes many new features, with major changes to the home screen of the iPhone along with tweaks to Siri and Messages .

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Once you find a watch face that you like, you will be asked if you want to install all the required apps to complete the look.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET


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