Apple to upgrade watch app to allow cardio equipment connection
June 20, 2017
At its developers conference this month in California, Apple previewed WatchOS 4, featuring a proactive Siri watch face that displays the information users need throughout the day, personalised activity coaching and a new music experience.
The update features an enhanced workout app and introduces GymKit, a technology platform that will offer customers connected workouts with cardio equipment.
“Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life and is now more intelligent than ever with WatchOS 4,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We’ve created a truly individualised experience with the smartest activity and workout apps, the Siri watch face that shows you the information you need when you need it and we’re seamlessly bringing users their favourite music right on the wrist.”
Siri intelligence extends further into Apple Watch with the Siri watch face. With each raise of the wrist, the information on the display dynamically updates based on the time of day, daily routines and pertinent data from apps such as activity, alarms, breathe, calendar, maps, reminders and wallet, as well as headlines from the new Apple News app for Apple Watch.
With WatchOS 4, the activity app delivers intelligent coaching and tailored encouragement to help close activity rings more often and achieve longer success streaks. Every morning, users will receive a personalised notification if they’re close to earning an achievement, or suggest what they can do to match yesterday’s activity levels. If needed, towards the end of the day, they’ll be told exactly how long they should walk to close their activity rings before the day is over. Users will also receive unique monthly challenges designed just for them.
Listening to music is more personal than ever with a redesigned music app that automatically syncs the new music mix, favourites mix and most listened to music. With more songs on the wrist, the combination of Apple Watch paired with AirPods makes listening to music suitable for workouts or on the go.
The updated workout app includes auto-sets for pool swim workouts and motion and heart rate algorithms for high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. With WatchOS 4, wearers doing back-to-back workouts or training for a triathlon can combine multiple workouts to capture overall calorie and time measurements.
With GymKit, wearers using their favourite cardio equipment will be able to pair their Apple Watch directly to treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes or stair steppers from manufacturers such as Life Fitness and Technogym with a simple tap. In a claimed industry first, data not previously communicated between smartwatch and fitness machine will sync seamlessly, including calories, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline and pace, resulting in more accurate measurements with less device management.
In addition to the Siri watch face, Toy Story watch faces bring to life favourite Pixar characters including Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear, while the Kaleidoscope watch face turns static images into patterns. New complications include now playing and Apple News.
Apple also introduced summer band colours, giving more options to express personal style.
With WatchOS 4, users can make and receive person-to-person payments quickly, easily and securely with friends and family with Apple Pay within messages or using Siri. When users get paid, they receive the money in their Apple Pay Cash account and can use it instantly to send to someone or make purchases using Apple Pay in stores and apps, or transfer it to their bank account.
WatchOS 4 will be available this autumn as a free update to Apple Watch paired with iPhone 5s and later on iOS 11. WatchKit for WatchOS 4 is available immediately for iOS developer programme members.
• Families across the globe can access a free iPhone app to help them organise and monitor their children's health. The app, called Caremap, enables family caregivers to store medical information securely and share it with health professionals as part of their care or in an emergency. Families can also use the app to track health metrics important to them and gain insights to inform their child's care.
The app was developed by Boston Children's Hospital's Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator in collaboration with Duke Health System. Designed for iOS, it was built using the Apple CareKit framework and is available for free in the App Store.