Apple adds sleep tracking and new workout features in watchOS 7

Apple has launched a preview build of watchOS 7, which brings sleep tracking and new fitness features to the Apple Watch.

“We’re energized by the positive impact Apple Watch is having on our customers and are excited to deliver meaningful new tools that support their health, fitness, and wellness,” said Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams.

“WatchOS 7 brings sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types together with a whole new way to discover and use watch faces, helping our users stay healthy, active, and connected.”

Apple is introducing sleep tracking to watchOS 7, which provides a variety of tools to ensure users can optimise their sleeping habits.

Using the Apple Watch’s accelerometer, the app is able to detect micro-movements that signal breathing during sleep.

This allows it to determine if the wearer is sleeping and how much sleep they get each night.

When they wake up in the morning, they will be able to view their sleep history from the previous night – including when they were awake and when they were asleep.

This data will be added to their weekly sleep trend chart.

WatchOS 7 will also provide users with a silent haptic alarm or gentle sounds to help them wake up without being startled.

Workout improvements

WatchOS 7 brings four new workout types to the Apple Watch – Core Training, Dance, Functional Strength Training, and Cooldown.

The dance workout type was tested using Bollywood, cardio dance, hip-hop, and Latin, Apple said.

The Activity app on the iPhone has also been redesigned and is now known as Fitness.

It will now provide a streamlined view of workout data including daily activity, workouts, awards, and activity trends.

Cyclists will now also be able to get directions on their Apple Watch, and Maps can even let them know when to dismount and walk their bike, or when to take stairs to save time.

Users will be able to choose between routes that avoid steep hills, get to the destination fastest, or take the most direct path.

New watch faces

Apple said that watchOS 7 offers new ways for users to discover and share combinations that allow them to configure their watch face to suit their specific needs.

“Infinitely customizable and personalized faces, inclusive of complications, can be shared through Messages or Mail, and discovered through the App Store or even from links through websites and social media channels,” said Apple.

Developers will also be able to offer more than one complication per app on a single watch face.

For example, the Dawn Patrol surfing watch face shows tides, wind speed, and water temperature from users’ favourite surf spots.

Updated watch faces also offer increased personalisation and better access to favourite apps.

Now read: Apple unveils macOS Big Sur – Big redesign with a better browser

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Apple adds sleep tracking and new workout features in watchOS 7