3 new WatchOS 7 features will change the way you use Apple Watch. This is how they work


WatchOS 7 is adding significant features.

Angela Lang / CNET

Apple announced WatchOS 7 earlier this week the next version of the software that will power the Apple Watch. The update isn’t expected to ship until this fall, but Apple showed us some of the new features, highlighting how they work and what they add to the smartwatch.

For example, a new hand washing function It will start a countdown timer when it detects movement associated with someone who washes their hands. There’s also a new dance training as part of Apple Fitness Tracking that will ensure all calories are counted as they move on the dance floor or in the living room.

But in addition to those new features, Apple is making some long-term improvements that we think will have a big impact on your life. WatchOS 7 will change the way you look at your Apple Watch ($ 399 at Apple), how you interact with him at bedtime, and even how he designs the watch face by downloading or sharing custom faces with a few taps.

Here are three features in WatchOS 7 that will forever change the way you use your Apple Watch.


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

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

1. WatchOS no longer limits the complications of the watch face

What it is: Apple allows third-party developers and Apple Watch owners to place small pieces of information, or complications, on the face of a watch. You can, for example, have a watch face showing your daily schedule, Dark Sky’s upcoming weather report, and a shortcut to the Messages app on your favorite watch face. But until now, you’ve been limited to using just one complication of the same app on any watch face.

Because it is important: Apple Watch owners and developers have wanted a way to put multiple complications of the same app on a watch face. For example, you can see Dark Sky’s current complication of temperature plus weekly forecast on the same face.

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How will you use it: Editing your watch faces and adding complications seem to be done the same as ever, but with an improved interface that’s easier to navigate. Application names and complication previews seem easier to see and choose.

You can long press on a watch screen to enter Edit mode, swipe left across the screen, touch the location of the complication you want to edit, and then make your selection from the list.

Alternatively, you should be able to continue editing and creating watch faces from the Watch app on your iPhone. ($ 699 at Apple).


Sleep tracking: yes, it is one thing now.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

2. WatchOS 7 can follow your dream

What it is: A new Sleep app on Apple Watch will not only record how long you sleep and how well you sleep, but it will also help you relax as your bedtime approaches.

Because it is important: Fitbit and other competitive fitness trackers have had a built-in sleep tracker for years, but the Apple Watch doesn’t have an official app. With the addition of sleep tracking, Apple Watch owners will have more data to consider about their overall health.

How will you use it: After upgrading to WatchOS 7, you’ll need to set up the Sleep app, set your bedtime, and a daily alarm. After initial setup, your phone will display a Power Off screen and turn on Do Not Disturb just before the desired bedtime. At bedtime, your iPhone screen will dim and your watch will switch to the Sleep watch face. Keep your watch on while you sleep, and in the morning you can see how well you slept and for how long on the watch. There’s even a battery meter that reminds you to charge your watch in the morning.

3. Find and share custom covers

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 designs and layouts.

Because it is important: Instead of spending countless hours going through watch faces and searching for hassle-free apps you like, you’ll soon have access to countless new faces that come with a list of apps you need to install to complete the look.

How will you use it: Fellow Apple Watch owners will be able to post their favorite fixes online or send them directly to you via iMessage. Developers will also be able to post direct links to their watch faces for you to install.

When you tap a link to add the watch face to the Watch app on your iPhone, you’ll see a preview, and then you’ll be presented with a list of the app’s complications used to create it, complete with direct links to download them. applications so that your new face does not remain with blank complication points.

Sharing a watch face that you created looks like it is currently done in the Watch app or directly from the watch.

Apple also announced iOS 14 and iPadOS 14and released a developer preview. The update includes many new features, with major changes to the iPhone home screen, along with settings for Siri and messages.

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Once you find the watch face that you like, you will be asked if you want to install all the necessary applications to complete its appearance.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET