watchOS 4, announced at WWDC17 left me wondering ‘is that it’. Honestly I do not feel that the new features they announced are really anything impressive beyond the new navigation scrolling. Let’s take a look at the highlights.
New watch face powered by Siri
The new Siri watch face displays information that is relevant at the time you need it. Using machine learning (which seems to be the buzzwords this year), Siri analyses your data and creates items that match things like your location or time. One example given by Apple is arriving at an Airport would trigger say a display of your flight details.
Fancy dancing kaleidescope patterns, not to much to say about this one beyond that.
ToyStory Character Faces
Mickey and Mini have proven to be popular, in keeping with Apple and Disney’s marketing friendship. You can now have either an animated Woody, Jesse, or Buzz as your watch face.
The activity app has seen some nice changes, it feels a lot more personal with goals and challenges customized to match your workouts. This works a lot better than the stock ‘do this much’ feel of the current application. It is also a lot easier to get to the app whilst in an active workout thanks to the improved navigation.
There is a new swimming monitoring profile along with updated UI. The most notable change is that you will be able to have 2 way data exchange with gym equipment from all the major manufactures once they update their software.
There is a new navigation system that can be seen on the Siri face. You now scroll up and down instead of across, this makes much more sense and feels very natural when you think in terms of the direction of the crown. If like me, you are not a fan of the honeycomb app layout then you will also appreciate the new list view that makes it easier to find apps quickly.
I expect more details will emerge as developers use the pre-release versions of watchOS 4 before the final Fall 17 release.
Also published on Medium.