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The main new features of WatchOS 11

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this year At the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced small but significant updates to watchOS 11.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Apple Watchand rumors abound that we’ll see a major redesign of Apple’s wearable this fall, with a new set of health features that may include blood pressure monitoring and sleep apnea detection. This summer’s update doesn’t include those things, but it does include the new Vitals app, as well as a comprehensive algorithm called Training Load. These features, combined with new partnerships with the Dexcom real-time glucose monitor, make the watch a more complete health tracking device.

The new capabilities come alongside other updates, like a redesigned Photos face and updates to last year’s Smart Stack, which lets you scroll through your widgets more easily. Here, we break down the main new features of the operating system. And as always, don’t forget to check out our guides to the best smartwatches and best fitness trackers.

Is your Apple Watch compatible?

WatchOS 11 is compatible with Apple Watch SE (2nd generation) and later. However, you will need an iPhone Xs or later running iOS 18. Not all features listed here will be available on all watches.

When will WatchOS 11 be available?

The developer beta is currently available to people enrolled in Apple’s developer program. The public beta will be available soon as an optional free software update for users of Watch Series 6 or later. The final version of watchOS 11 will be released this fall to everyone.

Main features of WatchOS 11

Most of the major new features are listed here, but check out Apple’s guide for more information. the complete list.

Photography: apple

A new Vitals app

Heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature, and blood oxygen (well, maybe) are just a few of the important health features the Apple Watch currently monitors. A new Vitals app in WatchOS 11 lets you quickly see those metrics at a glance in a neat dashboard. The app also lets you know when those numbers go out of a safe range, using real-world data derived from Apple’s Heart and Movement study. If your numbers go up or down too much, Apple will send you a notification to check if maybe you’re sick, drank some wine last night, or if you’re doing something unhealthy.

One of those behaviors (ahem) can result in pregnancy, which is why Apple is also launching a new pregnancy feature in the Cycle Tracking section of the Health app. Cycle Tracking will now also allow users to record the gestational age of a fetus, as well as monitor other data points that can provide information about the mother’s health during pregnancy, such as her heart rate.

Photography: apple

training load

Over the past few years, Apple has included more and more granular fitness features into its watch. These advanced features are intended to allow the Apple Watch to better compete with Garmin’s premium outdoor sports watches. A big hole in Apple’s feature list? A comprehensive algorithm, like Garmin’s Body Battery or Fitbit’s Daily Readiness, that helps users understand what to do with all that granular data.

At WWDC, Apple announced Training Load, which measures how the intensity and duration of your workouts affect your fitness over time.

The training load takes into account calorimetric data such as heart rate, pace and elevation, as well as personal data such as age and weight. If you’re doing a popular cardio workout while wearing your watch, the wearable can automatically generate an effort score from 1 to 10. Otherwise, you can enter your own effort score by choosing a number between 1 and 10. Apple then generates a 28-day training load score that will allow you to compare your last month of workouts to the last seven days to see if you are improving. for your next goal, whether it’s a 5K race or a marathon. You can also manually adjust this estimate to account for factors such as pain or illness.

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