iOS 14 was the highlight of the event. It’s supposed to bring a slew of new features to your iPhone and iPad with an extensive focus on privacy. But it wasn’t the only operating system that received updates.
Apple also released watchOS 7 which is set to finally let out some features that were pending for a long time. Although it’s just on the Developer Beta right now, watchOS 7 for the public is set to release alongside the Apple Watch Series 6 probably sometime in September.
watchOS updates have gotten quite iterative in the past few years. Just as iOS and Android have matured as smartphone operating systems, watchOS has also matured as a wearable operating system.
Pressing on that notion, watchOS 7 brings a lot of health-centric features to the Apple Watch rather than fiddling with UI elements or adding something dramatic. It’s purely a wearable.
It makes sense for the Apple Watch to go in this direction, as wearables are essentially trackers that monitor your health and provide the correct insights and tools to act upon information acquired. The Apple Watch, as a result, doesn’t need to be gimmicky; it just needs to work so that people that rely on it don’t feel disappointed.
By advancing in this direction, Apple is ensuring that the Apple Watch stays undominated. None of the smartwatches out there offer similar functionality. And if any does, can you rely on it as much as you could on the Apple Watch?
That said, watchOS 7 brings sleep tracking, a host of new workouts, handwashing detection, and other health-related accessibility features to the Apple Watch.
But those are just watchOS 7 highlights that Apple showed us onstage. There are some under-the-hood improvements as well that refine the operating system for the digital pebble on your wrist.
Here’s a list of 59 new features that watchOS 7 brings to your Apple Watch.
Also, it’s worth noting that these are the only Apple Watch models that will receive watchOS 7 in September:
Note: Chances are, I’ve missed some features that you already know about. Just let me know about them in the comments section at the end of this post. Also, note that I have culminated this list from different websites, YouTube videos, forums, and Reddit and I have not discovered all these changes by myself.
However, I have invested the effort of fact-checking each new feature/change. Regardless, if you spot anything incorrect or some change that isn’t new, leave a comment below. Lastly, a hearty thanks to the ones who unknowingly contributed to this list.
Here are the 59 new features within watchOS 7
Reading Tip: Important and big changes have been marked boldly to distinguish them from the smaller changes in watchOS 7. This list is minimally organized for better readability. Sometimes, less is more.
Disclaimer: These features have been reported using a Developer Beta version of watchOS 7. So it’s worth noting that some of these features may change over time or may not even make it to the final iOS 14 release.
Ability to share customized watch faces.
watchOS 7 adds sleep tracking to the Apple Watch.
Four new workouts in the Workout app: core training, dance, functional strength training and cool down.
The Activity app is renamed to “Fitness” on the iPhone. Further, the app comes with a new “Summary” tab that lets you easily see your activity history, workouts, and trends, altogether.
watch OS 7 now enables DRM Audio streaming apps with fair play support.
watch OS 7 adds Battery Health management.
The Announce Messages feature with Siri when you have earphones on comes to the Apple Watch with watchOS 7.
watchOS 7 drops force touch support.
Siri on the Apple Watch can now translate several languages on the go.
Apple Watch Maps app gains support for iOS’ cycling directions. (Only available in specific locations)
watchOS 7 now includes Hand washing detection which notifies users to wash their hands at least for 20 seconds, the timer automatically stops if you stop washing your hands and pushes you to continue.
watchOS 7 is taking the Noise app a step further by expanding noise alerts to the headphone level.
CarKey extends to the Apple Watch as well, albeit only on the Series 5.
watchOS 7 now allows you to add multiple complications from a single app to watch faces.
watchOS 7 offers an update to faces for more personalization and greater access to favorite Apps.
New Chronograph Pro watch face that offers a tachymeter to calculate speed based on time traveled over a fixed distance.
The watch display now stays dim while in sleep mode.
watchOS displays a morning rundown after you wake up, as a part of sleep tracking that shows the current battery level and the weather.
The bold X-Large face now has an option to add a Rich complication.
watchOS 7 will now send you charging notifications when the Watch is completely charged and an hour before bedtime if watchOS 7 detects your Watch’s battery is insufficient to last the night.
watchOS 7 will notify users to wash their hands when they return home.
New Sleep tab in Apple Watch settings
The watch face “Customize” button is renamed to “Edit” while editing a watch face right on the Apple Watch.
The watch face editing interface on the Apple Watch now shows a share sheet icon beside the “Edit” button, using which you can share your watch face.
watchOS 7 has now got a clear all button within notifications as 3D Touch is deprecated.
Page dots are replaced with labels while editing a watch face deeper.
Better clarity while editing individual watch faces deeper. For example, watchOS 7 introduces a color palette while editing colors in a watch face as compared to visual color cues in watchOS 6.
watchOS 7 has got new complications like the new Astronomy complication, and the new camera Remote complication.
Now you can also search for an Artist in the Music app.
The control center has a new bedtime toggle.
Now you can easily delete unwanted toggles directly from the Control Center on the Apple Watch by tapping on the edit button.
The Wallet app has now been redesigned with a more stack-like layout.
There is a new interface for editing complications in a watch face on watchOS 7.
Tapping once on a complication while in dim mode on Apple Watches with an Always-on display will take you directly to the complication instead of having to tap twice.
Battery health management on the Apple Watch includes a “maximum capacity” indication as well for the first time.
Now you can also see your recent timers by just scrolling to the bottom of the timer app.
Siri has got a new interface, but that’s only available on Apple Watch Series 4 and later.
watchOS 7 lets you set decibel limits to sound playing through AirPods within settings on the Watch.
Privacy dots appear in the top right corner of the Apple Watch’s screen. A similar feature is available on iOS 14.
You can now set photos from a shared album as a watch face on watchOS 7.
A new “Announce Messages via Siri” toggle is added to the Control Center.
watchOS 7 brings a dedicated Shortcuts app to the Apple Watch.
Improved remote controls in the camera app while controlling the camera on your iPhone through the Apple Watch.
The weather app on watchOS 7 now shows additional filters while viewing weather, including precipitation, temperature, and conditions.
The Messages app in watchOS 7 now shows a button to create a new message.
The watch will ask you to turn off your sleep alarm if by chance you wake an hour or a half-hour earlier so that it doesn’t bother you afterward.
There are two new options to interact with a message conversation within individual conversations, allowing you to send your location to someone and view additional details and actions for a contact.
A new copy displays in place of a lack of cards or passes while double-clicking the side button on your Apple Watch.
New filters are added to the Stocks app as well.
Now, you need to visit Settings to change the layout of apps on watchOS’ home screen with watchOS 7. Previously, you could do that by hard-pressing on the Apple Watch display while on the app grid.
You can see hearing devices now listed under accessibility settings on the Apple Watch with watchOS 7.
Animations are much faster and fluid.
You can now add hues and filters to the photos within the Photos watch face.
watchOS 7 now wakes you up by using haptics to tap on your wrist.
New elevation graph for Cycling in the Maps app.
Dictation now happens on-device in watchOS 7.
New app switcher animation.
You can set watch faces automatically using shortcuts on the Apple Watch.
New design while sharing workouts in the activity app.
As exciting as these features seem, you won’t be able to get your hands on them before September, unless you download the Public Beta that is supposed to release in July (or opt to install the buggy Developer Beta right now). Because September is when Apple will launch watchOS 7 officially to the public alongside the Apple Watch Series 6.
That said, let me know your favorite watchOS 7 features in the comments section down below.