These are some of my favorite new features in watchOS 5.
I want to share with you five wonderful my favorite new features in watchOS 5.
You know that old joke about the couple or family who are sitting in the same room, but using an in-game chat to communicate? Well, the new walkie-talkie feature in watchOS 5 isn't that. It's the opposite.
Where, previously, I've been visiting friends and family and had to shout across rooms and up and down floors to try to find out where they were, now I just hit the walkie-talkie button and ask. It's quick, it's clean, and it's FaceTime Audio-level encrypted, so it's also private.
I even used it at Pokémon Go Fest Chicago to find out where one of the people I was playing with had gotten off to.
And, yeah, I can't wait to try it at Disneyland, too.
2. Stop spot
I love Workouts on watchOS. But, I often forget to start them, to stop them, or both. That results in me missing out on credit, or getting credit for activity so trivial, my fitness friends immediately text back with their best trash talk ... or junk food emoji (yeah, I start at that).
With watchOS 5, if I start working out but don't start a Workout, it taps me and gently reminds me to start the clock. And when I finish, and go for the water before I stop the clock, it gently taps me and reminds me to do that as well.
I love it when my Watch works as assisted memory.
(If I was a better runner I'd be all over the new pace and cadence option in running workouts as well.)
3. Move improve
It took me a while to figure out this one but. when I, did I smiled so wide: Apple is continuously tweaking the algorithm it uses to detect and credit movement and the latest one finally gives some credit for fidgeting.
Now, I'm a fidgeter. Whether I'm standing or sitting, I'm never static. I bounce. I sway. I step. I spin. And for the last little while, I've been getting credit for all of it. It might seem minor but it all adds up. (Especially when you're in one of the new fitness competitions and it's super close!)
It's not enough to fill a ring, of course, but it's certainly enough to make my time at my standing desk especially worthwhile.
4. Web heds
watchOS didn't originally include WebKit, the HTML rendering engine that powers Safari on Mac and iOS. That meant, if you hit a link in Mail or Messages, you pretty much hit a wall.
watchOS 5, though, can render those links just fine. Well, even — optimized specifically for the Watch display.
It doesn't give Watch a browser, but it does give Mail and Messages a much more complete experience.
5. Heart smarts
I'm going to keep saying this until it's taken for granted. Apple Watch is the most important product Apple makes because it saves lives. Repeatedly.
New to watchOS 5 are slow heart rate alerts to go alongside the high heart rate alerts that have been offered for a while now.
Coming later this year in the U.S., irregular heart rate alerts will join them and, for those with Watch Series 4, single pad equivalent ECG.
It's not just incredible. It's commendable.