Apple announces watchOS 11 with new workout features and Live Activities.

Apple Announces WatchOS 11 at WWDC 2024

Apple has debuted watchOS 11 at its WWDC 2024 event, a refreshed platform for its smartwatches. The new operating system is already available for developers, with public beta launching in July, and the final version slated for fall release alongside new Apple Watch models.

Fitness and Health Metrics

watchOS 11 advances Apple’s commitment to health by introducing new health monitoring features. A new feature, Training Load, considers the intensity and duration of past 28 days’ workouts, and offers an effort rating system that evaluates workout intensity on a 10-point scale. By comparing the 7-day workout load against the data from the past 28 days, users get a better understanding of their progress and whether they need to intensify, ease or maintain their current workout level.

Introducing new health features in watchOS 11

Improved Customization and Training Functionality

Users can now pause exercise streaks in watchOS 11 during periods of sickness or injury, and adjust their fitness goals based on the day of the week. The Summary tab has been enhanced with more customization options, allowing users to order widgets displaying their preferred health metrics, including newly released widgets for running, hiking, and swimming.

Customized widgets for personal fitness goals

Additional Enhancements

GPS routes have been added for new workout types including European, American, and Australian football, outdoor hockey, lacrosse, skiing, snowboarding, golf, and rowing. The Workout application also supports creating custom pool workouts and viewing turn-by-turn navigation in Apple Watch’s Maps application. The Vitals application provides an overnight health overview by monitoring heart rate, respiration rate, wrist temperature, sleep duration and blood oxygen level. If any two of these factors fall outside the normal range, the application sends an alert and suggests possible reasons.

Vitals Application for overnight health overview

For expecting users, the updated Cycle Tracking application now displays gestational ages and allows pregnancy symptom logging. Pregnant users will also get new reminders and notifications in the Health application, including monthly mental health assessments and third trimester fall risk notifications.

Cycle Tracking application for expecting users

Live Activities and Smart Features

watchOS 11 introduces Live Activities offering enhanced safety tools, for instance, family and friends can track a user’s location during night-time runs. Smart Stack widens usability by providing context-based alerts, like prompting the seat location from a saved concert ticket in the Wallet application or a Weather widget alert for an impending storm.

Introducing Live Activities in watchOS 11

Advanced Developers’ Access and Platform Availability

Developers get better access with the new updates, gaining access to APIs for Double Tap, Live Activities, and Smart Stack. Double Tap, traditionally used for scrolling in the Messages, Calendar, and Weather applications, has been made available to third-party developers. The number of new watch faces has been limited this year, with focus instead on enhancing the Photos watch face with machine learning to suggest aesthetic styles, composition, and facial expressions from users’ photo libraries. The layout, font, and character size can all be customized. watchOS 11 will be available for the Apple Watch Series 6 and later models, along with the second generation Apple Watch SE.

Enhanced accessibility for developers with watchOS 11
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