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Home / Technology / These watchOS 5 features make the Apple Watch even better

These watchOS 5 features make the Apple Watch even better

Apple's watchOS 5 release is upon us and it includes a number of great new features that have convinced me to preorder the Apple Watch Series 4 as it becomes available. Let's go through some of these exciting new features and why they make the Apple Watch experience better than ever.

First, some bad news to owners of the original Apple Watch, sometimes referred to as Series 0, will not be able to use watchOS 5 on their devices. The operating system is only supported for the Series 1 and later models, including the expected Apple Watch Series 4.

Podcasts and Audio

The feature I'm most looking forward to is the Podcast app, which is finally released to Apple comes portable device. Having a pair of AirPods makes the listening experience even better, especially as you can adjust your AirPods volume with the crown.

The best thing about podcasts is that your favorite shows are constantly updated with new episodes and you can even stream them over LTE if your Apple Watch supports it. You can jump back and forth and change the playback speed just as you can on your iPhone.

Podcasts also come with their own complication, so you can get straight to the app from your watch face.

There's also a new developer feature that lets music and audiobooks from apps like Pandora and Audible be synced with your Apple Watch for offline viewing without your iPhone being around.

Siri can even be used to search for podcasts, leading us to the next watchOS 5 feature.

Raise to Speak and Siri

Say goodbye to "Hey Siri," because now you can just lift your wrist and tell Siri to start a 30-minute outdoor run without the voice message.

This is convenient for anyone who does not want to show in public to talk to their digital assistant and for those who want to get into the feature as quickly as possible.

Siri Watch Face now learns what you do all day long by proactively suggesting relevant content and shortcuts at the right time and in the right place throughout the day, and it works with your favorite third-party apps as well.

You can even get live results for your favorite sports team right on your Siri Watch face.


What if you're the type of person who constantly forgets to start your workout? WatchOS 5 introduces the new auto-detection feature for workouts that detects when you're moving and warns you to start the workout.

It will even give you credit for any exercise you did on the Apple Watch before you began training.

To become more competitive, you can invite friends to a 7-day workout contest with the new Activity Contests feature. After your friend accepts your invitation, both users receive points, depending on the percentage of rings they close each day.

You can always see the progress of the contest and receive alerts when you fall behind. When the contest is over, you even receive an award.

Apple has also added a few more workout modes, such as yoga and hiking, which is pretty cool because I like to go hiking, and the barometric altimeter of the Apple Watch Series 3 shows you how tall you've been.

The training is rounded off by pace alerts when you are behind or at a target pace, while the new rolling mile pace measure shows the runner his current speed and average speed per mile.


I do not know about you but sometimes I'm too busy to call or text someone, especially with the excitement of calling and waiting for them reply. This is where the new walkie-talkie feature comes into play.

Just press the button, say a short message and release it when you're done. The message is immediately reflected by the target Apple Watch.

To get started, open the app, select a contact, and send them an invitation. Once accepted, you can start sending and receiving audio messages, and it even works with LTE.

You can also keep your conversation private by using AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones. We tested that and found that it worked incredibly well even in the beta version.

Other Siri Enhancements

WatchOS 5 lets you respond to notifications without having to open the app. This makes it much easier to do quick tasks, such as checking in your flight.

Siri was quite overworked in watchOS 5 and you can learn more about it AppleInsiders standalone piece

One of the biggest features of iOS 12 are grouped notifications, and the same feature is coming to the Apple Watch. Instead of displaying a large list of message notifications, they are grouped together in a notification that you can delete or open to see more clearly.

Apple has also added WebKit to watchOS 5. So if you receive a message with a website link, you can now preview this site directly on your Apple Watch. You can even surf the web in a limited way by sending yourself a link to a website or your favorite search engine.

If the Apple Watch Series 4 has a larger display, as the rumors suggest, previewing the websites should be much nicer on the new models.

Speaking of the rumors about the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple seems to have accidentally leaked images of the upcoming wearables. In the leaked picture we see a brand new dial full of complications – to be exact. This new face will probably only be available for the Series 4, but it gives users access to much more information at once.

WatchOS 5 makes it much easier to use Do Not Disturb mode. You can now choose to turn on the device for a set amount of time or until you leave your location, which is perfect for business meetings.

Along with these important new features delivered with watchOS 5, there are also a number of small minor changes and new features that Apple has added and which AppleInsider has previously investigated.

AppleInsider will also be holding the new Apple Watch Series 4 as soon as it's released, so expect a hands-on shortly after release.

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