Apple’s watchOS 7 is still a few months away from an official release but, if you can’t bear to wait that long, there’s a simple way to try out all the exciting new features on your Apple Watch before almost everyone else.
Apple has just launched its public beta programme for this new software which means you can download the new version of watchOS 7 long before it’s pushed out to millions of Watch owners across the globe.
“Help make the next releases of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS our best yet. As a member of the Apple Beta Software Program, you can take part in shaping Apple software by test-driving pre-release versions and letting us know what you think.” Apple confirmed on its site.
Before you get too excited about trying out sleep tracking and the new digital watch faces, there are some things to remember about the public beta. Most importantly, this is not by any means finished software.
In fact, that’s the whole point of Apple making it available early as it means you’ll be tasked with reporting any bugs, incompatibilities, or glitches found in the early software.
READ MORE: Apple Watch upgrade brings sleep tracking to your smartwatch and that’s not all
During the night, watchOS 7 will detect micro-movements from the accelerometer built into the smartwatch, which signals respiration during sleep, to intelligently work out when the wearer is sleeping and how much sleep they get each night.
This data will be reported in the Health app. Like the existing Calories Burned, Steps, Heart Rate categories already gathered by the Apple Watch and stored in Health, there will now be a dedicated Sleep tab that tracks trends over time and lets you deep-dive into the previous night’s slumber.
Apple Watch will use its on-device machine learning to analyse your sleep patterns and offer some useful advice about how to maximise your next snooze.
Along with that sleep mode there’s new digital faces including the ultraprecise Chronograph Pro option which includes a tachymeter to calculate speed based on time travelled over a fixed distance.
Another health feature comes to those who enjoy dancing as the Apple Watch gets the ability to track this form of exercise.
To correctly capture calorie exertion for Dance, Apple Watch uses advanced sensor fusion, combining data from the heart rate sensor and inputs from the accelerometer and gyroscope
This workout type was validated and tested with four of the most popular dance styles for exercise: Bollywood, cardio dance, hip-hop, and Latin.
If you love tinkering with all those watch faces these can also now be shared and if you like one on a friend’s device you can ask to have it beamed to your wrist.
Finally, in a very timely new addition, watchOS 7 includes a built-in hand-washing mode that reminds wearers to scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds. Following the software update, your Apple Watch will use the motion sensors, microphone, as well as a healthy dollop of on-device machine learning to automatically detect handwashing motions and sounds.
“We’re energised by the positive impact Apple Watch is having on our customers and are excited to deliver meaningful new tools that support their health, fitness, and wellness,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
“watchOS 7 brings sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types together with a whole new way to discover and use watch faces, helping our users stay healthy, active, and connected.”
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