Apple Unveils watchOS 5 With Walkie-Talkie, Activity Competitions, Podcasts, More

Yolanda Curtis
June 5, 2018

watchOS 5 packs a lot of cool features, and you can learn all about them here. It touted the Apple Watch as number one in customer satisfaction, noting that its sales grew 60 percent in 2017, and has saved lives. Better still, these can come through third party apps, that implement Apple's new APIs.

We're expecting to be able to download watchOS 5 software to compatible devices in September this year, a whole year after watchOS 4 was released to the Apple Watch.

And macOS Mojave will only support Apple Macs made from 2012. It has so many features in fact that they might not even work on older hardware.


It'll be a kick in the teeth for early adopters of the Watch, however. Siri Shortcuts are also going to be available on watchOS.

With watchOS 5.0, the Apple Watch will also be able to more intelligently detect the beginning and end of workout sessions, automatically logging data if you've hurried out the door and forgot to hit start, while automatically turning off the tracking when it detects that motion has reduced. A brand new metric - rolling mile pace - is introduced as an additional option for runners to see their pace for the immediately preceding mile in addition to their average pace or current pace.

Walkie-Talkie mode on the Apple Watch, coming later this year, will let you send short voice messages directly from your Watch to another Watch user. If the watch senses your heart rate is coming down you'll get a reminder to halt the activity on the watch face. With a raise of the wrist, students can now gain access to places including the library, dorms and events, and pay for food and more around campus by adding simply their ID cards to Wallet on Apple Watch.


Other new features arriving in watchOS 5.0 include a new Podcasts app, a customisable Control Center and the ability to play background audio. The feature uses Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity to enable voice communication with any Apple Watch user available around the globe.

Just like iOS 12, watchOS 5 will group notifications, and Apple has also upgraded the interactive notifications for third-party apps, so users can perform more actions without having to launch the app.

Students at Duke University, University of Alabama and University of Oklahoma will be able to use this feature this fall.


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