WWDC 18: watchOS 5 Introduces Walkie Talkie, Interactive Notifications, And More

The Apple Watch launched three years ago, and yet we’re already up to watchOS 5. At WWDC this year, Apple had a few watchOS enhancements that can improved the usability of the device. First off, watchOS 5 can now automatically detect a workout, so you don’t have to manually activate it, and instead receive “start alerts”. The activity portion of watchOS has also been improved with a new seven day workout competition with friends and family as well as special modes for Yoga and Hiking.

The big new feature is Walkie Talkie from Apple Watch to Apple Watch. You simply choose who you want to communicate with, the person will receive a one request, and then they’ll feel haptics and hear a beep before your voice. The Siri watch face is also being updated, first with support for native Sports, Maps, and heart rate. There’s also support for the Siri Shortcuts from iOS 12 including support for third party apps. Siri continues by allowing you to raise your arm, and start speaking to Siri, without having to say “Hey Siri”.

watchOS 5 will now support interactive notifications to use Apple Pay, check in for a flight, or extend a Yelp reservation. Apple Watch now has WebKit integration, but this doesn’t mean a web browser on your watch. Instead, your watch can display web content from messages. Apple has also added the ability to stream podcasts on your Apple Watch.

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