While iOS 11 may have gotten all of the attention with its release on September 19, watchOS 4 launched on the same day and it’s just as significant for people who have an Apple Watch. WatchOS 4 is not a minor update that fixes some of those things Apple might have gotten wrong with previous iterations of the Apple Watch. In actuality, this update shows that Apple now knows what people want from the opinion and it is focusing all of its energies on that.
The Apple Watch is a good smartwatch, but it is one of the best fitness watches – if not the best fitness watch – in the market. Nearly all of watchOS 4’s big improvements are for people who workout with their Apple Watch also that is fantastic news.
The business highlighted a brand new Apple Watch feature which allows folks know if they suffer from Arrhythmia during its September 12 event (available to users in the usa at a later date to start with) along with the watch asks you to opt in if you attempt to check your heart rate.
However, the best thing in all this is that the Activity program on the iPhone now shows a heartbeat chart for all of workouts you’ve logged with all the Apple Watch. This includes workouts tucked before watchOS 4 came together, which is quite nice to have. We could easily have a peek at the toughest parts of our long run and see the specific points at which we stopped for a break, which confirmed to us that the graphs were accurate.
The Apple Watch’s built-in heart rate program has also become much more useful. It now tracks your resting heart rate during the day, along with your heart rate when you’re walking, apart from measuring your current heart rate. All these are nice features to have as a high resting heart rate may indicate that you have some health issues, which your doctor could help diagnose.
The workout program on the Apple Watch currently has new workout modes such as High Intensity Interval Training and it has been redesigned to reveal an icon of every workout it tracks. This is a good move because lots of people use machines in the fitness center without knowing what the machine is known as. For instance, we have heard plenty of folks refer to this Elliptical machine as a “cross trainer”, therefore having that icon helps individuals monitor their workouts better.
Overall, we’re quite pleased with the changes to the Workout program and fitness related attributes but there is one thing that Apple could do well to fix. When we tracked outdoor runs, we noticed that the current rate metric has been fluctuating too much to us to hold a continuous speed during one of our hard runs. When we were running under a few trees in particular, our speed would fall from 5’45” to 6’50” or thereabouts.
However, that has not affected the overall accuracy of its tracking. Even with watchOS 3, realtime current pace measurements were not the most precise on the exact same route but we feel these fluctuations have increased since watchOS 4 has been launched. That’s something Apple should notice and fix.
On to other features, our favourite watchOS 4 attribute is your ability to get rid of this “honeycomb” program layout and switch to a list view instead. It takes a while to scroll to and also find the app you want but also the list view ensures that we do not have to play hide and seek when trying to fire up the alert or the stopwatch. You need to push the display hard to reveal the list view option and we’re surprised that it’s not enabled by default.
When you play with music or any other audio in your iPhone, the Apple Watch now automatically starts the Currently Playing widget so that you don’t have to fiddle with it only to skip forward or back 30 minutes. This means that you could use the digital crown to scroll through the list of current apps instead of scrolling sideways using the touchscreen. All these tiny changes make a world of a difference to your Apple Watch experience and we’re pleased to see the company working on these tweaks.
Our first impressions of watchOS 4 on our Apple Watch Series 2 were quite positive since there’s been no noticeable drop in performance and the newest features improve its utility.