Hands-On With watchOS 4: Siri Watch Face, Apple Pay, Activity Improvements, New Workouts and More

This fall Apple plans to introduce an all new version of watchOS, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. watchOS 4 is faster, more efficient, includes new tools for developers, and offers up some thoughtful interface refinements.

To get a glimpse of the new features you can expect to see on your Apple Watch when watchOS 4 launches this fall, check out our hands-on video.


watchOS 4 brings a new Siri watch face that offers up dynamic, personalized information that changes based on the time of day. Siri can display weather info, calendar appointments, reminders, HomeKit controls, news alerts, and tons more, right on the watch face.

There's also a new Kaleidoscope watch face that turns any photo into a colorful animation, and Apple's adding a Toy Story face starring animated versions of Woody, Jessie, or Buzz Lightyear.

Apple's redesigned the Dock (accessed by pressing the side button) to be vertical instead of horizontal, and there's a new option to view all your apps in a list. There are also new complications and a new flashlight option in Control Center, which lights up the Apple Watch's display.

Apple wants to do more to motivate you to exercise in watchOS 4, so the Activity app will send alerts to let you know how close you are to completing a goal and what you need to do to reach it. There are also new animations to offer visual rewards and personalized monthly challenges based on your workout history.

The Workout app has a revamped interface that makes it easier to start a workout, and there's a new High Intensity Interval Training option, along with new options for the swim workout. Starting in the fall, watchOS 4 will let the Apple Watch interface with gym equipment for two-way real-time data exchange, and with a new Core Bluetooth API, the Apple Watch can connect directly to Bluetooth devices like glucose monitors.

Other features include a redesigned Music app, peer-to-peer Apple Pay payments in Messages, an option for composing emails right on your watch, and a new Apple News app.

Best of all, watchOS 4 apps load faster, are more responsive, and can do more because Apple is opening up more APIs to developers.

watchOS 4 will run on all Apple Watch models, including first-generation, Series 1, and Series 2. For a more detailed look at what to expect in the update, check out our watchOS 4 roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

Kaibelf Avatar
56 months ago
Toy Story and Kaleidoscope Watch Faces. So much innovation Timmy can swim in it.
Don't you ever get sick of picking up two things out of the ten discussed and pretending like the rest didn't exist? Or was the video just too long to understand?
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menopause Avatar
56 months ago
Toy Story and Kaleidoscope Watch Faces. So much innovation Timmy can swim in it.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
56 months ago
Did I miss some bit detailing the Apple Pay-related changes mentioned in the article title?

The new design language is pretty, the Kaleidoscope face seems useful only if you actively do not want to know the time, the Toy Story faces are novelty I suppose, the Siri face could be genuinely useful _if_ it does a really good job of presenting really relevant information (which remains to be seen). I'm pleased that it'll all still run on my series-0 watch.

The bit about being able to crop pictures for/to watch faces from the share sheet is nice. I don't generally use photo faces because there's just not enough information.

I'd still like to see some new faces that break from analog watch tradition and show the time in new ways (say, a 24 hour face with midnight at the bottom and sun/moon visibility shown as colored "pie slices" with appointments and alarms along the edge, or a face with concentric circles of dots for hour/minute/second). It like to see some thought put into novel ways of showing me the day other than aping the faces of timepieces of previous centuries, that were bound to those presentations by mechanical limitations. Many of the faces available now use the watch in a manner similar to the evolutionary "iPod telephone" mockups we saw before the revolutionary iPhone came out. If they'd let me code my own watch faces, I'd do so happily, but they're not giving us the tools, so it's on them to provide innovative faces.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DblHelix Avatar
56 months ago
Just give us a watch face studio with more options and the ability to install 3rd party faces, offer faces for sale from big name watchmakers
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bluespark Avatar
56 months ago
So they are still selling this stupid product? Until this thing can be used without being tethered to a phone, it is utterly redundant and useless.
I certainly love mine, and I find it very useful even when not near my phone. Maybe it's not your cup of tea, but useless it is not.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bluespark Avatar
56 months ago
Many, many of us want stylish watch faces with room for complications and innovative watch faces that tell the time in new ways -- as you might see now with some of the modern, high-end, analog watch makers. Not all of us are kids or are using our watches only for workouts!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...