WatchOS 5 will receive new new Activity and workout-focused features when it's released this fall. Competition challenges between friends, new workout types, and workout auto-detection are the key additions.

Friends will be able to challenge each other to weeklong duels, earning points for closing the three activity rings (standing, exercise, and calories burned), while allowing users to compete and motivate each other through progress updates, scoring tables, badges and awards.

activity app ios 12 awards
Yoga and Hiking have been added to the Workout app, with the latter recording statistics like pace, elevation gain, and heart rate to accurately reflect calorie burn.

Also in the Workout app, the Outdoor Run mode has been enhanced with new rolling mile (speed of the last mile) and cadence (steps per minute) statistics, and pace alerts can be set to ensure that distance runners keep at the right speed.

Currently, Apple Watch owners who forgot to manually start a workout in the Workout app would not have their progress tracked. Now, in watchOS 5, the app will automatically detect workouts through increased motion and heart rate. It will prompt users to begin the workout, offering retroactive tracking to the beginning of the activity. It will also prompt to end the workout, once motion and heart rate decline.

These aren't groundbreaking innovations, but they represent significant quality-of-life improvements for Apple Watch owners.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

ErikGrim Avatar
47 months ago
Would the auto workout detection be a battery hog?
Probably not. Your watch is still recording your signs, it now just uses that data to determine if you’ve started a workout.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
walnuts Avatar
47 months ago
I read somewhere that auto workout detect only applies to a handful of activities (running, walking, etc.). The list didn't include biking, which is a real disappointment. I heard that it only included activities that had "regular arm movements" which sounds reasonable, except that Fitbit reliably caught my bike rides all the time.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
47 months ago
I want to buy my wife an Apple Watch just so we can compete with each other, lol. That and the walkie talkie.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...