Apple Launches watchOS 5 With Walkie-Talkie, Apple Podcasts, Siri Shortcuts, New Watch Faces, Raise to Speak and More

Apple today released watchOS 5, the newest version of the operating system designed to run on the Apple Watch. Today's software update follows several months of beta testing, with Apple having seeded 10 betas and a GM.

watchOS 5 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the iPhone.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

watchOS 5 is a significant update to the watchOS operating system, introducing Activity Competitions so you can compete with friends to earn points, reach fitness goals, and win awards. There's a new Walkie-Talkie app with push-to-talk functionality for quickly communicating with the people you talk to most, and auto workout detection has been included to make it easier to start and stop workouts if you forget to do it yourself.


Siri Shortcuts, the new iOS 12 feature that allows you to create Siri-activated automations and shortcuts with both first and third-party apps, is available on Apple Watch through an improved Siri watch face that shows more information than ever.

The Siri watch face offers up predictive and proactive Shortcut suggestions based on your personal routines and the time of day, while Maps integration lets you see turn-by-turn directions and estimated travel times. Heart rate measurements like resting rate, walking average, and recovery rate are now displayed on the Siri watch face, as are live sports scores and info on upcoming games.


On newer Apple Watch models, you no longer need to hold down the Digital Crown to activate Siri thanks to a new built-in "Raise to Speak" feature that lets you speak right into your wrist, and there's a dedicated Podcasts app for listening to Podcasts on Apple Watch.


There are several new watch faces available in watchOS 5, including a Breathe face for walking you through stress-relieving breathing exercises, new motion faces that animate when your wrist is raised (Fire & Water, Vapor, and Liquid Metal), and options to display curated moments from your photo library on the Photos watch face. There are also new complications for Podcasts and Walkie-Talkie.


iOS 12 features that include grouped notifications, Deliver Quietly, Instant Tuning, and Do Not Disturb have been expanded to the Apple Watch, and there are options for getting a notification if your heart rate falls below a specified threshold during a 10-minute period of inactivity.

Other new features include new Workout types that include Yoga and Hiking, new features for runners, WebKit support for viewing some web content on Apple Watch, metrics like UV index, wind speed, and air quality in the Weather app, an option to answer a FaceTime video call as audio on Apple Watch, and an updated interface for choosing emoji in Mail and Messages.


The watchOS 5 update runs on all Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 Apple Watch models, but it is not available for the first-generation "Series 0" Apple Watch models.

For more information on all of the new features coming in watchOS 5, make sure to check out our watchOS 5 roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
26 months ago
“Nothing yet.”
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Nothing yet for me :(

Edit: Got it as of 1:13 PM EDT :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
not showing for me
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Macrumors jumped the gun here, methinks.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
so many people only have the patience to type "i don't have it yet" instead of waiting.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Estimated time left on my 150mbit fibre: 6 hours for 700mb
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....