For those of you who have an Apple Watch, you will be happy to hear about the updates announced during yesterday’s WWDC keynote speech. Why? Because they’re amazing. Maybe I’m gushing a bit too much about WWDC, but with so many cool things happening, how could I not? I love my Apple Watch. It provides me with a lot of information. And as someone who forgets (a lot), I think the updates are really going to help me. In addition, they are vastly improving the fitness capabilities. Which is also a big plus for me anyway. Let’s start with the fitness capabilities first:
- Greater ability to sync with exercise equipment
I find that the information on my watch isn’t always the same as the information on the treadmill (or rowing machine). So which device is accurate? My guess is the watch, but the treadmill is likely being honest also. So instead of having to make a choice, Apple has partnered with some of the major fitness equipment manufacturers to integrate your fitness information. Meaning, you can now sync your calories, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline and pace with your Apple Watch. Apple plans on rolling this out int he fall, and it’s estimated that 85% of gyms in America are using the equipment that will have this technology.
- Increased Bluetooth capabilities
You will now be able to connect your Apple watch to other devices such as glucose monitors. Which is an amazing step in the right direction to help people with their health goals.
- High Intensity Interval Training Workout Tracking
What is this, you ask? Improvements to the Workout app itself will help you track your HIIT workouts. Also, if you’re doing more than one workout in a session, you can seamlessly track from one to the next. Previously, you would have to stop the workout and then start another one. Now you can group the workouts together to get a more realistic report of your fitness data.
- Personalized goals and encouragement to keep you active
This might be one of my favourite improvements to the watch from a fitness perspective? Why? Because I often lose track of what I’ve done in the day. Especially when it comes to my workouts. Have I walked enough? Did I burn enough calories? The Activity rings will help you achieve your goals. With intelligent coaching and tailored encouragement the Activity app will give you ideas of how you can close the rings for the day. For example, you might get a notification that says “you need to walk one more mile to get your 10,000 steps in”.
The fitness improvements are incredible, and I love them. But what I really love is the improvements to Siri and it’s integration with the Apple Watch. Why is this my favourite? As I mentioned, I’m a bit forgetful from time to time. Apple is using machine learning to figure out what you do with your day to determine reminders for you. For example, if you always leave for work at 8 am because traffic is bad, you might want to rely on Siri as she can tell you when to leave. Maybe you don’t need to leave until 8:15 today because traffic is going to be light. Either way, Siri utilizes your habits to give you an idea of how to schedule your day. And for those of you who know me, know that I need some guidance throughout the day.
Lastly, and certainly not least, the Apple Watch now has some pretty neat new watch faces. All of these additions are going to make for a really cool update. Which will be available in the fall. For those of you who currently have an Apple Watch, will you be updating? And if you don’t have one already, what are you waiting for?