The next generation of Apple Watch software was unveiled on Monday in the form of watchOS 4, a major update that will include new watch faces, including one driven by the Siri personal assistant. Other additions include connectivity with gym equipment, and support for syncing multiple playlists.
The new Siri watch face offers a scrollable list of upcoming events and tasks. By rotating the watch's Digital Crown, users can view calendar events, passes from Wallet, weather, sunrise and sunset times, HomeKit scenes, and more.
watchOS 4 will also include a new kaleidoscope face, featuring symmetrical patterns that slowly change throughout the day. And new Toy Story watch faces feature popular characters Woody, Jessie and Buzz performing a variety of vignettes every time you raise your wrist.
Apple is also improving the Activity tracking feature of the Apple Watch with progress alerts personalized to the user. There will also be new monthly challenges, and celebrations that vary in size based on how difficult the milestone is.
Apple is also enhancing pool swim workouts with auto-sets, which are created every time the user takes a rest.
In the Workout app, Apple has added a new high intensity interval training option. Users can also add a new workout while in the midst of one, for example switch from running to cycling without the need to stop the workout.
watchOS 4 is also enhanced with two-way data exchange with gym equipment. Users will be able to tap their Apple Watch on an NFC reader on gym equipment.
In an example by watchOS chief Kevin Lynch, he said heart rate could be measured by the watch, while speed and distance data could be collected by the treadmill.
The new feature will be supported by the largest gym manufacturers in the world, including LifeFitness and StairMaster. It will begin rolling out in gym equipment this fall.
Finally, Apple announced it will be updating the Music app in watchOS 4 with the ability to automatically sync music based on what the user likes to listen to. Albums that are synced can be scrolled through with the Digital Crown, viewing the album art while scrolling.
And, in a long-awaited feature, watchOS 4's Music app will add support for multiple playlists, allowing users to sync more music natively to their Apple Watch.
watchOS 4 is set to launch this fall. It will be available in beta form for developers to test in the interim.