Apple has just announced that watchOS 4, the next version of its smartwatch platform, will be arriving later this fall. It includes new features for watchfaces, such as complications updating based on time of day or location, and a new Siri-based watchface. The Siri watchface uses machine learning to determine what information is most useful to you at a given point in time. That information can include flight boarding passes, time of sunset, or smart home control.
In addition, Apple has developed a kaleidoscope watchface and new character faces to join the Mickey and Minnie Mouse options already available. The new characters include Woody, Jesse, and Buzz from the Toy Story movie franchise.
WatchOS 4 will also bring updates to the watch’s fitness tracking, including a new user interface for the workout app and new integrations with gym equipment manufacturers. This integration will provide information such as incline and intensity to the Watch for more accurate workout tracking. Apple says Watch wearers will be able to link their devices with the gym equipment through NFC.
Music management is also improved for watchOS 4; the Watch will automatically import Apple Music playlists and can support multiple playlists. Apple has also redesigned the dock with a vertical interface for scrolling through recent apps.
Overall, the updates that Apple has shown off so far are not nearly as dramatic of a change as watchOS 3 was, but will pinpoint specific areas to improve the user experience. Developers will be able to access a preview version of watchOS 4 starting today, while a public release will be available this fall.