This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Until now, Apple has never distributed a public beta version of watchOS. The reason for this is not known, but with watchOS 7, Apple has broken that prohibition and is now offering the first public beta version of watchOS.
watchOS 7 has a number of improvements. However, even if there are features set to work (in secret) with the new Apple Watch that are expected to be launched for the end of the year, we can't confirm them at this time.
However, the announced updates suggest that watchOS 7 will be an extremely mature smartwatch OS.
By the way, in order to install the public beta version of watchOS, the iPhone you're pairing with also needs to have the latest iOS public beta version.
Sleep tracking that focuses on "advice" and "influence on behavior" rather than "recording"
Sleep tracking, or sleep tracking, has been desired for some time, but watchOS 7 is the first time it has been included. Similar features have been offered mainly in bands for fitness tracking, and third-party apps for smartwatches.
Apple's move appears to have followed those developments. However, Apple has been keen on this move for a long time, with its own acquisitions of sleep tracking device makers and others. Perhaps the reason it hasn't included a sleep recording feature in the Apple Watch before is because it has matured the feature.
In most cases, the wearable device's sleep-tracking feature uses an accelerometer to infer your sleep status, recording your time of falling asleep and waking up, as well as your sleep status during that time, and then setting off an alarm when you wake up, aiming for the moment when you're sleep-deprived. This basic mechanism is the same in watchOS 7.
However, the approach is slightly different: watchOS focuses on improving daily habits rather than recording, visualizing, and analyzing your sleep. It doesn't record things like sleep depth, but instead offers advice on regular bedtime and wake-up times, as well as suggestions for developing sleep goals.
The implementation is similar to traditional deep breathing and notification messages for completing an activity ring, in that it features teaching know-how on how to achieve sleep goals, such as going to bed on time and even creating a bedtime routine.
In terms of visualization, rather than displaying a detailed picture of how you're sleeping each day, it shows statistical data and trends and measures that can be taken from past records to find problems and clues for improvement.
Automatic shift to sleep mode, wake-up time is based on condition
The sleep tracking feature also works with the core features of the Apple Watch. For example, if the Apple Watch detects that you've fallen asleep, it will automatically go into sleep mode and won't wake you up with a notification feature until the set alarm time.
In the past, the screen would glow when Apple Watch was wrapped around your wrist while you were asleep, but after you fall asleep, the watch goes into "goodnight mode" so your hand doesn't glow brightly. In this case, the Apple Watch detects that the user is asleep and automatically shifts to a display mode that allows users to check the time in a dim, non-glaring light.
It can also work with Home Kit-compatible appliances to automatically play music to encourage the user to go to bed, dim the lights to let them know it's time to go to bed, or conversely, play uplifting music or brighten the lights when they wake up.
When you wake up, it monitors your sleep status and wakes you up with an alarm or a haptic engine vibration at the right moment when it's supposed to be comfortable to wake up. At the same time, Apple Watch records your sleep history and automatically displays information about the day's weather conditions. This wake-up information also includes the state of charge.
Wearing the Apple Watch at bedtime will naturally consume power during that time. Apple says that charging the watch during bath time is sufficient, but the company has included a feature to check the battery level when you wake up, in case you forget to charge it.
In the beta (which could be improved in the future), I felt the battery life was an issue when worn at bedtime, but watchOS 7 is designed to report the battery status to iPhone when the battery is dead or fully charged in various states to prevent you from forgetting to charge it.
Essentially, they should have been able to provide "longer battery life," but I got the impression that they were doing the best they could despite the technical limitations.
This is a bit of a stretch, but the fact that they've included a sleep tracker that uses power even when you're asleep means that the next Apple Watch may include technology and innovations to increase battery life.
WatchOS 7 has been perfected down to the smallest detail
The handwashing detection feature announced at WWDC 2020 is now firmly in place in beta. This feature was added by Apple in response to the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
When you start washing your hands while wearing your Apple Watch, the watch automatically switches to hand-washing mode based on the sound of water and movement of your hands, and (by default) prompts you to continue washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, which is the WHO's recommended hand-washing time.
As you can see, watchOS supports every aspect of your life, and there are many small improvements and additions that are more closely related to your life than flashy features.
For example, the only new function added to the dial is the "Chronograph Pro". In addition, the new dial has a "extra-large" complication display, but it makes it easier for app developers to develop complications that can be used on the dial (custom displays for various apps).
In addition to this, Apple will be able to easily share dials via iMessage, email, and social networking sites, downloadable dials will be available on the web, and Apple will be able to supply customized dials from the App Store.
The display of activities and workouts has also been tweaked to be fuller and easier to understand, but it's not a major feature addition.
In terms of additional workout types, dance, core training, functional training, and cooldowns have been added, but there are other products that are more comprehensive if you only look at the types of workouts they support.
The beauty of the Apple Watch is that it's a lifestyle product that isn't sports or outdoor-specific, and further down the line, it records enough information for you to look back on your own activities and exercise history (though not as much as a field-specific product). It's not too shallow, but not too deep, and it' s always there to support you in your daily life.
WatchOS 7 is getting more complete, but must there be a hidden ball?
On the other hand, the enhancements to watchOS 7 that have been announced at this point in time seem to be a more advanced version of the Apple Watch that has been offered in the past.
Looking back at the Apple Watch as hardware, the Series 4 and 5 had double the memory but no change in processing power, so it's hard to imagine the hardware platform remaining largely unchanged for three years in a row.
In other words, the Series 6 is likely to include a revamped hardware platform with additional processing power, additional sensors and more. The new OS features associated with the new hardware are often not revealed until the product is announced.
Frankly, in the smartwatch genre, the last few years have been a time when, while there have been some great products in certain areas, there has been no over-all, convincing, all-encompassing product other than the Apple Watch (There are other options for specific applications, such as Polar for sports and Garmin for outdoor and golf).
watchOS 7 is a conservative update that reinforces this situation and makes the Apple Watch's stronghold even more solid. However, that's not the case with the new hardware, perhaps. It's a growth area, so expect to see some additional market expansion suggestions in the new product.
Screens from the public beta version of watchOS 7 have been posted with special permission based on our coverage.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.