We round up all the watchOS 5 news, including its release date and the new features coming to Apple Watch. It manages the apps on the device and has plenty of built-in features of its own, so we're keenly looking forward to 's watchOS update. What new features will watchOS 5 bring to our Apple Watches, and when it will be released? You can watch the live stream and catch up on our live blog right now by clicking here. In this article we round up all the new features of the new watchOS 5, and everything you need to know about when you'll be able to get the update on your Apple Watch.
When is the watchOS 5 release date? Between the two dates a series of beta versions are likely to be made available for those who want to test it out ahead of the release. These days Apple follows a predictable pattern with its operating system updates, so we're pretty confident about this schedule. What new features are available in watchOS 5? Apple describes watchOS 5 as an "even stronger companion for fitness, communication and quick access to information.
Find out more about each of the new features below. It is a new way to compete with your friends based on points achieved by closing rings, building on the Activity Sharing features already available.
Users can invite another Apple Watch wearer to compete in a seven-day Activity Competition. You'll get coaching notifications to help you beat your opponents, and can send smack talk to them to get them riled up. It works for the most popular workouts on Apple Watch, providing an alert to start the correct workout.
If you've already begun the workout before you click start, it'll give retroactive credit to make sure you don't miss out. You'll also be given a reminder to end your workout sessions after a period of inactivity.
Rolling mile pace helps runners see their pace for the immediately preceding mile, in addition to their average pace or current pace. It's push to talk, so you'll just need to grant access to your friends and you'll be able to instantly connect and chat via WiFi or cellular. Here's how to use Walkie-Talkie on Apple Watch. You'll be able to listen to your favourites on the go, thanks to automatically synced eposodes that will refresh with the latest episode.
Other new features in watchOS 5 You're now going to be able to get third-party content on the Siri watch face, too, providing shortcuts to functions like directions from Citymapper. Notifications are improved, with interactive controls available from within them for third-party apps.
A Yelp reservation notification will have the ability to motify the time or change the number of guests from within the notification, for example. It is possible that some of these will come with the next Apple Watch, though. You can read all of the latest Apple Watch rumours here.
Face ID The way Apple rumours work, a lot of the time, is that a feature appears on one of the company's products and then everyone predicts that the same feature will then appear on all of the others - hence the rumours of iPhones getting Digital Crown dials and Apple Pencil compatibility, and now everything else getting Face ID. Conceivably it could, but like on the iPhone X it would require specially update hardware. The Apple Watch doesn't have a camera at present; but if as is consistently rumoured the company add a FaceTime camera to the Apple Watch Series 4 this could be combined with the necessary array of sensors that Face ID requires.
But the other problem is that the Apple Watch has far less need of a biometric unlocking tech than the iPhone. Apple Watches don't have Touch ID; you just unlock them with a code when you put them on in the morning or even bypass this by putting on the watch and then unlocking the paired iPhone, if you've got that feature activated.
Face ID would be used for unlocking purposes once a day, and that hardly justifies the inclusion of a lot of expensive high-end tech. There's always Animoji , of course, but it seems like a long shot. Customisable Control Centre These days you can customise the settings and toggles that appear in the iOS Control Centre, and change the order they appear in. Many people don't use the torch feature, for instance, while others can't see the point of Cinema Mode - yet both have a place in the top six 'above the fold', ie they are immediately visible when you swipe up.
It would be useful to have the option of swapping one of these with Do Not Disturb, which is below the fold, or removing them entirely. And wouldn't it be nice to get a brightness control here, instead of having to control from the iPhone?
Randomised watch faces We love the Toy Story animated watch faces in watchOS 4 which are far more interesting than the near-static Mickey and Minnie faces , but what we particularly love is the Toy Box option. Instead of picking which character you want, this makes the watch display a randomly chosen character and animated scene each time you raise your wrist.
It's also possible to have a different image appear each time if you go for the Photos face. We'd like to see this concept extended into other areas.
The time-lapse photos of city skylines are good faces too, but we get bored of always seeng the same one, so a randomised selection would be an improvement. Same for the kaleidoscope faces. New watch faces Speaking of faces, there are also calls for more choice beyond what Apple itself offers. There are faces from Hermes and Nike, but people would like to see more. How about a watch face store for the Apple Watch? To see what you can do at the moment, read How to change Apple Watch faces.
Sleep tracking Many fitness trackers and smartwatches feature sleep tracking functions that'll monitor your movement while asleep and offer you some kind of stat reflecting your sleep when you wake up - a feature that up until now has been missing from the Apple Watch other than in the form of third-party apps. Not for much longer, though, if a report is to be believed.
Bloomberg claims that Apple is working on a new app that tracks a user's sleep. Apparently this feature will be supported across all existing models of Apple Watch. The problem here has always been that sleep tracking required the watch to have enough charge to be used overnight. The Series 2 has two-day battery life, but other models offer less, and most watch users plug in their watch overnight, every night. One saving grace is that it doesn't take long for the Apple Watch to charge, so owners keen to track their sleep could charge the watch during the evening before bed, for example.
In the meantime, get a good night's sleep with our guide to the best iPhone sleep apps. Always-on time This is one of the most requested features of the Apple Watch.
It seems preposterous that a watch wouldn't be able to show the time all the time. Apple's decision not to have a watch face always on is seemingly to preserve battery life, but there are plenty of smartwatches on the market that do permanently tell the time so Apple looks remiss by not offering it.
It would also be useful if you could sync your Apple Watch with more than one device - your iPhone and your iPad, for example. If you're like us, Notes tends to be a go-to for any piece of information you want to have at your fingertips, so having access to this on your watch could be useful.
Another app people want to see make its way to the Apple Watch is Podcasts, while being able to listen to audiobooks in iBooks would also be welcome. Finally, how about the calculator app on the watch?
Read about the Best Apple Watch games and Best Apple Watch apps for more information about what's currently available. Which Apple Watches will be able to run watchOS 5? The first-gen Apple Watch is going to miss out on watchOS 5, but it will be available as a free update for all other Apple Watch models.