Apple Watch gets Walkie-Talkie mode

Apple Watch gets Walkie-Talkie mode

Apple introduces watchOS 5, with more ways than ever to stay active and connected

The updates, which also integrate changes made to the Siri voice assistant, are all aimed at making the watch smarter in its prediction of what you want it do for you. Apple has focused on adding more health and fitness-focused features to the watch to make it less of an iPhone notification accessory and more of a stand-alone device.

The corresponding Apple Watch will get a notification that it will be used in walkie-talkie mode with another one, and if it accepts, the two Watch-buddies will be idling away the hours with pointless convos in no time. You can win stickers when you beat them.

With watchOS 5.0, the Apple Watch will also be able to more intelligently detect the beginning and end of workout sessions, automatically logging data if you've hurried out the door and forgot to hit start, while automatically turning off the tracking when it detects that motion has reduced.

The Workouts app on Apple Watch is also getting a few big upgrades including automatic workout detection for what Apple calls the "most popular workouts on Apple Watch".

Apple executive Kevin Lynch took the stage on Monday to show off some of the new features coming to Apple Watch this year. Its most recent version, the Apple Watch 3 with a 4G LTE modem, hit the market late past year.

In watchOS 5, you no longer have to raise your wrist and say "Hey Siri" to use voice commands. Third-party apps will be able to play background audio, you'll be able to customize the control center, you can add an air quality rating to your watch face, or add your student ID card to the watch. Alerts about flights will now let you check in, and Uber alerts will let you pay for trips with Apple Pay.

Back to messaging apps, and web content is now available in your messages on your wrist. That means if someone sends you a link in an iMessage you'll be able to see a small preview of how it appears online.

It won't be lots of information, but it'll give you an idea of whether you need to open it up on your phone. It's about time, Apple. It's also great grounding for its next smartwatch, and we may hear about more features in watchOS 5 closer to release later this year.

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