According to the graphics and text included in the latest iOS 14 beta codebase — obtained by 9to5Mac — watchOS 7 is adding a lot of functions that may or may not require the new Apple Watch Series 6. Yesterday we learned about a new Apple Watch 6 bloodstream oxygen level and enhanced ECG monitoring, but there is much more.
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Apple Watch face sharing
9to5mac reports on a new face functionality that goes beyond just add new designs. First of all, the new face function will allow you to not only create your own custom face but share it with other Apple Watch users.
We know that this is done from the Face Gallery app in the iPhone but there’s no evidence of face sharing directly from one watch to another. However, we know that the face designs are stored as distinct files that are distributable through any medium. This logically opens the door for third-parties to make and distribute their own designs but it is not clear how easy this would be.
Apple Watch sleep tracking
9to5mac has confirmed previous rumors about new sleep tracking functionality coming to the Apple Watch. According to the iOS 14 beta code, we may see this long-requested health feature appearing in watchOS 7.
The Health app on the iPhone will use the information tracked by the Apple Watch to give you recommendations about how to improve your sleep, as well as setting sleep goals.
Infograph Pro and new tachymeter
Another addition in the face department is the Infograph Pro face, which adds the new tachymeter element. A tachymeter is a classic complication used to calculate the average speed of an object along a known distance. It can also be used to calculate the distance as long as you know the constant speed of the object.
It’s very simple to use. To calculate the speed, you just start your chronometer at the starting point and stop it when you get to the end of the known distance. On a road this is easy: just click start when you see a kilometer marker and stop the chronograph when you see the next. If the second-hand has stopped at, say, the 145 mark, then you know your average speed was 145km/h.
Personalized faces from your photos
The third face element is the ability to use images from your Photos to design your face — as shown in the photo at the top of this post. You can use three type of sources: individual photos, albums and shared albums. If you use the two latter ones, you can set the face to switch photos every time you look at the watch, which is a pretty neat feature if you are into that kind of thing.
Apple Watch kids mode
Another major push, according to the report, will be the management of kids’ watches connected to a single iPhone. Until now, only one paired Apple Watch could be used at a time, even if multiple pairings are allowed. In the new software, parents will be able to use one iPhone to manage multiple watches for their kids with no restrictions.
Not only that, but the management will include individualized parental controls similar to those in the iOS and iPadOS‘ Screen Time. This includes something called Schooltime, which allows parents to limit the usage of complications and apps during personalized hours so kids don’t get distracted at school or doing homework.
The new controls also include trusted contacts and music available for playback.
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Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.