WatchOS4 is coming this fall with a slew of new features many of which are focused on fitness. The Workout app will be enhanced, there is better coaching and monthly challenges, but perhaps the most important update of all is the launch of GymKit.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets for 2017
The new feature enables the Apple Watch to interact with gym equipment via NFC. Customers will be able to pair their device directly to treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes or stair steppers with a simple tap.
This means data such as heart rate, speed, distance, speed and incline will sync seamlessly, providing more accurate measurements on both ends. Apple is partnering with brands such as LifeFitness, Matrix, Cyber, StairMaster, Schwinn and TechnoGym, which will start rolling out compatible equipment later this year.
“At Technogym we are committed to promoting wellness lifestyle and to engage more and more people in regular physical exercise,” said Nerio Alessandri, Technogym founder.
“We are really proud of the new integrated and innovative experience with Apple Watch and excited to bring this to exercisers around the world.”
Essential reading: Our quick verdict on the Apple Watch Series 2 as a fitness tracker
Other updates announced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference include new watch faces, person to person payments, updates to the music app, and a flashlight mode. For fitness tracking, there will be better coaching, monthly challenges, fancier visuals, and a new mode for High Intensity Interval Training. There is also enhanced swim tracking and the ability to accommodate for multiple workouts.
“Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life and is now more intelligent than ever with watchOS 4,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
“We’ve created a truly individualized experience with the smartest Activity and Workout apps, the Siri watch face that shows you the information you need when you need it and we’re seamlessly bringing users their favorite music right on the wrist.”
The developer preview of the new operating system is available now, with the customer release coming this fall.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out.