http://www.techradar.com/news/apple-watch-os-4

Apple watchOS 4 release date, news and rumors

Apple’s wearable software is a big part of why the Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2 are still some of the best smartwatches on the planet and keeping pace with the best Android Wear watches out there – but there are improvements to be made.

New software upgrades can change the face and features of your watch and this may be reason enough to buy a new watch or update your current wearable.

Even if we don’t see the Apple Watch 3 soon, watchOS 4 could be a seriously big deal for Apple wearable fans, and it could be announced today. Here’s everything we’ve heard so far.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next software upgrade for the Apple Watch
  • When is it out? May be announced today and released later this year
  • What will it cost? It’ll be free for existing Apple Watch devices

WatchOS 4 release date

We expect to hear more about the next version of Apple’s watchOS at WWDC 2017, which takes place later today. When the software will actually roll out is unclear.

We hope Apple plans to bring the software to all existing versions of the Apple Watch, but considering the original wearable is now a few years old it may not see the latest software update.

We expect to see the update roll out for free, so you won’t have to spend any money to get the latest in watchOS software.

WatchOS 4 rumors

Features for watchOS 4 haven’t been confirmed yet, but there are lots of rumors about what we may see Apple announce for the wearable.

Perhaps the biggest will be improved sleep tracking. Apple recently bought the sleep tracking app Beddit and we expect some of those features to be included on the Apple Watch 3 as well as watchOS 4.

Exactly how the sleep tracking tech will be improved is unclear at the moment though, but you may find yourself more inclined to wear your watch to bed after you’ve downloaded watchOS 4.

Fitness features on watchOS 4 are set for an upgrade too, with Gizmodo reporting that Apple is testing out skiing and snowboarding tracking. It may well be that the company is planning some other sports for the app as well, and we expect to see extended features for sharing your workouts with friends too.

We also have our fingers crossed that it’ll be easier to combine your watchOS fitness stats with other third-party apps, but there are no rumors to back this up at the moment.

We expect Apple will also release a bunch of new watch faces with the watchOS 4 update.

Some are hoping it may come with a store to download Watch faces directly from, but that’s unlikely, as we reckon that if Apple was going to add such a feature it would have done before now.

There are also bound to be a number of improvements to Siri, which Apple is rumored to be preparing for the launch of a smart Siri Speaker to compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

There’s a good chance some of those extra Siri features (which are rumored to include the ability to learn your habits and respond to questions faster) will make it across to the new version of watchOS too.

Related product: Apple Watch Series 2

Our Verdict:

Apple has upgraded the Watch in a number of ways, and all of them useful. The extended battery life, the GPS abilities and the water-resistance now make this a compelling smartwatch – but it doesn’t quite do enough to make you need such a watch in your life… yet.

FOR

  • Water-resistant
  • GPS onboard
  • Two day battery life
AGAINST

  • Expensive
  • Lack of useful apps
  • Fitness could be more comprehensive
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