I’ve Never Felt More Eager to Sport an Apple Watch

I’ve Never Felt More Eager to Sport an Apple Watch

It’s common knowledge that the Apple Watch stands as a remarkable wearable. If you’re an iPhone user in search of a smartwatch, the decision to purchase one is often a no-brainer. From its impeccable hardware to its exceptional fitness tracking and seamless software, there’s a multitude of reasons to love it. Hence, it’s been my go-to wearable for the past few years.

Recently, Apple unveiled watchOS 11 as the forthcoming major software update for the Apple Watch. Heading into Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024, expectations weren’t particularly high. However, what we received is, in my view, one of the most thrilling watchOS updates to date. As a devoted Apple Watch user, I’ve never felt more thrilled to have one adorning my wrist.

Addressing a Major Apple Watch Concern

Let’s begin with the significant changes in watchOS 11 — aspects that personally excite me the most: Apple’s innovative health features. Among the myriad health and activity updates in watchOS 11, four specific ones have piqued my interest.

Firstly, activity rings now feel more attuned to human lifestyles rather than catering solely to exercise enthusiasts. With watchOS 11, you can now pause your Move, Exercise, and Stand rings at your convenience. Feeling under the weather? Jetting off on an overnight flight? Nursing an injury? Whatever the circumstance, Apple makes it effortless to pause your rings for a day, a week, or however long you require.

Moreover, activity rings are now highly customizable. With watchOS 11, you can establish ring goals for individual days of the week. For instance, you might aim to burn 800 calories from Monday to Wednesday, 500 on Thursday, 800 on Friday, and 600 on the weekends. Whatever your specific objectives, you can tailor them to each day.

These enhancements are truly remarkable. One of my chief gripes with the Apple Watch has been its rigid activity tracking. While the ring system is straightforward and comprehensible, its failure to accommodate life’s unexpected twists has always been a drawback. I strive to complete my rings daily, but I’m not inclined to go for a run or hit the gym when battling a cold or enduring a lengthy flight.

With watchOS 11, this concern is effectively resolved. If unforeseen circumstances prevent you from closing your rings, simply pause them for however long necessary and proceed with your day. And no, pausing your rings won’t erase any progress toward streaks or awards. These two modest changes have significantly alleviated one of my primary grievances with the Apple Watch, leaving me thoroughly delighted.

Enhanced Health Insights

In addition to making activity goals more achievable, watchOS 11 furnishes invaluable health insights to the Apple Watch. One such addition is the new Vitals app. When worn to bed, your Apple Watch tracks various vital signs including heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen, wrist temperature, and sleep duration. Vitals consolidates this data and presents it in a user-friendly format, offering a quick overview of crucial bodily indicators.

Furthermore, the Vitals app notifies you if your health data deviates from its normal range, alerting you to potential issues. If two or more vital signs stray from their usual levels, you’ll receive an alert along with contextual information to help interpret the discrepancy.

Another noteworthy addition is the Training Load feature. Integrated into the existing Fitness app, Training Load gauges the intensity of your workouts. Visualized through white and colored lines representing your workout intensity over the past month and week respectively, it enables you to assess your exercise regimen’s consistency, intensity, and variation. Additionally, you can now assign an Effort rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) after each workout, contributing to the calculation of your Training Load.

Is this surplus health data? Undoubtedly. Will some users find it overwhelming or unhelpful? Perhaps. Yet, personally, I’m elated by Apple’s inclusion of these tools.

While the Apple Watch has excelled in casual activity tracking, it has left much to be desired in terms of providing deeper insights. Vitals and Training Load rectify this deficiency.

The Apple Watch is poised to evolve from a simple activity tracker to a comprehensive health-monitoring device, comparable to the capabilities of devices like Oura Ring or Whoop. As someone who values the data provided by these wearables, the prospect of the Apple Watch offering similar insights is exceedingly promising. Count me in.

Revitalizing the Apple Watch Experience

While the health and activity enhancements are my primary focus, several other updates have also captured my attention. Following the introduction of widgets in watchOS 10, they’re now gaining additional functionality in watchOS 11. Widgets can now dynamically appear based on contextual cues, such as displaying a rain widget when inclement weather is imminent or a Shazam widget when a song is detected playing. This parallels the AI capabilities teased for the Nothing Phone 3, but without the need for a new phone or waiting until 2025.

Moreover, widgets in watchOS 11 are interactive, allowing you to control smart home devices or select specific exercises directly from the watch face.

The Double Tap feature is also receiving significant enhancements. Now, you can scroll through any app by tapping your fingers. Additionally, Apple is introducing a new Double Tap API, enabling third-party apps to leverage this functionality for innovative purposes. Furthermore, the introduction of the Translate app brings language translation directly to your wrist.

While there are numerous other features in watchOS 11 worth mentioning, the overarching sentiment is one of genuine excitement. I eagerly anticipate the enhanced sustainability of my activity goals, the deeper insights into my health and workouts, the heightened intelligence of my widgets, and the expanded utility of Double Tap.

Wearing my Apple Watch has never been a source of discontent, but at times, it has felt like a passive accessory rather than an engaging device. The forthcoming features in watchOS 11 promise to inject a newfound vitality into the Apple Watch experience, transforming it into a device I eagerly anticipate donning each morning. Stirring up such excitement is no small feat, but Apple has accomplished it, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.