Apple Announces watchOS 11: New Training Features and Live Activities Enhance the Smartwatch Experience

WatchOS 11: Enhancing the Apple Watch Experience

Apple has officially unveiled watchOS 11, the latest iteration of its smartwatch operating system, during the WWDC 2024 event. This new version is set to offer developers an early look starting today, with a public beta release expected next month. The final public release is anticipated to coincide with the launch of the new Apple Watches this fall. As with previous updates, watchOS 11 introduces a suite of new health and fitness features designed to enhance the user experience.

New Training Features in watchOS 11

Training Load: Personalized Insights for Athletes

One of the standout features in watchOS 11 is the introduction of Training Load. This tool analyzes the intensity and duration of your workouts over the past 28 days, providing a comprehensive view of your training regimen. Athletes can also add an effort rating, ranging from one to ten, to each workout. This rating is automatically generated for popular cardio workouts using a combination of personal data and workout metrics. By comparing your seven-day training load with your 28-day load, you gain valuable insights into whether you should push harder, ease off, or maintain your current pace.

Rest Days: Maintaining Streaks Despite Breaks

A highly requested feature, the ability to take rest days without breaking activity streaks, is finally here. If you fall ill or get injured, you can now pause your activity rings, ensuring that your hard-earned streaks remain intact. Additionally, you can adjust your activity ring goals based on your weekly schedule. For example, if Thursdays are particularly busy, you can lower your goal for that day.

Enhanced Customization and Metrics

Customizable Summary Tab

Following the updates seen in iOS 18, the fitness app on watchOS 11 now features a more customizable Summary tab. Users can arrange widgets to display the metrics they find most relevant, including new ones for running, hiking, swimming, and mindfulness. This enhanced customization ensures that you have easy access to the data that matters most to you.

Expanded GPS Route Tracking

The Workout app in watchOS 11 has expanded its GPS route tracking capabilities to include more workout types such as soccer, American football, Australian football, outdoor hockey, lacrosse, various types of skiing, snowboarding, golf, and outdoor rowing. Additionally, users can now create custom pool workouts and access turn-by-turn navigation directly from the Apple Watch in the Maps app, even without a connected phone.

New Health Monitoring Tools

Vitals App: Comprehensive Health Metrics at a Glance

watchOS 11 introduces the Vitals app, providing users with a snapshot of overnight health metrics, including heart rate, respiratory rate, wrist temperature, sleep duration, and blood oxygen levels. The app alerts users when two or more metrics fall outside normal ranges, offering context on potential causes, such as illness or excessive drinking at an event.

Updated Cycle Tracking for Pregnant Users

The Cycle Tracking feature has received significant updates, particularly for pregnant users. It now allows users to display gestational age and log pregnancy symptoms. The Health app also includes new reminders and alerts, such as monthly mental health assessments and notifications regarding walking steadiness during the third trimester if an increased fall risk is detected.

Live Activities and Safety Features

Live Activities: Real-Time Updates on Your Wrist

Live Activities are making their way to the Apple Watch with watchOS 11. This feature provides real-time updates on various activities directly on your watch face. Whether you’re tracking a workout, monitoring a live sports event, or keeping an eye on a flight, Live Activities ensure you stay informed without needing to constantly check your phone.

Enhanced Safety for Runners

For those who enjoy late-night runs, watchOS 11 introduces new safety features that allow friends to keep tabs on you. This functionality activates automatically during workouts, providing an extra layer of security. These features are similar to those introduced on the Pixel Watch 2 last year, showcasing Apple’s commitment to user safety.

Smart Stack and Widgets

Smart Stack: Intelligent Widget Management

Building on the Smart Stack feature introduced in watchOS 10, watchOS 11 offers even smarter widget management. For example, if you have a concert ticket in the Wallet app, seat information will appear in the widget stack. The Smart Stack intelligently shuffles widgets to display the most relevant information based on your activities and location. New widgets, including those from Shazam, Photos, and Distance, provide even more customization options.

Translation and Weather Widgets

The new Translation app automatically appears when you travel to a region where the native language differs from the one set on your Apple Watch. Additionally, if there’s an approaching thunderstorm, the weather widget will pop up, ensuring you’re always prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.

Improved User Interface and Customization

Double Tap Enhancements

Double tap, a feature introduced last year, gets several new tricks in watchOS 11. You can now use it to scroll within supported apps like Messages, Calendar, or Weather. Developers will also have access to the double tap, Live Activities, and Smart Stack APIs, which should lead to more robust integration with third-party apps in the future.

Redesigned Photos Watchface

This year, Apple has focused on revamping the Photos watchface rather than introducing numerous new watchfaces. The redesigned Photos face uses machine learning to recommend aesthetic styles, composition, and facial expressions from your photo library. Users can also customize the time size, layout, and fonts, allowing for a more personalized watchface experience.

AI and Future Prospects

Limited AI Updates

While watchOS 11 doesn’t feature many AI-focused updates, users can view Apple Intelligence summaries forwarded from their iPhone. However, this feature requires at least an iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max. This subtle integration suggests that while AI remains a significant focus for Apple, major advancements in this area may come in future updates.

The 10th Anniversary of Apple Watch

As the Apple Watch celebrates its 10th anniversary, rumors suggest that Apple might release a special “X” version, akin to the iPhone X. Although software updates like watchOS 11 aren’t always indicative of forthcoming hardware changes, they often hint at the direction Apple is heading. Last year’s watchOS 10 was billed as a “milestone” update with a revamped UI focusing more on widgets, yet it had little impact on the hardware changes in the Series 9.

New Apple Watch Accessories

Introducing CASETiFY’s Titanium 3-Link Band

To complement the new features and enhancements of watchOS 11, CASETiFY has introduced the Titanium 3-Link Band. Crafted from premium Grade 2 Titanium, this band is designed for everyday wear, offering water, sweat, and corrosion resistance. Its lightweight design and easy adjustability make it both practical and comfortable. The band comes in a Natural Titanium colorway, featuring a brushed and sandblasted finish.

Note: CASETiFY sent us this item for review, and it truly enhances the Apple Watch experience.

Compatible with a wide range of Apple Watches, including Series 1-9, Ultra, Ultra 2, and SE, the Titanium 3-Link Band is priced at $262 USD. This sophisticated new band complements CASETiFY’s existing lineup, which includes the Stainless Steel 3-Link Band, Bounce Band, and Impact Band.

Key Features of the Titanium 3-Link Band:

  • Made from premium Grade 2 Titanium
  • Compatible with Apple Watch Series 1-9, Ultra, Ultra 2 & SE
  • Lightweight and easily adjustable for all-day comfort
  • Brushed and sandblasted finish
  • Water, sweat, and corrosion resistant
  • Available in Natural Titanium colorway
  • Price: $262 USD

CASETiFY’s diverse Apple Watch Band collection also includes options like the Steel Monolink Band, Leather Band, and Impact Band. These accessories ensure that users can find a band that perfectly matches their style and functional needs, further enhancing the Apple Watch experience.

Author Profile

Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
Business And Features Writer


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