What you need to know
- Apple's watchOS 7 will gain rudimentary sleep tracking.
- Apple has gone for a different approach to third-party apps.
- But those apps will still benefit from the new watchOS 7 data, too.
With the arrival of watchOS 7 – likely to happen next month – Apple will add native sleep tracking to the Apple Watch for the first time. It's taking a different approach to the numerous third-party apps that already do it, too, with Apple's take being much more holistic. And that means it won't do what everyone wants it to.
Here's what Apple says watchOS 7 will do for those looking to keep tabs on their sleeping habits.
With watchOS 7, Apple Watch introduces sleep tracking, taking a holistic approach to sleep by providing valuable tools to help users get the desired amount of sleep, get to bed on time, and create a pre-bedtime routine to meet their sleep goals. Through the detection of micro-movements from the watch's accelerometer, which signals respiration during sleep, Apple Watch intelligently captures when the wearer is sleeping and how much sleep they get each night. In the morning, the wearer will see a visualization of their previous night's sleep, including periods of wake and sleep. They will also see a chart showing their weekly sleep trend.
That's great, but it's lacking when compared to the data that is collected by apps like Sleep++ and AutoSleep. Thankfully, third-party apps will still be around after watchOS 7 and, importantly, they'll also benefit from the new data it collects.
That's something Sleep++ developer David Smith has noted after his own testing during a sleepless night. Not only can watchOS 7 notice the poor quality sleep better than watchOS 6.x, but when that data was added to Sleep++'s own data, the result was a better graph.
That's great news for those of us who want to get a fuller picture of how we sleep and were disappointed to learn that Apple's sleep tracking wasn't going to offer the information we wanted. Turns out, it can. It'll just need to be collated by a third-party app to get the best results.