Apple Watch hand washing featureSource: Apple

The upcoming watchOS 7 update for Apple Watch includes a feature most of us wouldn't have imagined needing just a few short months ago. With the new update, Apple Watch automatically starts a 20-second timer whenever it detects you're washing your hands. By doing so, you can better protect yourself (and others) from COVID-19 and other viruses and germs.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

Wash Those Hands

To use the handwashing feature on watchOS 7, it must first be activated directly on the Watch. To do so:

  1. Push on the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch.
  2. Select the Settings app.
  3. Scroll down, choose Handwashing.
  4. Toggle on Timer.

Apple Watch will now detect when you're washing your hands. When it does, it begins a countdown with sounds on the Watch face. It will alert you when it's time to stop.

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So much to see

The watchOS 7 beta is currently available to registered Apple developers. In July, for the first time, the first watchOS public beta arrives. Before the release of a new Apple Watch this fall, watchOS 7 will be released to the public. It's compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later.

Besides the handwashing monitor, watchOS 7 includes more Watch face customization tools and the ability to share those faces, a sleep app, additional fitness workouts, and more.

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