watchOS 7 might finally let you track your sleep, share watch faces, and more

iPhone and Apple Watch
iPhone and Apple Watch (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • New code in iOS 14 suggests new features are coming to Apple Watch.
  • Sleep tracking, watch face sharing, and more are included.
  • Some features might be exclusive to Apple Watch Series 6.

9to5Mac continues its dive into a build of iOS 14 it has been able to get hold of, this time sharing details about what we should expect from watchOS 7 and Apple Watch Series 6.

If the report turns out to be accurate, and the features do ship, we could be in for some very welcome changes later this year. Chief among those is the addition – #finally – of sleep tracking.

The feature is one that we've been waiting for and according to 9to5Mac 2020 is the year that we get it. Apple has added special battery management features that will keep your watch ticking along through the night, although we don't yet know whether the feature will be an Apple Watch Series 6 affair or not.

Moving on we have a new Apple Watch face that mimics what more traditional watches have offered for years – a tachymeter. These are normally used for measuring distance and speed and you've probably seen one without realizing what it was. The most famous is the one found on Omega's Speedmaster watch, thanks in part to being the watch that went to the moon.

Omega Speedmaster

Omega Speedmaster (Image credit: Omega)

According to the report we can expect a new watch face that incorporates a tachymeter, although no images are available. Apple Watch wearers will also be able to use photos from a shared album as their watch face if that's their cup of tea. Users who want to share their Apple Watch face config will be able to do just that, although I'm not personally convinced that's a feature anyone's been waiting for.

Apple Watch Photo Face

Apple Watch Photo Face (Image credit: iMore)

Parental features are also set to be a big addition, with users able to set up a child's Apple Watch using their own iPhone. The watch will use the child's Apple ID, and parents will be able to manage parental controls for that watch specifically. A new Schooltime feature will allow them to limit which apps and complications are available during school hours, too.

If all goes according to plan we expect to see watchOS during WWDC in June. Given coronavirus fears that event might be canceled or scaled back, but the software will still need to be available to developers regardless. Apple Watch Series 6 isn't likely to be announced until around September.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.