watchOS 5 brings some awesome new features and improvements to Apple Watch, including activity challenges, automatic workout tracking, walkie-talkie, and more. Here's a quick breakdown of everything that's new and changed in watchOS 5!

  • watchOS 5 Preview
  • How to download watchOS 5


  • Challenge any of your Activity-sharing friends to a head-to-head, seven-day competition

  • Earn points by filling your Activity rings, one point for every percent added to the rings each day
  • View active competitions in the sharing tab of the Activity app
  • Receive intelligent and personalized notifications throughout the competitions
  • Earn awards at the end of the competition, and view in the redesigned Awards tab in the Activity app on iPhone


  • Automatic workout detection sends alerts to start the Workout app for many workouts, giving you retroactive credit for exercise already started and end alerts reminding you to end your workout
  • Yoga and Hiking workout types for accurate tracking of relevant metrics
  • Set target pace during outdoor run workouts and receive alerts if you fall behind or move ahead of that target pace
  • Track cadence, or steps per minute, as you run and see average cadence in running Workout summaries

Apple Podcasts

  • Sync subscribed shows on Apple Podcasts to Apple Watch for local playback
  • New episodes are automatically refreshed as they are added to subscribed shows
  • Stream any available episode or show on Apple
  • Podcasts with Siri when connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile network
  • New Podcasts complication for watch faces


  • Invite friends with Apple Watch to communicate with Walkie-Talkie
  • Press to talk and release to listen
  • Set your availability for Walkie-Talkie
  • Walkie-Talkie works over Wi-Fi or a mobile network on Apple Watch or with a paired iPhone

Read: How to use Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch


  • Updated Siri watch face intelligently shows predictive and proactive Shortcuts based on routines and inputs like location and time of day
  • Integration with Maps on the Siri watch face shows turn-by-turn directions and estimated arrival times to your next calendar event location
  • Heart Rate measurements are shown on the Siri watch face including resting rate, walking average and recovery rate
  • Live sports scores and upcoming games for your favorite teams in the TV app appear on the Siri watch face
  • Support for third-party app shortcuts on the Siri watch face
  • Access to Siri with Raise to Speak by raising your wrist to your mouth and speaking your request into the watch (Series 3 and later)
  • Support for customized voice commands for Siri Shortcuts that are created and managed on iPhone

  • Read: What's new for Siri in watchOS 5

  • Read: Getting started with Apple's new Shortcuts app

Watch Faces

  • Breathe face with three animation styles to choose from Classic, Calm and Focus
  • Three new motion faces — Fire & Water, Vapor and Liquid Metal — that animate when you raise your wrist or tap the display
  • Display curated moments from your photo library using the Memories option on the Photos watch face
  • New complications for Podcasts and Walkie-Talkie


  • Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
  • Ability to modify notifications preferences for an app by swiping left on an app notification in Notification Center
  • New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Center without interrupting you
  • Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location, or calendar event

Heart Rate

  • Option to be notified if your heart rate falls below a specified threshold while you appeared to be inactive for a 10-minute period
  • Heart Rate measurements including resting rate, walking average and recovery rate shown on the Siri watch face

Other features and improvements

  • View website content optimized for Apple Watch when receiving links in Mail or Messages
  • Add cities to the Weather app on Apple Watch
  • See new metrics like UV Index, wind speed and air quality index in supported regions in the Weather app
  • Add new stocks to track in the Stocks app on Apple Watch
    • Customize arrangement of Control Center icons
    • Choose Wi-Fi networks in the Settings app and enter a password if prompted
    • Answer FaceTime video calls as audio on Apple Watch
    • Option to install software updates overnight
  • Add cities to the World Clock app on Apple Watch
  • Use redesigned categories to scroll through and choose emoji in Mail and Messages
  • Adds support for system language in Hindi Some features may not be available in all countries or all areas.

Any features I've missed?

Found anything cool about watchOS 5 that I've missed? Drop it in the comments.

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