Apple announced watchOS 7 during Tuesday’s Time Flies event, along with Apple Watch Series 6. watchOS 7 includes Family Setup, a ton of new Faces, more Memoji support, a service called Finess+, sleep tracking, and more.
watchOS 7 Family Setup
The biggest feature of Family Setup in watchOS 7 is the ability to set kids (or other family members) up with an Apple Watch, even when they don’t have their own iPhone. This does two things: the first is that it expands the potential customer base for Apple Watch. That much is obvious. But it also means that some parents could choose to NOT get their kids an iPhone, and still keep them connected, track their location, and give them communication abilities.
With Family Setup, children can utilize their Activity rings, use Emergency SOS, iMessage, and utilize the other features of Apple Watch. There’s also a new Schooltime mode designed to help keep kids focus during their school hours.
Features for older Apple Watch users include “a simplified onboarding and configuration process,” a new X-Large face for telling time with just one complication to clutter up your face.
There’s also a Health Checklist feature in the Health app in iOS 14 that allows users to check whether or not health-related features such as fall detection have been enabled on an Apple Watch in Family Setup.
New Faces in watchOS 7
Apple is emphasizing personalization with watchOS 7, including the addition of seven new watch face options. New faces include Stripes, Chronograph Pro, GMT, Artist, a Memoji face, and more, which are shown in the hero image above.
Apple Adds Sleep Tracking to watchOS 7
Apple is also offering sleep tracking in watchOS 7, a much-desired feature that many have been waiting for. Apple hasn’t been clear on the details, but we should know more in the next few days.
There is also automatic handwashing detection, additional workout types, and low-range VO2 Max. VO2 Max is a measurement of how much oxygen your body can utilize.
[Update: This article has been updated with additional details and images of the new faces in watchOS 7.]