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Apple’s watchOS 5 Brings New Fitness Features, Walkie-Talkie, Native Podcasts App

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Apple today unveiled watchOS 5, the next major upgrade for the Apple Watch. The update will ship to all Watch users this fall as a free upgrade, while developers can begin testing the new software today to get their apps ready.

As for what’s new in watchOS 5, Apple has added the ability to have a seven-day fitness competition with one of your friends to earn more points than one another by coming closer to closing your rings each day. The Apple Watch can now also automatically detect when you begin and end a workout. You can also now track yoga and hiking in the workout app. There’s also multiple new running features for enthusiasts like a new steps-per-minute stat and a new pace alarm for outdoor runs that lets you know whether you’re behind or ahead your designated target pace.

Of course, there are also some general new features. There’s a new Walkie-Talkie app that lets you speak to other Apple Watch owners like you would if both of you had two-way radios; there’s a new Apple Podcasts app that lets you listen to your favorite shows right on your Watch; Siri Shortcuts from iOS 12 let you perform multiple actions using a single key phrase; notifications are now grouped together based on the app they’re from; student ID cards can now be added to your Wallet; and there’s a new Pride watch face to celebrate Pride month which, fortunately, will be arriving to all users starting today across Apple Watches.

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