WWDC 2017: Apple gives Siri top billing on watchOS 4, Apple Watch

​Siri is being positioned as a more proactive helper on the Apple Watch. Apple is talking about Siri like Amazon and Google talk about their assistants.

WWDC recap: Apple unveils iOS 11,iMac Pro, a new iPad Pro and HomePod

Apple outlined its watchOS 4 -- and the aim is to provide more information via Siri, notifications, and a format that rhymes with Google Now's card approach. Simply put, Apple is riffing on Siri and the Apple Watch just like Amazon and Google talk about Alexa and Google Assistant, respectively.

WatchOS 4 is in developer preview now.

Apple Watch, tied for No. 1 in IDC's wearable device tracker for the first quarter, is getting more functionality via watchOS 4.

Read also: Apple's to-do list needs a dose of AI | CNET: WWDC 2017 live blog

Among the key items:

  • Siri is being positioned as a more proactive helper on the Apple Watch. Kevin Lynch, chief of Apple's software efforts, highlighted a new watch face that was "powered by Siri intelligence." Of course, Apple highlighted new watch faces, but the big theme for the watchOS was to provide more information and data at a glance.
  • Health was another key theme. Activity, one of the most frequently used apps, will add challenges and inspiration to get to goals. Another key item is that Apple has added partnerships so health equipment can communicate with exercise machines. Algorithms were also added for high intensity workouts.
  • The music app was also revamped, with the aim of delivering more data and music at a glance. A playlist will automatically start with a workout.
  • On the backend, watchOS 4 gets more support for apps in the background, better responsiveness and core Bluetooth. The Bluetooth support means the Apple Watch will work with glucose monitors and sports trackers as well as other devices.


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