These are the biggest new features coming to your Apple Watch

Key Points
  • Apple watchOS 5 will bring a lot of new features in the fall.
  • Expect new exercise features, improved Siri predictions, a walkie-talkie option and more.
  • It will be available on all but the very first Apple Watch.
A customer tries out an Apple Watch Nike+ at an Apple Store in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, October 28, 2016 in New York City.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Your Apple Watch is going to get a lot of new features this fall. Apple discussed them earlier this week during WWDC 2018 in San Jose.

The new features will be available for folks who own a Series 1 Apple Watch or newer version, but not the original Apple Watch.

Here's what you can expect.

New exercise functions


The watchOS 5 will be able to detect if you're working out and will start logging it, which means you won't have to manually open the watch's workout app when you exercise. It also has new competition features that let you challenge friends to see who is more active in a week. Other new features let you track yoga sessions and hikes as well as your cadence and pace when you run.



Apple is adding support for its Podcasts app for the first time. This means you can automatically sync your podcasts or stream new ones while you're out walking the dog or putting in an early run on the treadmill. Apple hadn't previously given third-party apps full control over podcast management and playback, so this is a good first step.



This one seems silly but it could be fun to use. The watchOS 5 will let you talk to other folks in real time, without having to place a phone call, with a new walkie-talkie feature. Just open the app, tap the button to speak, and your friend will hear your message. (Remember to mute this before walking into a work meeting.)

Web links


The Apple Watch will now work with some web links. That means if someone sends you a story or a link to a menu you need to check out, you can open it right from your Apple Watch instead of on your iPhone.



Apple's Siri is starting to change to focus more on predicting rather than just providing information. On the Apple Watch, that means the Siri watch face — introduced last year — can tell you more about your day. It will provide info on your heart rate, how long it will take to get home from work, the current score of the Yankees game and more. Soon, third-party apps will be accessible, too, so you might see a dinner reservation on OpenTable, for example.