What’s new in watchOS 5
Walkie-Talkie A new, easy way to have a one-on-one conversation with anyone who has a compatible Apple Watch. See Use Walkie-Talkie on Apple Watch.
Podcasts Podcasts are now available on Apple Watch and they’re easy to enjoy when you’re on the go. The next several episodes of your favorite podcasts are ready to listen to when you are. You can also use Siri to search for and stream any show available on Apple Podcasts. See Play podcasts on Apple Watch.
Smarter Siri: The intelligent watch face The latest Siri watch face suggests relevant content and shortcuts at the right time and place throughout the day. Just finished with work? Your “Drive Home Playlist” is waiting right on your wrist. See Apple Watch faces and their features.
Activity competitions With watchOS 5, you can challenge a friend to a seven-day competition, earning points based on the percentage of Activity rings you close. Win the week for a special award. See Compete with your friends.
Automatic workout detection For many workouts, your Apple Watch senses when you’re moving and alerts you to start the Workout app. It even gives you credit for the exercise you’ve already done. It will also remind you to end your workout, in case you get distracted when you’re cooling down. See Turn workout reminders on or off.
Additional workout improvements watchOS 5 brings Yoga and Hiking workouts to your Apple Watch. During running workouts, choose a target pace and your Apple Watch can alert you when you’re behind or ahead of where you want to be. A new rolling mile metric tracks your pace for the immediately preceding mile. And to help you maintain an optimal running cadence, your Apple Watch displays your steps per minute. See Start a workout on Apple Watch.
Raise to Speak (Apple Watch Series 3 and later only) You no longer need to say “Hey Siri,” to get Siri’s attention. Just raise your wrist and start talking. See Use Siri on Apple Watch.
Grouped notifications Notifications from the same app are now smartly grouped together. Just tap the group to expand it. See Use notification grouping.
Fall detection (Apple Watch Series 4 only) If Apple Watch Series 4 detects a hard fall, it can help connect you to emergency services and send a message to your emergency contacts. See Fall detection with Apple Watch.
Low heart rate alerts In watchOS 4, you could be alerted to a high heart rate. watchOS 5 adds the ability to receive alerts when your heart rate is low so you can seek help if needed. See Receive heart rate notifications.
Irregular Rhythm Notifications and ECG app (not available in all regions) With watchOS 5.1.2 and later, you can receive a notification if Apple Watch has identified an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib). Apple Watch Series 4 has an electrical heart rate sensor which, along with the ECG app, allows you to take an electrocardiogram (or ECG). See About Irregular Rhythm Notifications and About the ECG app.
Support for Dual SIM iPhone (cellular models only) Apple Watch models with cellular can make and receive calls using either line on a compatible iPhone (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR). See Use Dual SIM iPhone with Apple Watch cellular models.
More watch faces Switch things up with new watch faces—Breathe, Fire and Water, Liquid Metal, Pride Analog and Pride Digital (watchOS 5.2.1), Vapor, and Infograph and Infograph Modular (Apple Watch Series 4). Customize your watch face with more complications like Podcasts and Walkie-Talkie. See Apple Watch faces and their features.
Weather additions You have even more reasons to check your Apple Watch before venturing outdoors. Open the Weather app to see current air quality, UV, and wind speed information. See View more weather details.
Student ID cards On supported campuses, you can add your contactless student ID card to Wallet. Access locations where your student ID card is accepted like your dorm, the library, and campus events. You can even pay for laundry, snacks, and meals around campus. Just hold your Apple Watch near the reader.