Apple hosted its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday and introduced a long list of updates to its suite of devices, including a number of Apple Watch and Health app features that will interest runners. The conference was used to let Apple users know what’s on its way in the coming months, with news of the watchOS 8 update, fitness features and more. There’s a lot to unpack with all of these announcements, but here are some of the features runners can look forward to using with their Apple products in 2021.
Apple Watch users will know the device’s fitness capabilities well, and while your main focus may be running, it doesn’t hurt to have other workout options available to you on your watch. Apple is adding two new fitness options with watchOS 8: pilates and tai chi, both of which can help you become a better, fitter and stronger athlete overall.
The update will also add more to the Apple Watch Wallet, which was already a great feature with Apple Pay. This feature is perfect for runners, as it allows you to go for a workout without needing to carry your physical wallet or money. This way, if you need a mid-run drink, you can stop and purchase one with Apple Pay. Now, the watch’s Wallet app is expanding, and it will include car keys (which were introduced in 2020) and house keys.
With these features, you can lock and unlock your car and home with your Apple Watch (assuming you have the corresponding digital lock system that works with Apple Watch), meaning you no longer have to carry keys with you if you drive somewhere for a run, and you can forget about carrying keys for your house.
This key feature will also be available for certain hotels that are partnered with Apple, allowing you to go out for runs while travelling and on vacation without having to worry about getting locked out of your room or the building itself. Finally, the Wallet will soon include personal ID, meaning you can add your driver’s license to your Apple Watch (although this feature will start in select U.S. states before reaching Canada and the rest of the world).
The Health app on iPhones and Apple Watches has always been valuable to runners, but the latest update will make it even better and even more useful. Apple has added a new Health app feature called Trends, which analyzes 20 types of data, from heart rate to cardio fitness and more.
This will allow you to not just see a metric (like heart rate, which so many runners love to monitor) at one moment, but to see how it progresses and changes over time. Trends will also let you keep track of health goals, and you can even set up notifications so your Health app will alert you when you hit a certain goal (such as an increase in run distance).
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