iOS 14 Health Enhancements | New Apple Watch Health Features


  • In September, Apple announced a slew of new products at its “Time Flies” event, with updates to its WatchOS 7 and iOS 14 features.
  • The new gadgets include the Apple Watch Series 6 and a budget watch, the Apple Watch SE.
  • Apple also previously announced the launch of its new fitness subscription service called Fitness+, which will include virtual fitness classes, which will utilize metrics from your Apple Watch.

    Here’s some good news for runners looking to get a fitness tracker for the holidays. In September, Apple announced two new watches—at different price points—and Apple Fitness+ at its “Time Flies” event. (Apple Fitness+ is great if you’re still sweating in your living room. Look for it later in 2020.)

    Here’s what we know about WatchOS 7 and iOS 14’s new health features so far.

    Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch 3 Revisited

    apple watch   ios 14 health enhancements

    Screenshot/Apple

    The latest iteration of the Apple Watch comes in four colors: blue, gold stainless steel, graphite stainless steel, and red—representing the first (Product)Red option for the wearable, where a portion of the proceeds goes to to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. For the most part, though, the watch looks pretty similar to the Apple Watch Series 5.

    Additionally, Apple is introducing a budget wearable, appropriately called Apple Watch SE, that serves as cheaper alternative, much like the iPhone SE that launched this spring.

    The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399, the Apple Watch SE starts at $279, and the Apple Watch Series 3 retailing at $199.

    The band will feature no clasp, buckle, or overlapping parts. Known as the “solo loop,” it’s made of silicone and meant to easily slip from the wrist. Coming in seven colors and various sizes, it’s meant to achieve personalization for the user. There’s also a fabric version in five colors and a solo loop update to the leather band.



    New Apple Watch Health Features

    apple watch   ios 14 health enhancements

    courtesy

    Both WatchOS 7 and iOS 14 come with many new health features. Runners may be most interested in the Apple Watch’s new health sensor that will measure your blood oxygen levels in real time, notifying you if the numbers ever drop to a dangerous level. You’ll be able to access this data via the Health app and track trends over time to see how your blood oxygen level changes as your fitness habits change.

    Here’s why Apple added this feature: Having healthy blood oxygen levels is important because oxygen is what fuels your cells, tissues, muscles, and organs. Just keep in mind that a blood oxygen level reading you’d get from your watch is for general fitness and wellness purposes only, not to be used to diagnose any underlying conditions.

    If you’re a morning runner (and a doomscroller at night), you’ll now be able to set a bedtime routine, such as listening to a soothing soundscape or syncing a meditation app to help you wind down for the night, according to Apple. Users can set a sleep goal and monitor how much shuteye per night they’re getting.

    Another new feature added to WatchOS 7 (especially important for 2020) is hand-washing detection. Proper hand-washing can help slow the spread of illness, and now your watch will automatically detect when you’re scrubbing up and initiate a 20-second countdown timer.

    If you’re someone who listens to music or podcasts through headphones, you’ll want to pay attention to the new hearing feature, which will provide information on how listening to media through your headphones can affect your hearing over time. Your watch will notify you when you’ve reached a safe weekly listening amount, which is based on World Health Organization recommendations that a person can be exposed to 80 decibels for about 40 hours per week without having a negative impact on hearing abilities.

    One of the final new metrics is the introduction of Mobility metrics, which are provided in the Health app on iOS 14 and WatchOS 7. Mobility gives users insight to low-range cardio fitness, walking speed, stair-descent speed, stair-ascent speed, six-minute walk distance, double support time, step length, and asymmetry. These metrics help doctors monitor patients’ mobility as they age.

    These features are available in WatchOS 7.

    New iOS 14 health features include a redesigned Activity app, now called Fitness, on their iPhone and four new workout types—core training, dance, functional strength training, and cooldown. You’ll still have access to the Trends feature, where you can track how your workouts compare in the new app, and the redesign will allow you to more easily access your stats.

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    Apple One Subscription Bundling

    apple watch   ios 14 health enhancements

    Screenshot/Apple

    Apple One is a service that bundles all of the company’s best subscripton offerings, including iCloud, Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and the forthcoming Apple Fitness+. It’ll be available later this fall, and you can try it out for free for 30 days.

    The individual plan is $14.95/month, the family plan is $19.95/month for up to five people, and the premier plan is $29.95/month. Those first two plans do not include Apple News+ or Fitness+.

    For runners into at-home workouts, Fitness+ will offer virtual studio-style workouts with trainers that you can access on your iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV. Fitness+ will use metrics from your Apple Watch, like your heart rate, to help personalize your workouts. You’ll be able to choose workouts, including yoga, cycling, dance, treadmill walk and run, strength, rowing, and HIIT, ranging from 5 to 45 minutes long.

    Most of the exercises only require a set of dumbbells, or no equipment at all, making it ideal for those continuing to work out at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

    That service alone is either $9.99/month or $79.99/year. Anyone who purchases a new Apple Watch will get to try it out for free for three months.

    Want more news on the latest trackers? Join Runner’s World+ today!

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