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Apple Watch's Siri watch face getting smarter

New features include third-party app integration and Siri Shortcuts.

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Showing off the Apple Watch at WWDC 2018.

CNET

Apple has some new features for its Siri watch face on the Apple Watch.

The Siri watch face, first introduced last year, brings a handful of the voice assistant's features right up front on your Apple Watch, providing your calendar, reminders and commute times. With the new WatchOS 5, which was revealed Monday at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, the Siri watch face will provide more information, including live sports scores and heart rate.

Siri Shortcuts, a new tool that lets people create and use their own Siri commands, will also come to the Siri watch face. Also, third-party apps, like Nike+ Run Club and Citymapper, will be accessible directly through the Siri watch face for the first time.

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Watch faces are an area of intense interest for Apple Watch owners, because these faces are among the few ways people can personalize their watches. That kind of customization is especially important for smartwatch fans because the watch is more of a clothing accessory and fashion statement than your smartphone or other gadgets.

So far, Apple has limited the number of faces available to customers, a stark contrast to other smartwatches like the Fitbit Versa.

Apple jumped into the smartwatch market in early 2015 with the release of the Apple Watch. Its most recent version, the Apple Watch 3 with a 4G LTE modem, hit the market late last year. In Apple's financial statements, the watch is part of the company's "other products" line, a small but rapidly growing part of Apple's business that also includes Beats products, AirPods and Apple TV.

WatchOS 4, unveiled at last year's WWDC, acquired some new watch faces, including some for "Toy Story" characters. It also incorporated monthly fitness challenges in the activity tracker; a new interface and new high-intensity workout in the Workout app and two-way data exchange with gym equipment. And it better integrated with Apple Music to feed your favorites to the watch.

For this year, WatchOS 5 will provide a new Walkie Talkie feature and enhancements to the Activity app.

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