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WatchOS 5 adds Walkie-Talkie, automatic workout detection for Apple Watch

What's new in WatchOS 5? A swarm of little enhancements and a couple of interesting new features.


WatchOS 5 adds this new Walkie-Talkie feature.

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple's annual developers conference.

Going into Apple's WWDC 2018 keynote, rumor had it that with the arrival of WatchOS 5 Apple would finally allow third-party developers to create and sell watch faces for the Apple Watch. That didn't happen, but Apple did announce enhancements to the Activity app, Siri watch faces, Notifications and a new Walkie-Talkie feature that allows you to communicate directly with other Watch users over Wi-Fi or cellular data. 

Aside from the Walkie-Talkie feature, the biggest update will be the ability to raise and turn your wrist to issue voice commands without saying, "Hey, Siri" first. Raising your wrist automatically activates Siri. 

Some other additions to WatchOS 5 include new workout types (yoga and hiking), better workout tracking, new activity competitions, and automatic start and end alerts for activities -- your Watch will automatically detect what type of activity you're starting.

Siri watch faces also support the new Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12 as well as shortcuts for third-party apps. Additionally, you'll be able to view linked web pages on your Watch.

Apple did announce a new band and watch face for Pride Day, but you still won't see any watch faces from third-party developers.

This is a developing story. Follow our WWDC 2018 live blog and livestream.

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