Apple announces Walkie Talkie app for Apple Watch
- Becky Salazar
At Apple's annual developer conference today, the company showed off a new walkie-talkie feature for Apple Watch. And they're especially helpful for people who mostly use the watch for working out - a function Apple has particularly emphasized over time since it first launched the watch in 2015.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said on stage that Apple Watch sales grew 60% in 2017.
watchOS 5 packs in a new way to chat with friends. It is envisioned as a flexible system for using the Apple Watch in place of a student ID card for many activities and access throughout a campus.
With watchOS 5.0, the Apple Watch will also be able to more intelligently detect the beginning and end of workout sessions, automatically logging data if you've hurried out the door and forgot to hit start, while automatically turning off the tracking when it detects that motion has reduced.
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Another new feature with Siri is that you no longer have to say "Hey, Siri". Plus on top of that, you'll also now just be able to raise the watch and speak directly to Siri. You can stream Podcasts directly to your wrist by speaking to Siri and if you want to have them downloaded you can set it up so the latest episode of your favorite show will sync up on your Apple Watch.
Apple also acknowledges that with new data channels and interactive notifications, the Apple Watch will be bombarded with a lot more interactive content.
Sales of the Apple Watch have continued to improve over the past two years, with the Series 3 model doubling sales of the Series 2, and enabling Apple to dominate the wearables category globally. That's a hurdle that kept the watch from being useful for listening to audio, and Apple just made it possible. Perhaps that means we'll see more third-party apps allowing you to listen to audio without a connection in the future. Better still, these can come through third party apps, that implement Apple's new APIs.
Back to messaging apps, and web content is now available in your messages on your wrist.