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Hands-on: 50 new watchOS 5 changes and features [Video]

We’ve spent some considerable hands-on time with the watchOS 5 beta, comparing it with watchOS 4 in order to discover what’s new. Have a look at our hands-on video as we walk through 50 new changes and features that are headed to the Apple Watch.

Changes covered in this video:


  • Activity app competitions
  • New Activity app Awards tab
  • Start workout/end workout reminder


  • Two new workouts for Hiking and Yoga
  • Automatic Workout detection
  • New button design
  • Smaller in-progress workout icon
  • Rolling miles (splits of preceding miles)
  • Pace alerts
  • Cadence – steps per minute (SPM)

Video walkthrough

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Control Center/Notification Center

  • Access Notification Center from inside apps
  • Grouped notifications
  • Instant manage notifications
  • Access Control Center from inside apps
  • Rearrange Control Center toggles
  • Airplane mode toggle colors
  • Connect directly to a Wi-Fi network

New apps

  • New Walkie Talkie app
  • New Walkie Talkie complication
  • New Podcast app
  • New Podcast complication
  • Ask Siri to play podcasts

New watch face details

  • Peach color
  • Flash Light color
  • Denim Blue color
  • Updated Siri watch face
  • New Gray color option for Siri face

Weather app

  • Add or remove cities
  • Tap to switch between rain, condition and temperature
  • Scroll down to view air quality, uv index, wind speed, and 10-day forecast

World Clock app

  • Different location list color scheme
  • Add and remove cities
  • Sunrise and sunset text replace glyphs

Timer app

  • Updated custom button color and size
  • Recents with custom timers

Mail app

  • New “checking for mail” text on pull to refresh
  • New “last updated” text at top of inbox
  • View web content previously not viewable on watch
  • New Send and cancel buttons when composing new email
  • New redesigned buttons when filling in Mail fields

Settings app

  • Website data settings
  • Rearranged Text Size settings
  • Prominent Haptics switch removed

Other app updates

  • Messages – Updated button layout
  • Stocks app – Add and remove stocks
  • Phone app – Updated Keypad + button
  • Maps – Smaller Nearby Locations text fields
  • Find My Friends – Updated buttons

Additional details

  • Dock – New red remove button for app cards
  • Enhanced Do Not Disturb
  • Student ID Cards
  • Just raise your wrist and speak, no Hey Siri needed

Apple has temporarily pulled the watchOS 5 beta in order to address issue with it. We will update you once it reappears on the developer portal. In the meantime, tell us, what’s your favorite new watchOS 5 feature? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts and opinions.

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Avatar for Jeff Benjamin Jeff Benjamin

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.