watchOS 4 Wish List: 7 features we’d love to see

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Apple WatchOS 3 wish Mickey Mouse Face
Here's what we expect from Apple's next big update for watchOS.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple’s WWDC event is less than a week a way, where it is expected to release big upgrades to its family of operating systems. The youngest Apple platform, watchOS, got some serious improvements in watchOS 3. With the fourth interaction, Apple is expected to squash some of the biggest problems while breathing life with new features too.

Full details on watchOS 4 still haven’t been revealed, but we’ve got some ideas of our own that we’re really hoping made the cut this year.

This is what we want in watchOS 4:

 

Third party watch faces

Apple WatchOS 3 wish Mickey Mouse Face
We would love to see more special editions Watch faces like these.
Photo: Cult of Mac

One of the biggest gripes of most Apple Watch users is the inability to set custom third-party Watch faces. Maybe Apple hasn’t opened the floodgates so the Face Gallery isn’t inundated by some low-quality Watch Faces, but wearers need more options.

Creative developers could come up with some beautiful Watch Faces that make Apple Watch feel more personal. If third-party Watch faces don’t come out, hopefully Apple will at least create more Special Edition Watch faces. In line with the Mickey Mouse and the Minnie Mouse watch faces, Apple should collaborate with other companies for new faces. Batman, anyone?

Offline Siri and voice feedback

watchOS 4 siri improvements
Siri should work offline and offer voice feedback
Photo: Cult of Mac

Offline Siri has secured a place in our iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 wishlist already, so it only makes sense to hope it comes to watchOS 4 too.  With the limited screen real-estate on the Apple Watch, relying on Siri as an input device increases ten folds. Therefore, it’s necessary more than ever for Siri to be accurate.

Offline Siri could be helpful at times when you have a spotty connection. Instead of being powered by the Apple Watch processor, Apple could run the processes on your iPhone.

Oh and how about some audio feedback on Siri? The Apple Watch already has a built in speaker but you have to read what Siri says. Make things easier for us Apple by bringing Siri’s voice to your watch.

Always-on display

WatchOS 4 wishlist always-on display
Would you like to have an always-on display option in the Settings?
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch “intelligently” turns on the display when you raise your wrist and turns it off when you put it down. But, one of the much-sought features is the ability to have an always-on display like most other smartwatches do.

The main reason Apple Watch doesn’t come with such a feature is it would probably kill battery life way quicker.  But, there are some users who would gladly trade a little bit of battery life for an always-on display.

Offline podcasts and notes

Notes app on watchOS 3
The Notes app is missing from watchOS.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Although Apple did a great job of creating watchOS apps for their iPhone counterparts, a few of them are still missing. Notable missing apps include the Podcasts the Notes apps. The iOS version of both apps should be able to sync data from your iPhone onto your wrist.

Asking Siri on watchOS to open Podcasts or add a new note requires you to continue on your iPhone, which kind-of defeats the purpose. Why stop with just Notes and Podcasts though. The Compass and and Voice Memos would also be great to have on watchOS.

Enhance the Find my iPhone functionality

Ping my iPhone using Watch.
The Ping my iPhone feature on watchOS.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Find my iPhone functionality on the iPhone lets you locate your iPhone, Mac and your Apple Watch. Locating all your Apple devices quickly from your Apple Watch could make it even more convenient, though. As of now, the watchOS features a Control Center toggle that helps you locate your iPhone by playing a sound on it, but that’s about it. The Apple Watch could greatly benefit from a Find my iPhone functionality.

Also, while we’re at it, the Find my iPhone feature lets you find your other Apple devices, too. So, it could use a more precise name maybe?

Improved health-related features

watchOS 3 workouts app
The Workouts app is expected to include more activities.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch is already great at tracking workouts and other activities like cycling and running, but there’s a lot of scope for improvement. New activities like snowboarding and skiing are being tested in the Activity app, according to a report by Gizmodo. Native sleep tracking functionality is also believed to be in the works. Syncing the workout data to the iCloud so it can be accessible from anywhere would be another great addition.

Other tiny fixes

A number of other small fixes need to be made, like adding customizable alerts and vibrations for calls, removing storage limits for photos and music, adding music controls in the Control Center, more complex Watch face complications, and granular notifications control. Also, with SiriKit coming to the Apple Watch in watchOS 3.2, we’re hoping that more developers get on board so we can use Siri with other third-party apps.

What’s on your wish list?

So that was our wish list of the things we expect from Apple’s next big update for its Watch series. We shall know which of these rumors and expectations come to fruition at Apple’s WWDC event on June 5.

Now it’s your turn — tell us what’s on your watchOS 4 wish list? Tell us about the features you’re looking forward to in the comments below.