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watchOS 5 debuts with health and fitness tweaks

Apple is announcing watchOS 5, a major update to its smartwatch platform.

There’s a big focus on new fitness and health features. You can now challenge any of your friends to an exercise competition, which will compare your tracking stats to your friends. The winner will get an award to add to their collection, kind of like real life achievement system. There are also new workout types like yoga and hiking. Outdoor running can now track your rolling mile pace, and will alert you if you’re falling behind your desired pace.  If you forget to start workout detection at the beginning of your workout, watchOS’ new automatic workout detection can retroactively credit you with workout time. It can also give you a heads up if you forget to stop the activity tracking.

For communication, there’s a new “Walkie Talkie” mode, which basically like the old-school push-to-talk functionality from old cell phones, but on a watch. Pick which friend you want to talk to, and if they approve the one-time Walkie Talkie permission, you’ll be able to do instant voice communication.

WWDC is happening right now, as we’ll be updating this post live as more details are announced. 

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